Cato Hoeben

Write up here…

About the film

The Super Recogniser is a dark sci fi that follows the unusual happenings around one of the governments ‘super recognisers’ – individuals with the capacity to recognise over 90% of faces in surveillance footage like CCTV recordings to help identify people who are potential threats.

Featuring Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm, commander of the Unsullied and a eunuch in Game of Thrones), this short film was written and directed by the fantastic director Jennifer Sheridan. It’s currently doing the festival circuit as I write this and has won a few awards which has prompted interest in developing it into a Netflix series.

I had the pleasure of writing the score for The Super Recogniser and was given the support and freedom to experiment with sounds by Jennifer to build the soundtrack… so I did just that! Below are some of my approaches to capturing and creating the sounds used in this film.

The Theme Song

To give the film a quirky vintage edge, Jennifer asked me to write a song with Spanish lyrics relating to repetition and the dullness of being in a job that never seems to end. She was looking for something that had a hint of the Spanish singer Kinita, a kind of 50’s / 60’s jazzy soul track.

As I’m married to a Spanish lady who is also a good singer, I asked her to record the lyrics for my song and wrote this (also pitched down with effects added to give it a vintage feel):

Baby Beats

The score features the fluttering heartbeat of my daughter who was due to be born later that year. Like any normal composer, I pounced on the opportunity to record some weird bio-electronic sounds and brought a microphone into our baby check up session.

While some fetal heart monitors have a deep gushing pulse to them that is interesting in its own right, this particular unit gave out a lovely soft purring sound which I felt would be perfect for capturing the surreal nature of some of the scenes in the film.

I prepared the sound by tweaking it with Soundtoys Crystallizer, the Spaces Convolution reverb by EastWest/Soundsonline and some heavy EQing to shape things. I then layered it in with some subtle pad sounds from Omnipshere, a fantastic instrument / synth / sampler if you’re not familiar with it.

The result was a sound like this:

Pitched down harmonics

A common technique in sound design is to bow a cymbal and pitch it down. My friend and talented composer Theo Green first introduced me to this technique and has been a great mentor in helping develop my own sound.

I remember hanging out with Theo both at his place in London as well as my dad’s flat in Amsterdam (or do I remember…? It’s a bit hazy now) and working with him on his earlier projects. We used to record metallic objects, bow cymbals, glasses, tap hollow tubs and generally anything that would be inspirational once pitched down and morphed into some kind of textural bed.

It’s techniques like that which I experimented with while writing the score for The Super Recogniser that led to