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Live Sound

The Really Fast Rise of Really Slow Motion

By Steve Harvey. Movie trailer music company celebrates five years.

Los Angeles, CA—It takes a village to produce a Really Slow Motion movie trailer music track—or, more specifically, a global community. The company, founded five years ago by Agus Gonzalez-Lancharro, has been working with a worldwide pool of composers and musicians to create tracks that have been used on campaigns for films including Solo: A Star Wars Story, A Quiet Place, Rampage and Deadpool 2—to name projects from just the last couple of months.

“I’ve worked with over 200 people in the last five years on at least one track,” says Gonzalez-Lancharro. “With some, it has been 30 tracks, and some just one track.”

Really Slow Motion (RSM) hit the ground running in 2013, scoring the company’s first music sync license with “Shredder,” a track produced with Hungarian composer and musician Attila Áts. The track, released on RSM’s first collection, was snapped up for the promotional campaign for Universal Pictures’ Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise. Word began to spread that there was a new trailer music talent in town.

“In a matter of a month, everybody was requesting the album,” says Gonzalez-Lancharro. The track was soon licensed for several more trailers, including World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, Pacific Rim and Maleficent. “So we started to produce more and more,” he says.

It was a typical overnight success story … many years in the making. Gonzalez-Lancharro had been studying engineering and telecommunications back home in Spain, he recounts, with the idea of going into air traffic control. “But guitar was too powerful, so I quit,” he says, and instead enrolled at one of Spain’s premier music conservatories.

But he had even greater aspirations, so he applied to several institutions in the U.S. and U.K. “I got accepted by all three, but I was 20 years old with no money. I went for the cheapest,” he laughs. He moved to London to get a degree at the Guitar Institute (later renamed the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, or ICMP), practicing during the day and learning English by watching television at night.

Part of his second-year studies included scoring to picture. “I found it interesting,” he says. “I did the assignment and it was really successful.” His teacher, Maurizio Malagnini—who has substantial TV credits, including Call the Midwife and an Emmy-nominated score for The Paradise—recognized his potential and offered to provide extra instruction on the finer points of orchestration.

Thinking he would remain in England, Gonzalez-Lancharro decided he wanted to teach. “I thought, I’m done with guitar,” he says. But to teach at university level, he needed a master’s degree. He was accepted to the Royal College of Music but couldn’t get a scholarship, so he again took the least expensive option, enrolling at Kingston University.

Adopting Really Slow Motion as the alias for his composition work, he scored some short films—his first gig coming from an online ad—and commercials. But he was ambitious, perhaps a little impatient, and he wanted to break into scoring major motion pictures. “I wanted to be good and successful very fast,” he says.

“Then I came across trailer music randomly on YouTube. I thought, I could have a shot at that; I have a contemporary music background.” With his training, he was adept at telling a story in a short length of time, he says. “You have to condense whatever you are going to say and sell into 15, 20, 30 seconds, or two minutes.”

But how could he break into the business? “I couldn’t do it overnight alone, so I went to SoundCloud and YouTube and tried to find people who I thought were at a higher stage of production quality and compositional skill. I had the ideas, but I thought, maybe if I produce with them, I could get the standard I wanted. And that’s what I did for a couple of months.”

Really Slow Motion Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary, April 18, 2018

Collaborating with composers and musicians in Australia, Hungary, Spain and Germany to produce RSM’s first collection, he says, “I had nothing to offer, no money. I was asking them to invest their time and patience with this random dude they didn’t even know.”

With the collection complete, he used the last of his money from a recent European tour to buy a plane ticket to Hollywood. After his quick success with “Shredder,” work flowed in. “Our first custom music job was for Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” he recalls. “The premiere of that trailer was during Super Bowl 2014. That was quite different from what had been done before, and it became the trend for the next Marvel trailer; it became a reference.”

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As Really Slow Motion celebrates its fifth year in business, Gonzalez-Lancharro, a Los Angeles resident since 2017, has just released his 65th collection of trailer music tracks and has sub-publishing arrangements worldwide through Warner/Chappell Music, BMG, BeatBox and others.

The custom work continues to pour in. “We did 12 pieces just this weekend,” he reports. “This week we’re going crazy with superheroes and Star Wars, custom, from scratch.”

While RSM’s main focus is movie trailers, the company has more than 3,000 tracks of production music available for television and advertising campaigns and other promo work, and has deals in place with U.S. television and cable networks including CBS, Fox and HBO.

“I got an email last week from a radio station owner in Nigeria who wanted to do a radio commercial with our music. We’ll license anything, anywhere,” he says.

Really Slow Motion •