CAH Alumnus Scores New Movie, “The Tutor,” Opening this Weekend
You may not have heard of Alexander Bornstein ’09, but you have probably heard his music from some of the many projects in which he’s been involved since leaving UCF.
On Friday, March 23, Bornstein’s latest project will debut in the movie “The Tutor,” a thriller that follows a tutor who has been “assigned an unexpected task at a mansion, where he finds himself struggling with the obsessions of his student, who threatens to expose his darkest secrets” according to imdb.com.
Bornstein majored in music and earned a minor in cinema studies while at UCF, but his love for music began when he was much younger and pretended to conduct the opening strains for “The Empire Strikes Back” in his basement.
“I remember receiving bewildered looks from employees at a Sam Goody record store when I asked them if they had the soundtrack to “Robocop,” Bornstein recalled.
Above, Alexander Bornstein at work.
For those who were wondering, yes, it exists, and Bornstein has several copies.
With just a few years of piano lessons under his belt, Bornstein actually spent a lot of time as a child making movies before realizing that his true love was music in college.
After leaving UCF, he received his Master of Music in Music Theory/Composition from NYU, and then moved to Los Angeles, where he interned for composer Bear McCreary (“The Walking Dead,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Cloverfield Paradox”) and realized that the city had much to offer for new graduates eager to learn the movie business.
When he landed at Hans Zimmer’s company, Remote Control Productions, he started out “making coffee,” but eventually got to help create sampled instruments for “The Dark Knight Rises.”
He even went to the Academy Awards in 2012 as a Music Department Assistant; Zimmer – a two-time Oscar, four-time Grammy winning composer – was the event’s music director.
In 2017, Bornstein released his first album, Schematic, a mix of chamber orchestra and electronics, one of his many musical passions.
And as much success as Bornstein has had since leaving UCF, he says he will never forget his fondest memory as a student – when the UCF orchestra played one of his original compositions at one of their rehearsals. He says he barely slept the night before and showed up to the rehearsal “terrified,” but “Hearing it played was so great though!”
For “The Tutor,” Bornstein and his music team recorded the hour plus of the film’s music in Hungary, utilizing the Budapest Art Orchestra.
“Writing the music for ‘The Tutor’ was a huge, but exciting challenge–any feature length film is,” Bornstein says. “Finding the right tone that could sustain itself over the course of 90 minutes took a lot of trial and error, but the director [Jordan Ross] was a great collaborator and gave me a lot of room to explore different timbres and find a fascinating blend of orchestral, electronic, and even operatic vocals.”
Bornstein said he hopes that those who see The Tutor will be entertained by not only the cinematography and storyline, but also his scoring.
“I’m really proud of the final result, and hope people will go see the film in theaters or watch at home when it becomes available later this year,” Bornstein says. “Go Knights!”