Mike Andrews: From Freaks and Geeks and Donnie Darko to The Five Year Engagement
When it comes to finding success in music and movies there are few stories out there that can compare to the tough road that Mike Andrews first embarked on when he entered the world of music scoring.
His first shot at composing came when he took on the show Freaks and Geeks. That show barely made it through Season One before being dumped, and not even subtley--I'm pretty sure they all got wedgies on the way out--by the network. Of course Freaks and Geeks still has an uber-intense, scary, stalkerish fan following,. Even today Freaks and Geeks are like... psycho magnets. I understand completely, they sort of remind me of... Me. That show proved to be the launch pad for some of Hollywood's hottest talent: James Franco, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen.
It fueled as well the explosive, artistic, cerebral mindmeld that would later grow into an amazing and unprecedented "geeks rock!" creative collective. Cowboy nerd rockstars. They would find future success together, and stick together, over the long haul. Mike Andrews has finally found his perfect place in the world; his garage; making music for movies. And sometimes for fun. Every day.
In the aftermath of Freaks and Geeks, Mike Andrews managed to carve out for himself a crazy busy, satisfying music career. And he's still composing movie scores for, and working with, his long-time friends and fellow Geeks Judd Apatow, Paul Feig and Jake Kasdan.
Mike's ascent from dorky band dude to nerd hot indie stud is fortunate, and no small vindication; Mike Andrews' follow-up to Freaks and Geeks, his very first solo movie score, was for the Richard Kelly film Donnie Darko--a psychological piece that was so dark and disturbing, so pointedly obtuse and uncomfortably familiar that it teetered dangerously on the brink of magnificent disaster. Thanks to some transcendential gift; a perfect chemistry of direction, score and cinematography, Donnie Darko turned out to be an amazing cinematic groundbreaker: deeply macabre, yet refreshing; inspiring. It's the sort of movie that could have easily killed the careers of anyone standing too near. Dangerous. Brilliant.
Donnie Darko debuted in theaters shortly after 9/11, actually the following month, in 2001. It faced a harsh reception due to the movie's precipitating event being a jet engine falling from the sky--it was an incredible box office failure. Movie theaters refused to show the film due to the content, despite the fact that it was a critical success and a stand-out piece at Sundance and other film festivals. It left the theaters without breaking even for production costs.Continued on the next page