Beneath the Planet of the Apes Mashup
I had so much fun making Planet of the Levels (2013) that I decided to make a mashup for each of the original five Apes films. I am not a musician or an expert in this category—I am simply a fan of POTA, EDM, mashups, and playing on my Mac.
If you’d rather skip all of this making-of stuff and just listen/download the song, just scroll to the bottom of this post. If you even remotely care about how this came together, then read on.
I used GarageBand 10.0.3 for this mashup. Prior to this I have had only minimal exposure to this software, mainly combining loops for background music and creating iOS tones. I was very excited to play around with this more and it made me want to know about music and musical theory more… a lot more.
When thinking of an EDM track to use for this mashup, the first to come to mind was DJ Antoine’s Underneath. It was such a literal connection (“Underneath” and “Beneath”) and I really think it fit well. Also, I’m a big fan of Tony Arzadon’s remix work and his version is my favorite, so I used a combination of the Tony Arzadon & Nathan Scott versions found on the maxi-single.
Along with samples from the film, parts of the motion picture score by Leonard Rosenman were used as well, like the apocalyptic gospel hymn Hail the Bomb.
As with Planet of the Levels, I really enjoyed the fact that the story unfolded somewhat chronologically throughout the song—sort of like an audio-only movie with some killer beats you could bounce to. I wanted to bring the same sentiment to Underneath the POTA as well.
First, I needed to break up the original song into its individual parts so it would be easier for me to visualize how it was put together. Then I compared the parts to different chunks from the movie to pair them up together.
The first part I tackled was the intro. When watching the movie back I settled on using Ursus’s war speech to start out with. It was a perfect opener. I rearranged and omitted parts of it for a nice fit and flow with the original song and then synced it up.
Next was the ending. Again, the ending of the movie was perfect. I beat-matched the bomb’s explosion with the song and then abruptly cut the track off when the narrator says, “… dead.” It matched the mood perfectly because of the abrupt ending of the planet.
The third part I wanted to tackle was the Bridge. I knew I wanted to put in the “Hail the Bomb” part with the mutants, but this part was the one that gave me so much grief. I tried many different variations but it just wasn’t working out and I just wasn’t happy with what I was coming up with. Finally one day I had a breakthrough by fading the music out and then back in. By doing this, I think the sermon works well where I wanted it to go.
After I figured out the bridge part, everything else just flowed. It was a matter of selecting some important moments from the movie and laying them down with some EQ tweaks. The difficulty here lied with what sound bites do I keep and which ones should I leave on the cutting room floor; there’s so many good ones from this film. The only thing that concerns/ed me is the lack of clips of the mutants. But I am confident in what I chose and am happy with them.
With the album art, I wanted to bring in elements of the original movie poster. I really liked the split image of Ursus and the mutant, so I appropriated that element, but swapped the mutant out for a photo of myself. I’m a huge, huge, fan of the NECA Toys line of Classic Planet of the Apes figures, so instead of keeping the original poster image of Ursus, I opted for a photo I took of the NECA Ursus. I also wanted a more minimalist-type font for the title, so I chose Geo Sans Light.
I hope you enjoy this freebie. You can play the track below or download it by clicking the download icon.