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TubeLords - Original Soundtrack

by Make-Believe Machines

supported by
Mike Templar
Mike Templar thumbnail
Mike Templar MBM is an unbelievable artist creating amazing soundscapes and brings various feelings and stories to audio. The soundtrack "TubeLords" shows the amazing talents MBM possesses. This album is a great journey combining orchestral sounds with electronic sounds; sometimes warning & gloomy and sometimes uplifting or mind-wandering. Favorite track: Come Home.
Clickbait 02:16
Plotting 01:34
Maevlyn 01:34
Chicken Man 02:06
Tim and Liz 01:11
Ego Death 00:30
Come Home 01:32
Moon 02:30
Hotmail 00:58
Baby Monitor 00:20
Tim Hallucks is a begging little bitch A begging little bitch? Yeah, a begging little bitch boy Tim Hallucks is a begging little bitch A begging little bitch? Yeah, a begging little bitch boy
Thrombus, Thrombus, Thrombus, Thrombus Thrombus, Thrombus, Thrombus, Thrombus Talkin' 'bout that Thrombus life All the haters talkin' 'bout how they want the Thrombus 'cause they all know that my breadstick is the longest Fools try to steal my dog 'cause he dresses like a god Tools try to kick my asshole but I punch them with my bod


In early 2020, I co-wrote a script with Jacob Withers for a TV pilot about aging YouTubers desperately trying to cling to their viewership while fighting off the sabotage attempts of their former ally, Jared Thrombus. I figured it was too bizarre for anyone to fund it, but by a miracle of luck I won a grant for the project from the Iowa Arts Council and Produce Iowa just a couple months later.

We filmed the bulk of the pilot over a week in October later that year with a small group of friends working together to bring the script to life. It was the most challenging creative project I've ever been a part of.

As my filmmaking background consists mostly of shorts, the pilot provided an opportunity to take the concepts, structures, and tonal shifts I'd been developing on a small scale and expand them into a larger form.

The same opportunity applied to writing the score. With a 34-minute runtime, I was able to develop multiple recurring musical themes, and to create alternate versions of those themes as they reappeared later in the story. The low synth rhythms in "Clickbait" reappear a few octaves up as frantic pizzicato strings at the end of "His Name is Charles". "Can I Come In" and "Come Home" share different versions of the same melody, and "Moon" takes an upbeat theme from the DuckTales NES game soundtrack and reimagines it as a melancholy piano piece to accompany the film's rival characters reminiscing about their past days of making DuckTales parody videos together.

Additionally, it gave me the chance to work in several disparate genres I'd composed for individually on previous short films. I got to write a couple of ridiculous songs with lyrics, some beat-driven action material, soft piano and woodwind pieces, and a horror cue for strings.

I've always enjoyed comedies that took unexpected turns into pseudo-drama and horror, and this was a great opportunity to execute a larger-scale tonal transformation. To make the pilot's slow dive from comedy into drama feel believable, I tried to approach the music by looking at every ridiculous scenario in the script and scoring it as seriously as the characters themselves viewed it. My hope is that this results in something different from the kind of comedy score that functions as a set of audience instructions on when to laugh. By making music that is empathetic to the main characters' often absurd concerns, I'm hoping to make the material both funnier and more grounded in real emotion.

I was also lucky to be able to bring in some fantastic musical contributions from other composers. "Death Is Their Shepard Soprano" and "Living Dead Choir" bookend the major arc of the plot, while Plesh Moto's "Skinny Gray" and "Pixie in the Pines" both appear in the final scene to close out the story. I encourage you to search for them on Bandcamp and listen to their amazing work.


released June 18, 2021

Composed and performed by Justin Norman
Vocals on "Begging Little Bitch Boy" and "The Thrombus Anthem" by Phillip Harder
"Moon" is a reinterpretation of "Moon Theme" composed by Hiroshige Tonomura in 1989 for DuckTales
"Tim and Liz" and "Chicken Man" are two unused pieces written for scene 7. "Ego Death" is an unused piece written for scene 8. "Downvoted" was written for the trailer.

Recorded and mixed by Justin Norman at home in Des Moines, Iowa

Cover photograph by Bruce James Bales
Designed and edited by Justin Norman


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Make-Believe Machines Des Moines, Iowa

Neo-classical and soundtrack music composed by Justin Norman, performed with Anna Kucera, Elaina Steenson, Patrick Riley, and Scott Yoshimura.

Artist photo by Nick Ford.

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