DIRTY JOHN AUDIO DESIGN BY JEFF SCHMIDT: Dialogue: Editing, Production Processing. Music: Editing, Composition, Music Supervision. Final Mix & Mastering
The New Yorker called Jeff's use of Tracy Bonham's “Devil’s Got Your Boyfriend,”
"one of the show’s strongest aesthetic choices"
My creative focus for Dirty John was largley Music Supervision. I wanted to find a song with lyrical content that worked as a theme for the series, and find different songs to punctuate each episode. I listened to hundreds of tracks in pre-production and found about 12 candidates I thought could work.
During this period Wondery needed a trailer for the show. The trailer I produced is the one published and it’s the closest representation of my vision for the sound of the series. I hadn’t told anyone my music plan - I decided to surprise them with the trailer by including “Devil’s Got Your Boyfriend” by Tracy Bonham. The song ended up becoming the theme for the entire series.
Since the trailer was a hit I took that as a green light to keep going in that sonic direction. But there was a lot of push back about music, tone and texture. I was going for a more Fincher-esque vibe in the vein of the film “Gone Girl”.
The notes coming back requested the sound be more like “This American Life” and “S-Town”. As my wife Valerie is fond of saying in her business - “they’re the client, so they get to say”. So that’s what we did.