Trent Reznor went the distance for David Fincher in scoring The Social Network, he tells John Hazelton

Known to music fans as the founder and -creative force of Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor had never worked on a full-length feature when he and collaborator Atticus Ross were approached by David Fincher to score the director’s Facebook drama The Social Network.

But Reznor had been writing scores for short films and a video game and projects such as NIN’s 2008 album Ghosts I-IV — an attempt, says Reznor, “to try to make music that felt like impressions of places or locations.” Ross, meanwhile, had the score for The Book Of Eli under his belt.

Having read the script but with no footage to watch, the partners, says Reznor, “sat down [initially] and blindly worked from an impressionistic place.” They were looking for “the sound of that spark of creativity, when you get a good idea and you’re chasing it” and for music that would reflect the emotional journey of the film’s central character, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Fincher had asked for a non-orchestral score so the composers, who currently work together in the band How To Destroy Angels, pursued their existing idea of using electronics like traditional instruments.

“We wanted this film to have an electronic heart,” Reznor explains, “but feel a little rusty, like everything didn’t just come out of a computer nice and clean. That felt in spirit with the emotional travels that Zuckerberg was taking.”

Reznor is now keen to do more scoring work, though he acknowledges that with The Social Network, “I walked into a pretty exceptional project”.