Arnalds told CMU
how the project came about: "In mid-December 2010 I was on a holiday in China when I received an email from Sam Levinson about the film. We got on the phone at like four in the morning Beijing time and ended up talking all through the night, instantly connecting. He told me that they had been listening to my music while making the film, so the film was already very influenced by my music. However, it was not until Ellen Barkin - the beautiful force that she is - had pestered the producers for a week, calling them every day about how I am the right one for this film, that they finally gave in. The only catch was that it had to be done two weeks later, in the first week of January. So I ended up scoring non-stop all throughout Christmas, making my mother mad in the process".