Blake Neely Composes Score For Ask Dr. Ruth


Composer Blake Neely bends down a bit to get into the shot with the petite Dr. Ruth at Sundance Film Festival 2019 in January where their film was a big hit.

Photo by Austin Hargrave

Adding to his long list of credits for composing original music for film like You, The Flash, Super Girl, and Riverdale, Paris native Blake Neely is the composer for the new documentary Ask Dr. Ruth. He and the director Ryan White recently premiered the film at Sundance 2019, where AGC International quickly nabbed international distribution rights. Domestic rights previously sold to Hulu, which is partnering with Magnolia Pictures on a theatrical release.

Ask Dr. Ruth is a documentary chronicling the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Celebrating her 90th birthday, Dr. Ruth recounts a heart-breaking yet inspiring past and her ground-breaking career in sex education. She survived the Holocaust, but lost her entire family and then went on to get America talking about sex. She is still writing books and teaching and has an optimism for just about everything.

“When I began writing the score for Ask Dr. Ruth, my immediate intent was to present her in a grand, almost royal way, as her story and her impact on the world has been immense,” says Neely, who has collaborated with White on the previous Sundance hit The Case Against 8, as well as the acclaimed Netflix series The Keepers.

Notable to the uniqueness of this film release, a percentage of the score’s performance royalties are donated to Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA) through the Royalties Reaches Kids program which composers, artists and film/creative professionals are able to champion the mission of keeping music in disadvantaged schools through the designation of their royalties.  

“In a first for film music, I worked with my performing rights organization, Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI),” Neely says, “to allow for a major portion of the royalties earned from the performance and broadcast of this film to go to ETM-LA, an organization which puts music in inner-city schools to provide every child with this vital part of their learning.”  

ETM-LA is grateful.

“Our partnership with Blake and Dr. Ruth will allow his beautiful score to enable thousands of children to receive quality music education as part of the core curriculum,” says ETM-LA Executive Director Victoria Lanier. “With the nature of royalties, Blake’s gracious allocation will continue helping us spread the benefits of a music education to kids across Los Angeles County in perpetuity — shaping the next generation of thousands of children.”

For more information on Blake Neely, see the County Line archives.

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