Santo wrangled the soundtrack on which Bey is featured, and while the diva was the first to sign on to the project, she still wanted to see how those steamy scenes played out to the tune of her "Crazy In Love" and "Haunted" remixes.
So, with a crew of movie folks, Santo headed to Mrs. Carter's house -- I repeat, Beyoncé's house -- to watch sex scenes and get her blessing.
"It was a little awkward because there were a number of us as the house showing her the scene, but she was amazing," Santo told MTV News as she prepped her journey to London for tonight's (February 12) "Fifty Shades" premiere. "Yeah, she was really cool about it... It is so delicate, you know, the subject matter, the content, everything about it is a little tricky, so you just don’t want to offend anybody."
That "delicate subject matter"? Sex. And lots of it. 20 minutes to be exact -- we counted. So how do you find the right music to fill 20 minutes of carnal activity? Well, you recruit people like Sia, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding and Annie Lennox, and you set some ground rules:
"[We told songwriters] don't use words that say 'bondage' or strong connotations to the story to be that obvious," Santo said. "We didn’t want to dumb it down."
"Fifty Shades" director Sam Taylor-Johnson had a huge hand in crafting the soundtrack too, making sure that the music enhanced the scenes, rather than distract attention away from it.
"She kept saying she doesn’t want any artists to sound like they are overtaking the song in a way that you would hear it on 'Britain’s Got Talent,'" Santo said. "She doesn’t want that vocal forward telling you how to feel or telling you what to do."
The perfect example of this sentiment is the silky, smooth Sia selection, "Salted Wound," which plays while Anastasia and Christian have sex for the first time. With decadent, almost sinful vocals, Sia can coax the sexy out of anyone, without demanding it from them. And while the "Fifty Shades" songs are tastefully sensual, Santo certainly got a lot of down-and-dirty submissions for the soundtrack.
"We got plenty of those," she laughed. "Those came in left and right. We were like, 'Oh, no, another really in-your-face song, oh no!' There were a lot that actually went down that path. I think the goal with this soundtrack is to if you listen to it 5, 10, 20 years from now you are gonna be like, 'Wow, it doesn’t feel like it is only 2015.' Hopefully, it will stand the test of time."