Musical Anatomy Of A Superhero

Again this year I was able to attend one of my favorite panels at San Diego Comic-Con, titled ‘Musical Anatomy of A Superhero,’ where they gather composers currently working on superhero movies and television shows and put them on a panel to discuss their craft and the work they are currently doing. This year they managed to gather Blake Neely (Arrow,’ ‘The Flash,’ ‘Supergirl,’ ‘Legends Of Tomorrow‘), Kurt Farquhar (‘Black Lightning’), Tyler Bates (‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Vol 1 and 2), Mark Isham (‘Cloak And Dagger‘) and Christophe Becke (‘Ant-Man And The Wasp‘), who were all more than happy to share their experiences and stories with the audiences, as well as some clips from their shows and movies that highlighted some of their work.

Most interesting to me was to learn from Tyler Bates that James Gunn was the only director he ever worked with that had him write music ahead of time and then play it for the actors on set to help set the tone of the scene with the actors often wearing earbuds listening to the music while delivering their lines, buds that the post-production team then paints out later. Blake Neely spoke on how important it was for his work to make sure every show in the Arrowverse has a very distinct sound and theme, so that when he really gets in the thick of it, and is exhausted, he does not accidentally write a great piece of music for ‘Supergirl’ and realize it actually had ‘The Flash’ theme in it. It was also interesting to hear Kurt Farquhar talk about the dance between music and dialogue, how a composer has to make sure that they do not step on each other, but rather enhance and highlight one-another. And most interesting, Christophe Beck talked about how one of the coolest pieces of music from ‘Ant-Man And The Wasp,’ the dark version of the theme that is heard during the post-credits scene when the Pym family disappears due to Thanos’s snap, was something that he NEVER thought would make it into the movie, as it was a piece of music he almost wrote by accident and did not think it would fit anywhere in the film as it the movie was so light-hearted and fun.

As I say every year, it is always fascinating to hear the composers talk about the work that goes into the music, and I cannot wait to hear the scores they produce for their upcoming projects, which includes Kurt’s work on ‘Black Lightning’ Season 2, Mark’s work on ‘Cloak and Dagger’ Season 2, Blake’s work on all the new seasons of the Arrowverse shows, and Chris’s upcoming work on ‘Frozen 2.’

Video courtesy of fandomnessa