Daniel Gillies of ‘The Originals’ at the Behind the Music Panel at SDCC (VIDEO)
Daniel Gillies of The Originals moderated the Behind the Music panel at San Diego Comic-Con this year featuring composers of such shows as Fargo, The Vampire Diaries, Homeland, Wayward Pines, Empire and Scream Queens.
We talked to Daniel after the panel and he had some very interesting things to say about the state of TV now as well as his own show The Originals, which he says he watched with variable rates of “cringe.” Awww. We love your work Daniel, don’t short-change yourself!
Note: There is no saving the audio on this video. I didn’t think I would use it for the Web, but I thought Daniel’s reactions were worth the noise.
Via Press Release:
CW3PR’s 7th annual Behind the Music Panel was one of the first fan-going experiences to kick off Comic-Con 2015. With eager ears to hear from the composers of some of TV’s most popular shows, convention attendees lined up in advance and packed the room to capacity. The panel began with a video reel showcasing clips from the composers’ latest works, including some exclusive, never-seen-before footage from Fox’s “Minority Report,” and Spike TV’s mini-series event “Tut.” A bonus draw to the feature was special guest moderator Daniel Gillies, who stars in “The Originals” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Gillies revealed his admiration for TV composers, calling them “magicians of the screen” who help enhance he and his fellow actor’s performances.
Composers Sean Callery (“Minority Report,” “24: Live Another Day,” “Homeland,” “Bones”), Charlie Clouser (“Wayward Pines,” “Saw”), Fil Eisler (“Empire,” “Revenge”), Mac Quayle (“American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “Scream Queens”), Jeff Russo (“Tut,” “Fargo,” “Power”), and Mike Suby (“The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals”) comprised the “Behind the Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection” panel, discussing their work on projects full of high drama, mystery and mayhem.
The panelists arrived on the stage to a raucous applause, as Daniel kicked off the event by asking about scoring for genre projects. Jeff Russo discussed how these types of projects are “much more interesting to write, because they are more emotionally inspiring.” Fil Eisler added that “music can make even the most grisly crimes enjoyable” and helps genre projects because it “gets you over the finish line and provides subtext for the stuff you don’t see.”
Mac Quayle added his belief that the world’s fascination with the macabre propels the success of these genre projects. His clip from “American Horror Story: Freak Show” featured a gruesome scene, and although he turns off the Sound EFX sometimes when scoring, he revealed, “after watching it so many times, sawing a woman in half doesn’t bother me anymore.”
Daniel next asked about how the Netflix era of binge-watching television shows has affected composer’s strategy. Sean Callery discussed how “24″ was the original “binge-watching” show and how the DVD of the first season of the show was released before the second season, leading to an influx of new fans. He said he really enjoyed returning to the project in the social media era, because fans were able to communicate directly about his score for “24: Live Another Day.” Jeff Russo noted that fans are now able to hear repetition in themes when they watch a show all in one sitting, challenging composers to vary their scores more than they have in the past; “I think that you have to compose music that develops over time… Music has to change with the story line.”
To round off the panel, Daniel asked the composers to give advice to aspiring musicians in the audience. Charlie Clouser encouraged newcomers, saying “Don’t be afraid; with the technology in music now, the gap between people inside the loop and outside the loop is a much shorter distance these days.” Mike Suby added: “Be ready for the opportunity when it comes, because it may only come once. You never know who is who, so take everything anyone ever offers you, and do it as well as you can.”
The panel then opened to questions from the audience. One “Empire” fan asked Fil how he balances the featured songs with his score, and complimented him on the clip with Taraji P. Henson humming along with the score in her jail cell. Fil said that this was a complete coincidence, spurring the audience to erupt with laughter; he admitted he was thrilled when he heard that she was humming in perfect key to compliment his score. The last question was asked by a self-proclaimed “music geek” who was curious about how much music theory was applied in their process. Jeff Russo emphatically responded that “theory creates rules, and the thing about music is you should never be bound by rules.” A thundering round of applause followed this decree, a perfect end to the panel.
Audience members left grinning, their questions answered and their hands filled with free giveaways from the panel. These included beanies and thermoses from “Fargo;” posters from “Empire,” “American Horror Story: Freak Show,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” and “Tut;” DVDs from “24” and “Bones;” and “Wayward Pines” air fresheners, which were a huge hit with the crowd.