Guys. We sat down with Bear McCreary and didn’t even get through half the questions I have!
As someone who not only works for the company behind The Walking Dead Universe but is also simply a fan, I’ve long been an admirer of many aspects that go into telling the story of survival horror we all know and love. There are all of the in-your-face pieces that people often discuss and remember – the writing, the locations, the actors – but then there’s all the little bits and pieces that hold the entire thing together that often times get less attention. These include the costumes, editing, art direction, and lighting and that’s not even getting to the myriad of jobs that don’t make it on screen.
Did you know there was a job for some daper man or lady on film and TV sets called a Greensman? Exactly.
Bridging the gap between the popular and the forgotten frequently lies music. Who can forget the unforgettable opening title sequence to shows we love like The Walking Dead? But many times there’s so many other themes that populate the narrative that really define our emotional experience. Think about the dread you feel for characters you love while watching Game of Thrones when the Rains of Castemere plays. Similarly, think about the feeling of power and confidence many people describe while listening to the Ready for Battle Wonder Woman Theme from the recent film by Patty Jenkins.
There’s something that’s always been constant about the underlying music hon the Walking Dead, but there’s also been some subtle evolutions – like The Governor’s Theme – when the story shifts more seriously to showing off the humans as the villains instead of the walkers – and the first synthetic sounds enter the audioscape and create a different feeling than ever before. It’s always been consistent in it’s quality, regardless of both it’s own changes and evolution and how anyone feels about particular seasons or episodes.
I’m clearly fangirling right now, so i’ll stop trying to wax poetic about the value of composers move onto what we’re all here for. This is exactly why having an interview for Insiders with Bear McCreary excited me so much – you guys will get to see one of the most creative people on the show who isn’t talked about a lot. And this interview delivers.
First of all, Bear has done so much more than just The Walking Dead.
He scored Battlestar Galactica. COME ON
Just throwing out some more projects he’s composed like it’s no big deal.
Dan Trachtenberg’s 10 Cloverfield Lane
Adam Green’s Digging Up The Marrow (if you’re a horror fan, you should see this)
Joe Lynch’s Knights of Badassdom
ABC & Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Starz’ Black Sails & Outlander
And that’s not even a quarter of it all.
The graduate from USC’s prestigious Thornton School of Music was one of only a few proteges of the award-winning composer Elmer Bernstein. I’m not even going to begin to list off his resumé (just got his IMDB, it’s absurd). Needless to say, he had himself arguably the best sensei you could ask for if you were studying to be a composer at the time.
So if you’re interested in picking Bear’s brain, take a ride with our friend Sam Bashor in the video. Bear’s favorite score is Robert Mulligan’s To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) by none other than Elmer Bernstein. The medium doesn’t matter to him – it’s about building a world, regardless of the project being built as a video game, movie, or tv show. For The Walking Dead, he worked to try to make “undead” versions of bluegrass and folk instruments.
If all you care about is his favorite instrument, I’ll save you some time: it’s the Hurdy Gurdy.
But I won’t spoil anything else. Dig into the interview and find out for yourself what lies in the mind of Bear McCreary.
If you haven’t checked out last week’s interview, make sure to go back and watch Ian’s chat with David F. Sandberg, director of Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation!
Make sure to follow our friends on the socials:
Sam Bashor: https://twitter.com/SamBashor
Bear McCreary: https://twitter.com/bearmccreary
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SNEAK PEAK: Next up is Lorenzo Di Felici! (THIS GUY)