Meet the Experts Composers roundtable video interview
Writing the perfect main theme for a TV show is easier said than done, say some of the industry’s top composers at the Gold Derby Meet the Experts: Composers roundtable. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“It’s like trying to squeeze the last bit of toothpaste into a container. It takes years,” says Breton Viviana composer who has worked with Brian Tyler on the score of “1883” and its parent series, “Yellowstone”. “Sometimes it’s just kind of a hook that you can develop into something bigger. But for me, it’s always just spending a lot of time with it, measure by measure.… But sometimes you just do it in minutes. For me, there is no real formula.
In our roundtable of exclusive video interviews, Vivian was joined by Nathan Barr (an Emmy Award winner who wrote the music for Season 2 of the Hulu series “The Great”), Siddharta Khosla (three-time Emmy nominee for “This Is Us” which wrote the music for the final season of the NBC drama as well as the Hulu comedy “Only Murders in the Building”), and Daniel Pemberton (an Emmy and Oscar nominee who handled scoring duties on NatGeo’s “Welcome to Earth”).
“I like the challenge of a main title because it’s completely unreasonable – the demand, isn’t it? It’s like, ‘We need you to wrap up this whole show experience in nine seconds or 12 seconds or 80 or 25 seconds.’ And I find that really empowering in a thrilling way,” says Barr, who won his Emmy for writing the title track for ryan murphyHollywood.
“Musically, it can be quite challenging,” Pemberton says of writing the main tracks. But more daunting than the challenge of writing a catchy theme, he says, is the idea that people might not even pay attention to the end result.
“I’m so angry at streaming services that cut the end credits – so angry that I even wrote wholesale items in the paper about it,” he says. “Because it’s really important to have a moment of reflection…. I love hearing the main themes that pay off in a show. You have the theme at the beginning, but maybe in the last episode you get the big version or tease it throughout the series. I still think it’s fascinating. If you can pull that off as a composer and the directors allow you to do that. It’s good.”
Click on each name above to watch that person’s individual chat.
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