It’s an exciting time for film and television lately: although some of those cult classic sci-fi epics aren’t airing anymore, there’s great stuff on TV lately, from Sherlock and Doctor Who to Supernatural, Elementary, and now NBC’s Revolution. And in telling an epic, important kind of story, music is, if not everything, at least a large part of setting the scene and adding to the general epic-ness. That’s why I took the time to have a chat with Christopher Lennertz, the composer behind the exciting new show Revolution.
Hi Chris and thanks for taking the time to talk to me! This is my first time interviewing a composer of any kind, and I also have very little knowledge about how music for film and television is written, so could you start out by talking about what that process is like?
Well, they start out by shooting the show, and then editing it to the point where it makes sense; after that, they give me the show with no music and we go through it together and decide where we want the music and what kind of music we want. After that, I go through each scene and write the music, and then we go and record it with an orchestra.
Building on that, how do you approach writing a piece of music; once you see the scenes and the content, how do you approach fitting that to the music? In short, what’s your artistic method?
The big thing that makes it different in writing for film and television is that, by the time I get to it, the producer usually has some idea of how he or she wants it to sound: scary, emotional, “I like guitars,” “I like violins,” etc…With Revolution, Eric Kripke, who also created Supernatural, and with whom I’ve been friends for a long time, said he wanted it to have a Lord of the Rings kind of sound in terms of being epic, but also with an apocalyptic, a futuristic feel, but also with a bit of medieval music. He wanted a mixture of things. So, we go back and forth and I try to figure out how to mix all of that together.
I’m actually really glad that you brought up Eric Kripke, because I’m a huge fan of his other show, Supernatural, which I know you’ve also worked on. So, what’s it like working with Eric again on this show?