Every year the american PRO SESAC, “the nation’s most innovative performing rights organization”, celebrates its film and TV composers at the annual SESAC Film & Television Composers Awards Dinner. More than 60 awards were given away this time on June 4th honouring the creators of scores for shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Mike & Molly, Save Me, Parenthood, Mistresses, Late Show with David Letterman, Two And A Half Men, How I Met Your Mother and 2 Broke Girls among many others. Apart from that even awards for “excellence in Streaming Music” were handed over this time.
Since then we had the chance to talk to one of the honorees, Evan Frankfort, who took home two awards for the TV shows The 100 and Game Changers with Kevin Frazier. First he told us about his scoring process behind The 100 which is aired on The CW TV network in its third season at the moment:
For The 100, I create sounds for months before I even begin writing. I think of the world we’re in and create a palette with those new sounds. In the first season, we start in space with higher tech and when we reach the ground it becomes primitive. The trick is to thread particular elements between worlds so that the characters stay emotionally represented in the music.
Season 2 had lots of claustrophobia in the underground world of Mt. Weather… that meant a new palette again. While I do like to use recurring themes for people or places, I like when elements recall a feeling. It can liberate music from a character and just represent death, loss, hope, etc. In other words, to avoid feeling the mechanics, it can be great trying things that seem to not connect to a scene in theory. There’s an endless number of ways to do something great and I’m always interested in finding what else can make a moment special
The trick is delivering on time. I have 4 days to score 38 minutes so I have to go with my first instinct most of the time. I have hundreds of tracks so mixing is one of the bigger challenges. I love to tweak but there simply isn’t time. I’ll print 7 stems for flexibility at the final mix. While I work on The 100, it’s 18 hour days, 7 days a week.
You can watch the opening credits featuring Evan Frankfort’s Main Title Theme for The 100 here:
Afterwards we got to talk about Game Changers with Kevin Frazier:
With Game Changers, I wrote the theme based on conversations with producer Bryan Curb. Bryan is great at articulating musical ideas so once we locked in on the sound, it’s been a process to build a catalog. Since it’s not scored to picture, my team and I provide various styles and versions of mixes that will work for a range of dynamic possibilities. The trick is to make all the various elements work like building blocks so an editor will have the ability to seamlessly integrate otherwise disparate cues.
You can watch a short episode of Game Changers featuring Evan Frankfort’s music below: