Last weekend, the Newport Beach Film Festival hosted the Evolution of Film & TV Music panel at The Port Theater. Panelists included award winning composer Atli Orvarsson (Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, NBC's Chicago Fire), Emmy award-winning composer Jeff Beal (House of Cards, Blackfish), Oscar-winning composer Lalo Schifrin (Mission Impossible, Dirty Harry) and Emmy award-winning composer William Ross (My Dog Skip, Academy Awards musical director). Moderated by Anthony D'Alessandro, managing editor of Deadline's Awardsline magazine, the panelists discussed working closely with directors, the differences between scoring a film and a TV series, and the evolution of the entertainment industry and its affects on film and TV music.
Speaking about the progression of TV production, Beal discussed his most recent project House of Cards. Creating a full two minute theme for the Netflix production, Beal stated, "It is rare now for a show to have a main title theme. Since viewers see House of Cards in succession, I wondered if they would skip over the main title sequence. However, I've heard more and more people say, 'I have to hear the theme; it gets me into the show,' which is what it is meant to do." The panelists discussed the more challenging parts of composing, agreeing that finding your way in and creating a world through themes, orchestration, and other components is one of the most difficult aspects. Discussing the changes surrounding film and TV music, Atli Orvarsson explained, "Film and TV have become more realistic. For example superheroes are 'real'they are a part of the everyday life. Therefore, the music needs to be more subtle to effectively help tell the story to the audience."
The panelists closed by offering the audience advise regarding obstacles that they have faced during their careers. Lalo Schifrin stated, "You're always going to face obstacles. It is not about the obstacle that is in front of you; it is about looking beyond it." William Ross added, "If you can step back from your personal prejudices and be more present in your thinking that truly helps when overcoming obstacles and fears."
Founded in 1999, the Newport Beach Film Festival has evolved into a prestigious multicultural event, attracting over 52,000 attendees. Screening over 400 films in 8 days, NBFF's mission is to bring the best in new, local, international, and critically acclaimed cinema to Newport Beach. The Evolution of Film & TV Music panel is part of the festival's Vision and Craft: The Art of Filmmaking seminar series. This year's festival began on April 25, 2013 and ended on May 2, 2013.