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Published on October 26th, 2019 | by gareth


Music Creatives Appear At Comic-Con’s Storytelling Across Media Symposium

This looked like a great event and we hope to have some interviews up from it soon.


Music creatives from The Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, American Factory, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, The Jade Pendant, and YouTube’s Escape the Night talk about their creative process behind their popular film and TV projects at Comic-Con’s Storytelling Across Media Symposium.


Experts in the sound field wowed Comic-Con SAM attendees with a discussion on how important sound and music is in telling the story in films and television.

San Diego, CA – On the day of Comic-Con’s Storytelling Across Media (SAM) Symposium, excited fans gathered to hear secrets of how storytelling and sound come together to create magic on screen. The experts on the “Storytelling with Sound & Music” panel conversation included composer Chad Cannon (American Factory), composer Anne Katherin Dern (The Jade Pendant), composer Sam Ewing (The Walking Dead), music editor Shie Rozow (Wu-Tang: An American Saga), and composer George Shaw (Escape the Night). Moderated by Kaya Savas of Film.Music.Media. Comic-Con Museum Theater. The panel was moderated Kaya Savas, journalist and founder of Film.Music.Media.


Kicking off the panel, George Shaw talked about his music for Youtube’s hit murder-mystery reality web series, Escape the Night. “The first season had a very traditional orchestral score, the second season is more Victorian and still orchestral with some electronics, and then the third season takes place in the 1970s so the music is sort of horror disco – which I’m not sure existed until now. I expanded the palette with voices and world instruments over the course of the show.”


Speaking about the roles of composers and music editors, Shie Rozow spoke about his work, stating, “Music editing is very creative but also very technical, and composing is mostly creative. I get to feed both sides of my brain and personality which is gratifying. Working as a music editor helps me become a better composer and vice versa.”


Shie continued, “As a music editor I spend a lot of time on the dub stage and I see what works and what doesn’t so when I’m writing as a composer, I have more knowledge than someone who has never been on a dub stage. When I’m music editing other people’s music, and need to do a rewrite, I think to myself, ‘If I was the composer, what would I do.’ It helps to have that insight and understanding.”


Discussing scoring for documentary features, Chad Cannon commented, “the documentary genre is having a rebirth and there’s lots of exciting opportunities for composers. American Factory is an example of that. When scoring a documentary, you walk a delicate line of influencing the audience’s emotions with music. For instance, we can’t don’t want to portray the Chinese billionaire as Darth Vador.”


Talking about her work on The Jade Pendant, Anne-Kathrin Dern reflected, “My main inspiration was Schindler’s List since our film is about the Chinese genocide in the LA area in 1871. I developed different themes depending on the characters – the cowboys for instance had more Americana and fiddle sounds and I used more Chinese instruments for the Chinese immigrants. We decided this would be an old-schooled score with thematic material.”


Sam Ewing shared his experiences collaborating with Bear McCreary for the music of The Walking Dead, “The show evolved and as we got into this post-apocalyptic world the music also evolved. We got more into analog synths as well as some guitars and fiddles in Season 9 and 10.”


Summarizing their roles as composers, George concluded, “At the end of the day our job is to tell a story – we identify where in the scenes we need to give the soundtrack an emotional push to help the audience understand what the characters are feeling.”


The attendees of the Comic-Con SAM symposium left excited and with a newfound appreciation of the importance of collaboration between visual and audio professionals working in film and television.


About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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