(Photo courtesy of BMI)
On Thursday evening, a panel took place at Comic-Con during other high profile ones called “The Character of Music.” The idea of the panel was to have one composer for a TV show or movie and one of the producers there with him to talk about the impact of the score in TV and movies. Among this year’s panel was long time "Supernatural" composer Chris Lennertz (left) and long time "Supernatural" producer Todd Aronauer (right), both there to talk about their show.
Due to an unfortunate timing of other press events, I wasn’t able to have a full interview with Chris and Todd in their press room. Given the fact I waltzed into this conference room very late wearing a “Ghostfacers” shirt though, they were willing to entertain two quick questions.
Okay, I slipped in three, but the first was more of a confirmation from Chris Lennertz that I needed to get straightened out, especially since I heard two different stories. Will he be working on both “Revolution” and “Supernatural” this upcoming season? The answer is yes. He’s going to be very busy. Lucky for him, he shares the workload on “Supernatural” with Jay Gruska, so that will help. Whew, that was indeed a huge relief to hear.
Since they were enamored by the shirt, that ended up being the next question. What was it like for both of them to work on the “Ghostfacer’s” projects?
Chris: I not only co-wrote the “Ghostfacers” theme song with Ben Edlund, but also we both sang on it. That is actually our voices you’re hearing. It is the ultimate in cheesy theme song and I love it.
Todd: It was originally supposed to be a temp track they were singing to. We brought it up stage, everybody heard the final and were just like “no,” the temp was just too good.
Chris: We need that temp track.
Todd: Being one of the directors on the webseries was a fantastic experience.
Chris: It was a great, great series.
Todd: Great crew, great fans, I can’t say enough good about it.
After eight seasons, how do you keep the score fresh?
Chris: I can’t tell you anything about season 8 yet, but Jeremy Carver is back. There’s going to be a lot of twists and turns, and I think it’s going to be...
Todd: The fans are going to love it.
Chris: The fans are going to love it. That’s all we can really say, but it’s going to be great. I promise.
At that point they had to go to the panel. I thanked them so much for granting me this time and I knew then that was the panel was I attending next. I’m going to have a full transcript up of the panel within the next few days on TV For The Rest of Us, since there were some really great soundbites that came out of that one also about “Arrow.” However, below are the “Supernatural” related things that were said at the panel.
How did Chris Lennertz become involved with his current project?
“I’m trying to count how many years I’ve known Eric Kripke. Eric created “Supernatural” and also created “Revolution” this year. Eric and I were fraternity brothers at the University of Southern California and I was a year older that him. I remember him coming up try to join up there and he was this geeky guy from Toledo and I was this geeky guy from Pennsylvania. It was a pretty geeky period anyway, a lot of USC film guys. We immediately started talking and realized that we had the same tastes in film, what I call the late 70’s filmmaking era. We all loved Spielberg and Lucas and Brian DePalma and that kind of stuff. We ended up being next door neighbors and we started doing all these USC student films. We used to drive to Sundance together in an old some jalopy, fit 13 of us in one bedroom condo in Park City.
(2005) rolls along and he calls me and he said, “Holy cow, I got a show picked up by Warner Brothers” and that show is “Supernatural.”” He wanted me to do it. Luckily, I’ve been with “Supernatural” ever since and I got an Emmy nomination for the Pilot on that show and it’s just been a great run. Luckily, Eric asked me to do “Revolution” for him which has been great. I got to work with J.J. (Abrams) and Jon Favreau as well. Kripke is just the he’s film maker you want. Like I said, he’s the one who comes up with something you want to do and prove that you can. I’ve been very lucky.”
How did Todd Aronauer become involved with his current project?
That’s enough about Eric Kripke (room laughs). When I went to LA in 1996. We became good friends and I found myself sleeping on the couch of Eric Kripke. We became really good friends, (had) a lot of friends in common. We just never seemed to connect on anything up until he called me to see if I was available for “Supernatural” which I was. I’ve been there ever since.
This was a question from the Moderator for Chris. “The CW network is a pretty source heavy network. How do you balance soundtrack vs. source in “Supernatural?”
“With even the Pilot of “Supernatural” and all the way through the show, Alex Patsavas is our music supervisor, she’s an old, old friend of mine, we used to do the really silly bad Roger Corman movies together, like the Piranha remake with William Katt of “The Greatest American Hero” bad.
I recommended her to Eric and Eric had heard about her before. Eric is a classic rock, midwestern guy and we all jumped onto that boat right from the beginning. For those of you who are “Supernatural” fans and Dean fans specifically, it’s all about the AC/DC, the Metallica, that stuff. From the very get go we’ve always said the score is there for emotion, the score is going to be there when dad dies, the score going to be there to heightened the tension when they stop the apocalypse, but when it comes to the Impala rolling down the street, I’m going to get the hell out of the way and let AC/DC do their job.”
A big thanks to Chris Lennertz and Todd Aronauer for not only taking time to answer my few questions during a time crunch, but coming to this panel and offering fun info about their jobs on “Supernatural” for the fans. Often times the behind the scenes work goes unnoticed and it’s nice to hear what really goes into making the best show on the planet!
Love that quote, too. AD/DC has 'got the Jack.' I hope we get more of that in S8; maybe we will with the Impala back in the show. It'd be interesting to know what has been done with their music budget over the years.
Thanks, Alice. I always like to hear from the BTS people, and it's rare when those are the people behind the music. Enjoyed the read.
Jim Michaels explains in it the cost for music for a show.
Thanks for this. Keep them coming!
Music is so important on SPN -- I think they do a great job with it.
The three things that got me hooked to the show in the pilot where Dean, Sam and the music.
Of course I love the AC/DC quote since I am their fan since the beginning of the 80s.
Can't wait to hear more from you and ComicCon