Author: Bear McCreary

The Cloverfield Paradox

The Cloverfield Paradox sent shockwaves throughout the entertainment industry when it debuted on Netflix mere hours after its first and only trailer during the Super Bowl. I was thrilled to return to the franchise as a member of the creative team for this ambitious entry in J.J. Abrams’ monster saga, and compose a ‘spiritual successor’ to my previous score in the series, 10 Cloverfield Lane.

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LIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD: I was fortunate to be brought on board The Cloverfield Paradox early. I had opportunities to visit the set on multiple occasions, and found inspiration wandering through the elaborate and serpentine hallways. I felt an immediate sense of claustrophobia, a memory I would draw upon later while composing the music. While the film was finishing production, I experimented with tones, colors and ambiences, building up a unique sound palette.

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Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams

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Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams is a new science fiction anthology series, making its United States debut this weekend on Amazon. The series assembled versatile writers, producers and directors (including Dick’s daughter Isa Dick Hackett), to reimagine original stories by one of the genre’s greatest authors. I was honored to join this brain trust, scoring three episodes: “Real Life,” “Impossible Planet” and “Kill All Others.”

While the series’ vision was held together by a close group of producers, each episode was treated like a stand-alone film, with unique writers, directors, and in most cases even composers. I had to reinvent my sonic and thematic palette from episode to episode, with no material carrying over from one to the next.

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Outlander: Season 3 – The Caribbean

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In the second half of Outlander‘s epic third season, our characters undertake a harrowing journey, setting sail across the Atlantic to Jamaica, in search of Young Ian. Like the show’s move to the courts of Paris in Season Two, this massive shift in geography had to be acknowledged with an equally seismic shift in the score. I cannot imagine any project other than Outlander that would allow me to set a soaring bagpipe melody over blistering congas!

A new musical language is evident immediately in the main title of the ninth episode, “The Doldrums.” Here, “The Skye Boat Song” begins, as always, with Raya Yarbrough’s haunting solo vocal, but is unexpectedly accompanied by exotic percussion!

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Revolt

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How might one score a film primarily using floppy disc drives and an electric violin? This was the question at the core of my experience scoring Revolt, a new science fiction film starring Lee Pace.

In the film, Pace plays Bo, a soldier who awakens in an African jail cell, suffering from long-term memory loss, only to discover that humanity is in the final stages of a violent alien invasion. He teams up with a doctor named Nadia, and together they trek across the post-apocalyptic African wilderness, avoiding the robotic unmanned ‘drones,’ machines intent on killing or rounding up the last surviving members of the human species. (more…)

Happy Death Day

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What would happen if you were stalked and killed on your birthday, only to awaken back in the morning on that same day, seemingly doomed to live it all over again? This Groundhog-Day-meets-Scream concept is at the heart of the new light-hearted horror comedy from Universal and Blumhouse Productions: Happy Death Day. I was thrilled to collaborate with director Christopher Landon, and to score this film that has become a surprise October hit.

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After I read the enticing script, I met with Chris and editor Greg Plotkin at the Blumhouse offices last spring. I was immediately struck by their delightful and friendly personalities, and knew these were guys I wanted to spend some time with. They showed me the film, and we fell into an enthusiastic conversation about the near-infinite musical possibilities presented by a time-loop-horror-comedy set at a college. I was brought on board the film right away, and my mind raced. (more…)

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