VIDEO: Nathan Barr on the Craft of Composing

December 11, 2009 by  

Nathan-Barr-Music-AwardTrue Blood‘s award winning composer, Nathan Barr, spoke at the MIMICON panel at the Renaissance Hotel after winning his Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) for True Blood. He was joined on the panel by fellow composers Jim Dooley, Wendy & Lisa, John Ottman, and Christopher Young.  A video of this panel discussion, recently posted on YouTube, gives a fascinating inside look at the craft that goes into setting the tone for the show we love the most.

Nathan says that composing for television and film is “not just about music ever” but is “always in service of the picture.” He told the panel that he got into scoring for film and television:

…because I love movies so much. I wanted to be in movies so much and music was my way in and my contribution to the storytelling process.

In addition to talking about some of his other work, Nathan told the panel audience how he got the opportunity to work with Alan Ball on the score for True Blood:

I got into the room for a meeting because they temped in my score to Hostel, and I watched the pilot before I went in for the meeting. And I went into the meeting and they said “We really like the way your Hostel score is working as temp” and I just thought “You know, I’m just going to be totally honest with them,” and so I said, “I’m really flattered that you guys like that, but it doesn’t work at all in your show” and they loved that. And so…you know, Ball‘s the kind of guy who’s open to lots of suggestions, so the situation was right where I literally threw out their temp which was my stuff and started from scratch with a completely different sound and that worked to my benefit.

Though directors or producers can sometimes be difficult and though often the people who hire him to work on a score have no idea how to explain what they want from him, he still loves his job:

I get to actually work and create in the thing I love the most in my life, and I hope they bury me in a theatre. I’ll go to eternity watching movies and this is my contribution to movies.

Certainly, True Blood fans are lucky to have him working at HBO on the show and we wish him continued success for many many years to come.

SOURCE: CW3PRVideo on YouTube

(Photo Credit:  Nathan Barr Facebook)