July 22, 2019

Superhero Composers Receive Standing Ovation from Fans at Comic-Con’s 7th Annual “Musical Anatomy of a Superhero” Panel

On Thursday July 18 at the San Diego Comic-Con, the 7th Annual Musical Anatomy of a Superhero Panel packed Ballroom 20 and ended with a standing ovation from the nearly 5000 spectators. This year, the panel was moved to Ballroom 20 which now features a state-of-the-art sound system. The event began with a five-minute sizzle reel of the panelists’ work which drew thunderous applause. Participants included composers Pinar Toprak (CAPTAIN MARVEL, KRYPTON), Benjamin Wallfisch (SHAZAM, HELLBOY), Christopher Lennertz (THE BOYS, AGENT CARTER), Blake Neely (BATWOMAN, THE FLASH),  Sherri Chung (BATWOMAN), and special guest moderator Michael Giacchino (SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, DR. STRANGE). The panel was sponsored by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI).

L-R: Christopher Lennertz, Sherri Chung, Benjamin Wallfisch, Pinar Toprak, Michael Giacchino, Blake Neely, Ray Costa

Ray Costa, event producer, delivered opening remarks and introduced the composers. Audience members at past iterations of the panel had asked why no female composers were included. Costa commented that this year two major live action projects were scored by two female composers who were very deserving of participating. Costa thanked ASCAP and BMI for their sponsorship of the panel, stating that, “three of the panelists are members of ASCAP and three are members of BMI.”

Costa passed the baton of moderating to Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino. Giacchino took the opportunity to send a message to his friend and director of THE BATMAN, Matt Reeves, recording the audience saying, “Hey Matt, don’t screw up our Batman movie!” Giacchino asked each panelist if there was a superhero or sci-fi film that inspired them to compose. The general consensus of the panelists was that all roads lead to John Williams, from STAR WARS to SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN 2. When first panelist asked, Ben Wallfisch, gave John Williams as his response, Neely sarcastically said, “who?”

Panelists played clips of upcoming and recent projects. Lennertz, the composer of the upcoming Amazon original series THE BOYS, said it was difficult to choose a clip that was not a spoiler or was not too graphic for Comic-Con, so he did his best to edit clips to share.

Toprak spoke in detail about personally paying for a 70-piece orchestra to audition for CAPTAIN MARVEL stating that she wanted Marvel to see that she could handle the responsibility.

Wallfisch shared the world premier music video of an orchestral suite from SHAZAM, featuring Wallfisch conducting a 100-piece orchestra in London. After the panel the suite was publicly launched from WaterTower Music.

Among the clips, the audience was treated to a sneak peek from The CW’s upcoming show BATWOMAN from Chung and another from veteran DC composer, Neely. Neely then asked Giacchino, “Where’s your clip?” Then Giacchino showed a scene from SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, the #1 movie at the box-office at the time of the panel.

Goody bags were given to audience members who asked questions. The person asking the best question was awarded a Spanish language poster (Spain release) for SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME signed by Michael Giacchino.

– via Costa Communications

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