Scoring the cloverfield paradox
Bear McCreary’s Particular, Accelerating Online Blog Deconstructs THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX Score
By Randall D. Larson
Bear McCreary’s official web site has for many years been the most engaging blog of any film composer’s web site I’ve seen so far. Routinely including comprehensive analysis into his latest scores, McCreary writes as good a blog as he composes amazing music for such TV series as the rebooted BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, THE WALKING DEAD, OUTLANDER, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., episodes of PHILIP K. DICK’S ELECTRIC DREAMS and much more. Now that he’s made the jump to major feature films in a big way, with wonderful scores for EUROPA REPORT, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, COLOSSAL, REBEL IN THE RYE, UNREST, ANIMAL CRACKERS, and THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX, his blog is bestowing even more inside insight into his considerable composition process.
As The Hollywood Reporter described it, he maintains “One of the best blogs in the business. It’s a fascinating look at the process of making music for film and television and the care he takes with aligning the score with the twists and turns of each character’s plot lines.”
His latest blog examines THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX in detail, somehow finding the time to write a 3000-word essay, describing each of the score’s themes in detail, how they were developed, and how they are used interactively in the film to integrate with the emotional journey of the crew of the orbiting Cloverfield Space Station after a test of a new, powerful particle accelerator throws the station out of orbit and into unknown space.
For example, take McCreary’s emotional theme for Communications Officer Ava Hamilton, a compelling melodic theme: “Each subsequent statement of the Ava Theme becomes more dramatic than the last, resulting in a musical feedback loop, where our subconscious expectation that the phrase will complete itself is never satisfied,” he writes. “The audience does not get the resolution they expect, setting a precedent that will last for the rest of the film. To the audience, the additive, emotional impact of this lack of resolution in Ava’s Theme is powerful, and it builds up as the film progresses… I saved the completion of this phrase for the final passage of the end credits. The absolute last thing the audience experiences in THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX is the choir finally resolving Ava’s Theme…, as the orchestra swells gently to support them. Her story is complete, and that musical promise made during the Main Title has finally been fulfilled.”
If you haven’t read McCreary’s blog – by all means do so immediately, and become immersed in a kind of master class in film scoring, Bear style, or at the very least a greatly enhanced understanding of how and why film music is such an important, interactive component of the cinematic experience.
Visit Bear McCreary’s CLOVERFIELD PARADOX blog here
- Bear McCreary’s THE CLOVERFIELD PARADOX Score Album is Available
- EUROPA REPORT: An interview with Bear McCreary on Scoring the film