Interview with Bear McCreary – 2019 SDCC

Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, I enjoyed the privilege of spending three hours in the presence of Bear McCreary, the wildly creative Outlander music-maker!

It all started in the press room. Promptly at 3pm, Bear strode through the door exuding star-power personality and boundless energy! For the next hour, he patiently walked the press line answering every question with enthusiasm and excitement. Handsome and lithe, his commanding presence leaves little doubt this is the man who has produced such a prolific body of musical work!

Soon, my turn to ask questions… Bear responded with the same focus and attention afforded each press member in the room. Enjoy our brief exchange! 

Daughter, Sonatine, costumed with sword in hand, posed with papa in the press line.

Bear then joined us for a round table discussion. Press members were allowed one question per round. The following recording contains all Q&A wherein Bear offers thoughtful, candid and pithy resposes. Hope you watch in its entirety! 

During the round table discussion, I commented on Sonatine’s Quest, an original vocalization by Sonatine Yarborough McCreary and scored by her father.  Here, Sonatine sings her feelings about a favorite storybook. Hope you listen to this wonderful creation by his wee lass (clearly, this apple fell close to the tree!).

And, she is only four years old!

After the round table, we scrambled to a different building for Bear’s panel presentation, The Music of Monsters, open to all attendees.  He informed the packed session that he became enthralled with sci-fi films and monsters at age 5, after seeing Godzilla footage in Tim Burton’s 1985 film,  PeeWee Herman’s Great Adventure! 

Bear then posited this insightful premise: music is critical to film because it gives monsters a voice!

He then showed several outstanding examples of iconic music from sci-fi films to support this premise. At the end of each clip, he encouraged audience participation by inviting attendees to call out feelings the music evoked. Responses were numerous, robust and exciting as a vast range of emotions were called out from the floor! 

For example, he showed an iconic image from the 1951 film classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, reminding us of the ominous feelings this music awakens.

He is right! I saw this film at age 9, and to this day, I can recall the eerie music and the words: “Gort, Klaatu barada nikto!” Gort is the name of the menacing robot; Klaatu, the name of the humanoid alien (played by actor Michael Rennie). See the trailer here: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaatu_barada_nikto.

Bear also showed a clip featuring his musical score for 2016,  10 Cloverfield Lane.” Bear’s intense and haunting music for this psychological thriller by producer J.J. Abrams establishes mood and scale, as seen in the closing moments of the film.

Bear shared footage from the 2019  film, Child’s Play, scored entirely with toy instruments. He didn’t expect this approach to be welcomed by the director, but it was! He showed this bit of the creepy “Buddi Song,” written by Bear and sung in a child-like voice by actor, Mark Hamill.

Although Bear didn’t perform the music live for us, in the following splendid video, he sings the theme from Child’s Play in a kiddie’s voice while playing multiple toy instruments: watch for bells, ukuleles, harmonicas, pianos, accordion, and several toys I can’t even name! His music gradually builds from innocent childish notes to a thoroughly menacing finale. Hear the theme song in its entirety here: https://youtu.be/YNjCEimjX_4 

Bear’s last clip was from 2019’s, Godzilla: King of the Monsters. He shared his first version of Godzilla’s theme and, no surprise, it was excellent! Then, he played the final spine-thrilling, spine-chilling theme, building on music from an earlier Godzilla film, which proved mighty, powerful and awesome! This underscored how critical it is to continue with music until it is right; the final thunderous score is magnificent! 

Listen to Godzilla’s theme here:

And, this video is a must see! It shows the collaboration of Bear, his orchestra, Tibetan monks and Japanese Taiko drummers producing music for Godzilla: KOTM: 

The session concluded with a robust Q and A. Even after three hours of non-stop shop talk, Bear was as gracious and enthused as at the outset. We were more than lucky he attended 2019 SDCC! 

In case you are not familiar with Bear’s prodigious resume, it includes his very first musical score created for Battlestar Galactica, ten years of writing music for The Walking Dead, five seasons composing music for Outlander, and themes for Rim of the World, and The Professor and the Madman, to name a few.  Let’s congratulate him on  his nomination for the prestigious 2019 Saturn Award for best film music. If I had a vote, he would get it. Thank you, Bear!

What a splendid way to spend an afternoon at 2019 SDCC!

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist

Photo credits: Bear McCreary, Defiant Public Relations, iMDB, OutlanderAnatomy, You Tube

 

 

2019 SDCC Interview with Cryptozoic’s Justin Porras

Greetings Outlander fans. Day three at 2019 SDCC. Wonderful things are happening!

Although Outlander is not here in force this year, its presence is still felt. One presence important to many in the Outlander community is for fans who buy, sell or trade Outlander Cryptozoic cards or those who May wish to start this rewarding activity.

Cryptozoic, SDCC booth #115, has beautiful, original Outlander cards created especially for fans. I visited with Dustin Porras yesterday to learn about this year’s cards. Dustin is now the creative energy behind the Outlander cards continuing the legacy started by the late George Nadeau.

Dustin proved to be a delightful interviewee, easy to Interview, a fountain for info and exuding gobs of enthusiasm  and energy.

I hope you will take time to watch our interview, learn about the type of Outlander cards available and where and how to find them.

Please enjoy my interview with Dustin!

 

The deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist

Acknowledgements:

Cryptozoic; Jody Chang, Videographer

Fun Fact: Mandible

Anatomy Def: The lower jaw or jawbone

Outlander Def: That glorious, heartfelt moment when Jamie’s fingers tenderly graze Bree’s jaw.

Learn about the mandible in Anatomy Lesson #26, Jamie’s Chin – Manly Mentus.

The mandible is the largest, strongest and lowest bone of the human face. In the best scenario, it anchors 16 lower teeth (or fewer if the scenario is not that great). <g> Ignoring three tiny ossicles of each middle ear, the mandible is the only movable bone in the adult human skull.

The mandible has U-shaped body which begins center-front at the chin. The body extends backwards on each side to end at right and left angles. The mandible then juts upward from each angle as hearty slabs of bone, the right and left rami (pl.).  Each ramus ends in a head which articulates with each temporal bone at the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

During fetal life, the mandible consists of right and left halves but these fuse into a single bone about the second year after birth. A vertical bony ridge (mandibular symphysis) in the midline is evidence of this union.

About 20% of all facial injuries include a fracture of the mandible which is often accompanied by a “twin fracture” on the opposite side.  Metal plates are often used to secure the bony bits during healing.

Try This: Find the point of your chin (mentus).  Now place fingers between chin and lower lip. Move fingers back and forth. Feel the bony ridge? This is the mandubular symphysis  where two mandibular bones fused early in life. Now, run fingers back along one edge of your jaw to a bony knob just below the ear; this is the angle of the mandible.  Now, move fingers upwards along the back of the angle and feel a thick ridge of bone; this is the mandibular ramus. The mandible has an angle and a ramus on each side. Good work, students!

Fun Facts: 

  • This year marks the 44th anniversary of Stephen Spielberg’s film, Jaws!!! 😳
  • The mandible of a blue whale may reach 80 ft. (24 m.) in length!
  • Some indigenous Americans once made weapons from elk, bear, buffalo and horse mandibles.
  • The quijada or charrasgais is a traditional Latin American percussion instrument made from the jawbone of a mule, horse, or donkey.
  • Winston Churchill is credited with the observation: “To jaw-jaw always is better than to war-war.” In other words, a meeting of the minds is preferable to a crushing of the bodies.

Read about the mandible in Diana’s 4th tome, Drums of Autumn. This from the heart-rending first meeting between Jamie and his grown daughter, Brianna.

“Och, no, lassie!” he exclaimed. “I didna mean it that way, at all! It’s only—” He broke off, staring at her in fascination. His hand lifted, as though despite himself, and traced the air, outlining her cheek, her jaw and neck and shoulder, afraid to touch her directly…. 

He did touch her then, his fingers drawing lightly down her face, brushing back the waves of ruddy hair from temple and ear, tracing the delicate line of her jaw. She shivered again, though his touch was noticeably warm; she could feel the heat of his palm against her cheek.

See Jamie tenderly brush Bree’s jaw in Starz ep. 409, The Birds and The Bees. Sob!!!

A deeply grateful,

Outlander Anatomist

Photo credit: Starz