Marc Fantini (left) and brother Steffan flank their partner Scott Gordon. The Fantinis were raised in South Philly.
Killer sounds for a crime show
Musical scores are crucial to a host of TV series, but no other show uses background music as extensively as Criminal Minds. It can make a scary serial killer almost unbearably stomach-turning, or transform a brightly lit police station into midnight at Dracula's castle.
The show's cues, which is what TV and film people call the individual sequences that play as scenes unfold, may lack the lyrics and catchy melodies of the songs on Glee, and they may not sound like music to most viewers, but they can help define character and mood as much as anything that appears on the screen.
Marc and Steffan Fantini, raised at Broad and Dickinson in South Philadelphia, now living in L.A., are two of the three not-so-criminal minds behind the music of the show.
Some of their tricks sound as weird as the psycho killers who populate the disturbing series, which follows a fictional team from the real FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit who jet around in search of the country's worst criminals. The audience eats it up. In its first run, Wednesdays on CBS, Minds is No. 11 in the ratings this season, and reruns are flourishing in syndication on the ION network and cable's A&E. The series plays in more than 50 countries.
"We often take a sound and distort it and destroy it, since the show is so dark and creepy," Steffan Fantini said in telephone interview. "A violin being bowed with a kitchen utensil on the rustiest string makes a horrible, ugly sound, which works so well under these heinous crimes."
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