|Marc [left] and Steffan [right] Fantini with their partner Scott Gordon [center]|
CBS's Criminal Minds is returning for a tenth season this fall. I was given the opportunity to ask two of the series' three composers a few questions about the series and their work. Brothers Marc and Steffan Fantini have been with the series since day one. They currently compose alongside Scott Gordon who completes the trio, who have also collaborated on 'Army Wives' and Criminal Minds' spinoff, 'Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior'.
I put 10 questions to the brothers, and as with their work, they divided and conquered, answering 5 each.
1. Criminal Minds is entering its tenth season this fall and has notched up over 200 episodes. How has your scoring matured as the series has aged?
Steffan: Hopefully we have grown as story tellers musically. We have been told that our music is a big character of the show which is very humbling and also very exciting. I think we constantly want to push the envelope musically and I think the producers and everyone else involved encourage that very much. We try to never repeat ourselves and the mandate is to make each episode a one hour feature film at the highest level possible. We are constantly looking for and creating different sounds, themes and textures which are unique to each episode. I think one of the many reasons Criminal Minds does so well is that the audience can tune into an episode in any season and they will be pulled in to this feature film type show without ever having had to see a previous episode.
2. By nature, the series is pretty dark, and the humor is sparse. Does that sort of material suit your preference, or do you look forward to the light hearted, less serious parts of the series?
Steffan: First and foremost we are all fans of the show. We enjoy all aspects whether it be the dark and scary, the emotional, the suspenseful or the humorous moments. Musically, we enjoy the variety and as the show has progressed, we get to explore these characters outside of their jobs at the BAU which is quite fascinating and allows for some cool opportunities musically. Every unsub or criminal has a different feel and attitude and so does the music which accompanies them.
As for the humorous, it's a fine line and often a challenge as the show is quite dark as you correctly point out. We can only go so far comedically or it gets silly and pulls you too far from the drama. Over the years, we have found that balance musically so the show can morph from terror to emotional to humor then back to suspense very naturally.
3. What are the sources of inspiration you call on when composing for the series? Are there any fellow composers, TV series or movies that you admire for their scores?
Steffan: Generally I look to feature films for...
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