The Legend of Korra composer Jeremy Zukerman recently chatted with Hypable about composing for television, an unexpected soundtrack, and the times when he just has to freak out.

What is your process of composing a piece of music for The Legend of Korra?

We start with what’s called a spotting session. Ben Wynn (lead sound designer for Korra and my business partner), Aran Tanchum (foley recordist for Korra), Bryan Konietzko (co-creator) and Mike DiMartino (co-creator) meet at Nickelodeon where we analyze the episode we’re about to begin working on. We talk about the music and sound design needs simultaneously which is fairly uncommon in the industry. It’s a good way to make sure there’s cohesion among the audio elements though. I leave with a good understanding of the music needs of the episode.

After the spotting session, I have two weeks to hand in a music preview. Of course I really only have about four solid days to compose as I’m finalizing the previous episode. That involves any revisions that have come from Bryan and Mike, prepping the music notation for recording sessions (thankfully I have a couple good people help me with that – it’s a ton of work), proofreading and tweaking the notation, recording strings, recording Hong Wang (Chinese multi-instrumentalist), editing recorded material, mixing and prepping the session which goes to the dub session (where all the audio elements are brought together – dialog, foley, sound design and music).

The actual process of composing might be very boring to watch! It’s a lot of me freaking out about how time is running out and then writing due to having no more time to freak out. I work at a computer and sometimes work with pencil and paper when it makes sense to do so. I’ve even recorded my voice to picture and used that as a map. I recently did that on a very orchestrally dense, fairly long action cue. First I recorded my voice, then I made an orchestral sketch on paper using the voice as a map. And finally I fleshed it out on the computer. There are many processes that work for me. It really depends on the type of cue and my mood…

What is your favorite part of that process?

I think it’s hearing the music come to life when we record the musicians. The simplest compositional idea will really spring to life and it’s really satisfying to record something that wasn’t mocked up in the demo because it can only be done by humans… Experiments or ideas that are realized. It’s especially nice when those ideas actually work. Ha!

Also, composing is a very solitary task and I really, really like the musicians on The Legend of Korra. Interacting with them breathes life into the process and gets me fired up.

What is the most challenging aspect of composing for The Legend of Korra?

Definitely sustaining the work flow. TV is brutal in its relentlessness. And Korra is very ambitious in every facet. It demands something way above and beyond and to not deliver isn’t an option to me personally. So there are many days where the energy and the inspiration isn’t there…but you still have to bring the A game.

Has working on The Legend of Korra been different from working on Avatar: The Last Airbender?

Very different. The nature of the anxiety has changed. It went from ‘how do I do this?’ to ‘how do I do this in time?’

I think I’m much better at what I do now. I feel more in control of the work and when I experiment it feels more specific and satisfying.

Also, The Legend of Korra tone is quite a bit more mature and with the live musicians (something I didn’t have for Avatar: The Last Airbender.) I feel like I can sometimes score Korra more like it’s a live action show, more minimal and subtle. Of course there are still plenty of grandiose epic moments.

Has working on Book 2 been different from working on Book 1?

Yeah, again I’ve learned a lot about working with the string sextet and Hong. In the beginning there was a lot more searching around in the dark (which can be really useful). And now with Book 2 there is a musical history and aesthetic in place. Still, Book 2 is very different than Book 1 in story and tone so it requires almost entirely new material. There are new instruments, themes, techniques, etc.

Is there anything special that viewers should listen for in the music of Book 2?

I wouldn’t want to color anyone’s experience. Viewers have made connections and noticed things I wasn’t even aware of as the composer! I’m excited to hear from them.

Do you have a favorite musical moment in the show so far?

Not one in particular. There is a recurring canonic idea based on gamelan that’s been fun to explore. I think episode 1×20 has some special musical moments. It’s also beautiful visually (no big surprise there, though it’s a stylistic departure).

Fans were really excited to see The Legend of Korra soundtrack released, and the response has been amazing. What has that been like for you?

I knew there was a fan base but I was not prepared for the reception. I’ve been flooded with email, tweets and Facebook messages from people who have had extremely profound experiences with the music. It’s incredible to me. I feel awful that I haven’t been able to respond to everyone but I am beyond grateful and touched.

Do you think we might get our hands on an Avatar: The Last Airbender soundtrack at some point?

There’s a decent chance of that happening. Especially because of the success of the Legend of Korra soundtrack. But it will be a TON of work and take a while to do. All that material was done on old computers and no longer supported software. And I would have to re-record some material, get some live musicians in, etc. If I’m going to do it, it has to be awesome… I think I may need to assemble a small team to put it all back together but I think it needs to be done.

If you could be a bender, what would you bend?

I thought I was an airbender… Isn’t making music airbending?

For more about Jeremy Zuckerman…

Jeremy Zuckerman grew up in New York and first worked in music as a CD shrink-wrapper. One half of the music and sound design team The Track Team, Jeremy plays many instruments, including guitar and something called a duduk. You can connect with Jeremy on Facebook and on Twitter as @JeremyZuckerman. For more information, check out his personal website at JeremyZuckerman.com.

The Legend of Korra: Original Music From Book One is available on Amazon and iTunes.

Come back for daily ‘Legend of Korra’ coverage and join in the conversation with hashtag #SeptBender!

Tags:

In a new trailer for The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, we see what the creature can do while still inside her sarcophagus. Imagine what’ll happen once she gets out.

When the previous teaser trailer dropped, we remarked on how Universal’s first outing in its shared monster universe is shaping up to be a good old-fashioned scary movie.

This second trailer definitely puts an emphasis on the action, as we see Cruise’s character enduring all kinds of destruction even before the princess mummy is raised from her tomb.

Read full article

In a new trailer for The Mummy, starring Tom Cruise, we see what the creature can do while still inside her sarcophagus. Imagine what’ll happen once she gets out.

When the previous teaser trailer dropped, we remarked on how Universal’s first outing in its shared monster universe is shaping up to be a good old-fashioned scary movie.

This second trailer definitely puts an emphasis on the action, as we see Cruise’s character enduring all kinds of destruction even before the princess mummy is raised from her tomb.

Watch the full-length trailer for The Mummy below:

The description for the video reads:

Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy.

Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension.

From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters.

Cruise is joined by a cast including Annabelle Wallis (upcoming King Arthur, television’s Peaky Blinders), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), Courtney B. Vance (TV’s American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson) and Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator).

The creative team on this action-adventure event is led by director/producer Alex Kurtzman and producer Chris Morgan, who have been instrumental in growing some of the most successful franchises of the past several years — with Kurtzman writing or producing entries in the Transformers, Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series, and Morgan being the narrative engineer of the Fast & Furious saga as it has experienced explosive growth from its third chapter on. Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, produces alongside Kurtzman and Morgan.

Despite initial criticism over rebooting The Mummy franchise, this film certainly looks to be a different beast than the one starring Brendan Fraser. Better yet, it also looks to be a movie worthy of Cruise’s action hero status.

New ‘The Mummy’ images

The new trailer also came with several new images starring the main players of the film, and some great shots of Sofia Boutella as the mummy herself.

The Mummy Annabelle Wallis sarcophagus

The Mummy Annabelle Wallis

The Mummy Russell Crowe

The Mummy Sofia Boutella 2

The Mummy Sofia Boutella eyes

The Mummy Sofia Boutella

The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabelle Wallis 2

The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabelle Wallis 3

The Mummy Tom Cruise Annabelle Wallis

The Mummy Tom Cruise Jake Johnson

The Mummy Tom Cruise sarcophagus

The Mummy Tom Cruise water

The Mummy Tom Cruise

What do you think of the new ‘The Mummy’ trailer?

This week Emma Stone hosted SNL with musical guest Shawn Mendes. Check out some of the highlights from the episode!

‘SNL’ Cold Open

The show poked fun at Donald Trump’s social media activity including his retweeting of teenagers. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway. Interestingly, Donald Trump tweeted about SNL while this sketch was airing.

Read full article

This week Emma Stone hosted SNL with musical guest Shawn Mendes. Check out some of the highlights from the episode!

‘SNL’ Cold Open

The show poked fun at Donald Trump’s social media activity including his retweeting of teenagers. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway. Interestingly, Donald Trump tweeted about SNL while this sketch was airing.

Opening Monologue

In the opening monologue, Emma Stone reminisced about her previous appearances as host. It all led up to an awkward rendezvous with Bobby Moynihan.

The Hunt For Hil

In a digital sketch, the show spoofed the Hillary Clinton sightings happening in her hometown in upstate New York. Check out The Hunt for Hil.

Jennifer Aniston meets Vanessa Bayer’s Rachel from ‘Friends’

Jennifer Aniston stopped by Weekend Update during Vanessa Bayer’s incredible Rachel impression. Aniston and Bayer star in the new movie “Office Christmas Party.” Check out the cameo below!

Debette Goldry

Kate McKinnon reprised her character Debette Goldry — a golden age actress who had to do crazy things to get the roles she wanted.

Shawn Mendes performs on ‘SNL’

Shawn Mendes performed two songs on the show as well. Check out his performances of “Treat You Better” and “Mercy.”

Coming Up on ‘SNL’

Next week John Cena will host SNL with musical guest Maren Morris. On December 17 Casey Affleck will host along with musical guest Chance the Rapper.

Tags: snl

The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is finally here! If this trailer is anything to go by, the movie will be just as good as the first!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a major hit because of its offbeat characters, and own brand of humor not yet seen in Marvel movies. Fans have anxiously been waiting to see if the sequel would live up to the hype of the first film. The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a glimpse at what’s to come, and we’re loving it!

Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below:

Read full article

The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is finally here! If this trailer is anything to go by, the movie will be just as good as the first!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a major hit because of its offbeat characters, and own brand of humor not yet seen in Marvel movies. Fans have anxiously been waiting to see if the sequel would live up to the hype of the first film. The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a glimpse at what’s to come, and we’re loving it!

Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below:

Most notable in the trailer is baby Groot! He was well-loved in the first film and many wondered how involved he would become in the second film, given that he had been reborn after saving his friends. It appears that baby Groot will be just as involved in the action as before, and is causing trouble of his own! It should be fun seeing if Rocket can keep up with his friend as he grows.

Also touched upon in the trailer is Star-Lord’s feelings for Gamora. Somehow his friends are surprised by this news, and Drax even thinks it’s hilarious when the secret is made public. This whole scene makes us even more anxious to see this group together again. Only a couple more months to go! May 2017, can you please hurry up?

The official synopsis for the film teases:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

What do you think of the first teaser trailer for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’?