Bear McCreary

Bear McCreary is a Human Target

Bear McCreary,  one of my favorite sci-fi composers, already has a career that’s intergalactic (sorry, I couldn’t resist).  He’s been a busy guy.  You may remember him from the Eureka Season 2 Soundtrack, or his Battlestar Galactica soundtrack and symphony.  Now he’s receiving an earthbound nomination as well…

Bear’s been nominated for an Emmy “For Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music” for Fox’s recently renewed Human Target series.  Human Target is “loosely based” on the DC comic book character, of the same name.

The Human Target is Christopher Chance, currently played by Mark Valley(Fringe, Boston Legal, 4400). Chance’s job description reads like a combination of P.I. and Bodyguard.  Unlike his inked counterpart, this Chance does not assume his clients identities in order to prevent them from being killed, but rather someone close to them.  Chance first appeared in Action Comics #419 in 1972, and has been a recurring character in comics ever since.  This is the second time Human Target has been adapted for TV.  In 1992, Fox premiered the short-lived series with pop star Rick Springfield in the title role.

Bringing in an average of 60 musicians per episode, with 94 musicians for the season finale, makes this “the largest group of musicians to play on a live-action TV series in years” [Variety]  Up to 30 minutes of each one hour episode is accompanied by music.  If you haven’t seen the series, you can get a taste of how this works by viewing a full episode of Human Target.

McCreary’s uber  orchestral themes from the Human Target Season 1 finale episode are reminiscent of Bernard Herrmann (best known for his Hitchcock work) , as well as McCreary’s mentor, Elmer Bernstein,    but with a digimodernist’s sensibility, and not a little retro chutzpah.

If you aren’t an orchestral soundtrack fan, think of McCreary’s work not just as film score-ish, but akin to some TV shows of the 1960-70s, such as Bonanza (which was scored with a 34 piece orchestra)

Series star Mark Valley (Christopher Chance) attended the finale recording session.    “I’m just really moved, and impressed with all of the effort that goes on here,” Valley said.  “I have got to say that I really love the music for the show.”  Valley even picked up a flugel horn and learned his character’s own theme.  You can see some video and hear soundtrack clips at Bear McCreary’s blogsite.

Bear McCreary was in the Canary Islands at FIMUCITE (Tenerife International Film Music Festival) , when he received news of the Emmy nomination:  “It’s an honor to be on a shortlist with so many wonderful composers,” said McCreary.  “There was some debate within the Academy earlier this year to eliminate this category, so I’m also pleased that it still exists.  There are still great Main Titles being written out there, and I’m glad people think Human Target is one of them.”

In addition to his Emmy nominated work for television, McCreary’s geektastic credits include Sony’s SOCOM 4,  Nintendo’s latest Dark Void and Dark Void Zero video games.

McCreary’s first theatrical feature film score will be featured in  Step Up 3D for Touchstone Pictures, in theaters on August 6, 2010.

Bear McCreary Photo Credit: (under Creative Commons license)