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Managing EditorElazje spent her childhood with DC cartoons and her teenage years with Marvel movies. She has loved the fantasy and sci-fi genres ever since she started reading books. Her love for reading and fiction has led her to take on Literature as a college degree. She pursued a career doing what she loves since she was a child. By the way, her love for movies makes her aspire to become a filmmaker.
SAS: Red Notice is an action-packed thriller which was directed by Magnus Martens. The story is based on the famous novel of Andy McNab. The film’s soundtrack is skillfully done by Emmy & IFMCA nominated composer Benji Merrison.
Speaking of the soundtrack, action-thrillers are made better with the right score. The famous author, Hans Christian Andersen once said, “Where words fail, music speaks.” This is certainly true in the world of movies and even TV series. The best way to set up the atmosphere, tone, and intention of a scene is through a soundtrack. The audience can feel the tone and mood of what is happening in a scene without using words or VFX to convey the emotion.
A lot of movies rely heavily on soundtracks. One of the genres that need the help of a great soundtrack to assist the tone of the film is the action and thriller genre. An example is the new action-thriller movie SAS: Red Notice. Thriller movies rely on action, great directorial delivery, the mood-setting, pacing, and acting. However, there is one key element that some people might miss: the film’s soundtrack.
In fact on YouTube, there are millions of views on videos that are just plain music, no lyrics, just simple epic music. People even comment on how listening to soundtracks gave them amazing images and empowered their creative thinking.
Composing a film score is surely a daunting task. Fortunately, in an exclusive interview with the Emmy-nominated film composer of SAS: Red Notice, Merrison gave his insights on how he has entered the industry, his process in developing the film’s score, and his advice for people aspiring to become a film composer.
Benji Merrison’s Early Influences in Music
Benji Merrison has scored hundreds of projects for films, television, and various live events. Before all his accomplishments, Merrison has always been interested in music at an early age. He was interested in learning how sound was made and various things that influenced his passion for music. He went to university and received a Master’s Degree in Music Technology. From then on, he was able to make use of his passion and turn it into a career.
Merrison shared that he loved classical music and electronic music growing up. He had a wide range of influences. He prefers music without words which led him more to pivot towards the soundtrack genre.
How He Creates A Movie Soundtrack
One of Merrison’s greatest assets when composing a film’s score is his ability to improvise and uses his skill as a visual composer. As a visual composer, he gets inspired by the picture that he sees. By simply looking at the picture, he can hear the music that needs to be written.
Every composer has their own ways of composing their music but Merrison has mastered his craft so well that he is able to improvise. He will write some chord structure but improvise all the individual lines such as the clarinet and the flute.
Challenges That a Film Composer Face
The SAS: Red Notice composer revealed that being a composer is not just about the composition of music. He said,
“I think, you have to remember that the role of the composer has so many hats. You’ve got to be a diplomat, you’ve got to be a producer, you’ve got to be an accountant, you’ve got to be a project manager, you’ve got to be a sort of confidant and a friend to people. I suppose that for me is the real challenge, combining all those skills into one human being.”
This proves that being a composer in the film industry would require being skilled in various areas, not just in music. He added,
“In a way, if it was just the composition side, it would be an easier job. But it’s all those other roles that you have to have as a modern-day composer that make it a real challenge. But it’s not a challenge that I find particularly. I find it fun but it can be hard work juggling all those different roles and wearing all those different hats in one project.”
Composing for SAS: Red Notice
Merrison stated that working on the SAS: Red Notice’s score was a collaboration with the director. They also needed to have a “device for the idea of psychopathy” as some of the characters are psychopaths. Merrison knew there were thematic elements he needed to address. He chose things like a chord progression or a theme. When composing for this film, he focused on a thematic standpoint.
Genres of Films That Can Be Hard to Compose For
The British composer believes that if there is any sort of impediment in developing a soundtrack for a project, it is mainly because they haven’t got the right treatment. Additionally, the difficulty may also come from not having an agreement with the director or the producers on where the music is going. He said,
“Honesty is always good in the creative process. If people are open and honest and candid about what they want and the process then there shouldn’t be any feeling that anything is hard to write for. It should look like the score writes itself. For me when I write, that’s what it should feel like.”
Advice to People Aspiring to Become Film Composers
When asked about his advice on people who are aspiring to have a career in the industry, Merrison stated that people should just go for it. Moreso, the technical advancements in the music industry have made it easier for anyone to experiment with music and sound.
There are multiple tools that are available right now that have lowered the barrier for entry. As the experienced composer noted, having a laptop or even a phone is enough for someone to start making their music.
“Don’t think quite so hard, just trust your instincts and go for it, then good things start to happen.”
Merrison is working on several projects which include a David Attenborough series and a mystery feature which he wasn’t able to talk about. He also has a couple of features including The Beetles and their time in India, which is a stark contrast to the score he has done for SAS: Red Notice, showcasing the composer’s versatility in his line of work.
Also Read: WandaVision's Soundtrack Which Reveals Agatha is Arriving on Spotify
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is undergoing some difficulties after an actor went to Toronto, Canada to star in a guest role on Paramount+’s new series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Deadline, the unnamed person who is believed to have come from Vancouver has not made it to the set of the show. The actor only came in contact with a few people when he was being fitted. The positive result came in during the fitting. The rest is part of CBS Studios’ rigorous testing procedures. The tests are in accordance with the industrywide protocols to keep filming sets safe.
As part of those protocols, contact tracing was made. The affected person, as well as the other people he came in contact with, were quarantined. As of the moment, no one else has tested positive from the crew members who had made contact with the actor.
Despite the setback, the production for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds was not affected. The series is continuing with its filming. The latest Star Trek project which began its production in Toronto the last march is based on the years when Captain Christopher Pike led the U.S.S. Enterprise.
The cast includes Anson Mount, Ethan Peck, and Rebecca Romijn. They will reprise the roles that they portrayed in Star Trek: Discovery. Strange New Worlds premiere episode is written by Akiva Goldsman.
Toronto and the Ontario province of Canada are under a one-month lockdown as the area battles the surge of COVID-19 cases.
As of the moment, there is no update on the release date of the project.
Related: The Mandalorian Star Katee Sackhoff Opens Up About Possibly Joining Star Trek
Disney+ released a new poster for the upcoming Star Wars: The Bad Batch. The new project is a spin-off of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The series will follow some experimental and elite clones of the Bad Batch which was first introduced with the Clone Wars series.
The Bad Batch is also well-known as Clone Force 99. They are trying to find their way in a galaxy that is experiencing many changes as a result of the Clone War. The Bad Batch members are a unique squad of clones. They have some genetic variations from those who are in the Clone Army.
The Bad Batch squad consists of four clone troopers who are designed with genetic mutations. The characters that are included in The Bad Batch are Tech, Wrecker, Echo, Crosshair, and Hunter.
Each of the members possesses a singular exceptional skill that makes them very effective and formidable. As they face the post-Clone War era, they have to take on daring mercenary missions, struggling to stay afloat and finding their purpose.
The Empire wants to wipe out the Clone Force 99, which led to them finding themselves on the run, hoping to embark on a massive adventure across the galaxy. Star Wars: The Bad Batch will be debuting on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. It will include a special 70-minute premiere, which follows new episodes every Friday, beginning on May 7th.
Dave Filoni will produce the series, Brad Rau, Athena Portillo, Jennifer Corbett, Carrie Beck, and Josh Rimes.
Related: Star Wars: The Bad Batch Trailer Confirms Clone Wars Characters and New Recruit
The first episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones was released on April 17, 2011. Ever since the series ended, fans have been clamoring to see more of the world in the franchise. The official Twitter for the series posted, “Winter is coming” which ignited speculations among the public, wondering what the phrase could mean. This infamous phrase became one of the focal points of the series from beginning to end.
The tweet has left fans wondering if the account is hinting at a possible announcement at the expansion of the series or if the tweet was simply a way to honor the series’ legacy for the official anniversary.
April 17, 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the premiere episode of the infamous series. Other seasons that followed the first debuted within a similar timeframe. The series often premiered during the spring which made many fans excited. The only exception to the schedule was season 3 which started in March and season 7 in July.
Winter is coming.
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) April 14, 2021
The tweet was cryptic as fans are waiting to see if it holds any brevity to the future of the franchise. There are still two more books in the saga that creator George R.R. Martin is aiming to publish while HBO is looking to develop spinoffs and prequels. HBO has confirmed the prequel House of the Dragon will get a full season.
Currently, HBO has a plan of celebrating the series premiere anniversary. There is so much in store for fans while they wait for any new updates about the series.
Related: HBO Unveils Big Plans to Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Game of Thrones
Black Adam is adding a new member to its roster of stars. The new DC flick is making waves as it keeps on adding more talents and big names in its cast. Stand-up comedian and Ramy star Mo Amer is the new addition to Dwayne Johnson’s highly-anticipated DC film.
According to a new report by Deadline, Amer’s part is currently kept a secret. The comedian joins Bodhi Sabongui and James Cusati-Moyer who are taking part in the movie in mysterious roles.
The DCEU movie will follow Johnson’s character who serves as the antihero. He is known for being an enemy of Shazam. The plot details of the film are still kept under wraps which is why even with the new casting reports, the details are still not known. The movie confirmed to include the members of the Justice Society of America.
As for Amer, he is known for his comedy special on Netflix titled Mo Amer: The Vagabond. He also has a sitcom on Hulu titled Ramy. He is also in the upcoming comedy film Americanish.
His involvement with Black Adam adds to the news about the DCEU film. Aside from the casting and The Rock’s continuous promotion in his social media, the actor is reportedly supportive of the Snyderverse movement and hopes to fight the members of the Justice League.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Black Adam will be released on July 29, 2022. The production of the film has begun within this week.
Related: Dwayne Johnson Reportedly Plans to Oppose WB Executives if They Meddle with Black Adam
Unlike other Marvel series and projects, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier doesn’t simply focus on the highly-powered beings that threaten the world. Rather, the Disney+ series is centering its focus on the reality within the world when Thanos’ Blip happened. Half of the world’s population returned after a five-year absence.
Where Thanos Was Right
In those five years, the borders between countries were not too strict with millions of empty homes. This led to more resources available to the remaining population, improving the quality of life. This is where Sam and Bucky fighting against people who are trying to preserve the current state of things.
The philosophy of Thanos’ desire to snap half of the population’s existence started with his own home planet, Titan. The planet collapsed due to overpopulation. Thanos embarked on a mission to stop other worlds from suffering the same fate. He set out on a decades-long mission of trying to eradicate half of every population he could find.
Thanos believed that those left behind will prosper, with the abundance of resources left by those eradicated by his Blip. If the heroes weren’t able to go back in time and stop him, whatever he has done would have been final. Earth’s fate in the five years that followed after the Blip as shown in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seemingly prove this to be true.
Those who don’t have food or shelter found an abundance of food and even moved the world to a more unified organization. Thanos’ hypothesis about the problem was right. However, even though Thanos was right about the problem, his way of getting to the answer was the murder of many innocent people. He placed the lives of those people in his own hands.
Where Thanos Was Wrong
Some people may see Thanos as right as they see the benefits of what he has done. However, in a few more decades, when the population starts rising again, would the massacre of millions eventually be the answer again? Would a worldwide ban on giving birth or child policy be in place to control the growing population? Would it require a governing organization to impose strict measures to control people and punish them if they do not follow the policy?
Thanos is right about the problem but his solution of murdering billions of innocent people does not guarantee anything. In fact, it doesn’t solve anything. It may only provide some years of abundance and prosperity but scarcity will always be present. If murdering half the population is the answer, then why did the civilizations during the ancient times when humans are few still experienced hunger, poverty, and scarcity?
The population of humans in ancient times is less than the population that was left after the Blip. Yet, even during those times, the resources were scarce. There was famine, poverty, and hunger. Some people may argue that that was the ancient time and the world that Thanos left is more advanced compared to the ancient times.
The unforeseen changes in nature, the crops getting affected by locusts, and many uncontrollable world happenings will continue to persist. Even with all the advancements, humans still rely on nature for the most basic necessities. There will be fewer people to work in certain industries.
They have to maintain the industries and advancements made with fewer people to aid them. If we look at the world today, even with all the advancements, when an earthquake or storm happens, these advancements cannot fight these things. There might even be whole industries eradicated as the people who work on them may have been wiped out by the Blip.
If we put things in perspective in the real world, there may even be middle-class people who were not struggling for resources and living in normal conditions. They are working just to feed their families and build their futures. There might be people who came from poverty, worked hard to lift themselves out of it, and are starting to prosper in life. Yet, the Blip took away their lives at the moment when they are receiving the fruit of their hard work.
Moreover, Thanos didn’t simply wipe out the criminals and those people who may have been justifiably needed to be removed from the world. The Blip was random which means there are many innocent people who died while there are still criminals and evil people left that could still wreak havoc and inflict pain on other people.
What Thanos did may have provided a short relief, providing an abundance of resources but as the ancient times have proven, even if the population is few, scarcity is always present. It can also be wiped out by unexpected events in nature.
Was Thanos right or wrong? He was right about the problem, but his solution was temporary. A temporary solution that happened in exchange for billions of innocent lives. Some people may argue that his solution is right and they may have their own beliefs on why but the Blip still doesn’t guarantee anything in the long run.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier airs every Friday on Disney+.
Related: Loki: Official Trailer May Have Confirmed Arrival of Next Thanos-Level Threat
Justice League director Zack Snyder has been making major waves ever since his cut of the DC film was released on HBO Max. A new trailer of his new film on Netflix has proven the director’s prowess. The second trailer for Army of the Dead has left fans hyped up.
The new trailer of Army of the Dead, the movie is featuring evolved zombies. A band of thieves needs to retrieve $200 million in the vault beneath the strip. The twist is that the place is swarmed with many zombies.
However, the zombies that were introduced in the trailer were not the usual mindless ones. Snyder’s Army of the Dead zombies are organized, smarter, and faster. They look cunning and menacing. Other zombie films would have the characters killing them and they don’t simply dodge the bullets. In the upcoming movie, the zombies fight back and can defend themselves.
The Netflix film will be Snyder’s first post-DCEU project. The highly-anticipated film just came in the heels of the successful release of Snyder’s Justice League in March. The zombie flick’s first trailer gave a glimpse of Las Vegas ravaged by zombies. It introduced the mercenaries aiming to look for the millions of money they must recover. Meanwhile, the second trailer showed what the zombies can do and how much threat they pose.
Snyder is not a stranger in the zombie genre. His directorial debut was a remake of the Dawn of the Dead which was originally a George A. Romero. This is Snyder’s return to the zombie genre which has been highly anticipated ever since it was announced.
Army of the Dead will stream via Netflix on May 21, 2021.
Related: Netflix Releases Trailer for Zack Snyder's Army of the Dead
Jar Jar Binks is a well-meaning Gungan on Naboo. He is a clumsy outcast who struggled to prove his worth throughout his life. The character puts his past behind him and becoming his people’s representative in the galactic capital. Jar Jar recently became a hot topic among Star Wars fans due to reports that he will be in the upcoming Disney+ Obi-Wan series.
Jar Jar was a Gungan military commander and politician, who played an important role during the invasion of Naboo. After reports surfaced of Jar Jar’s participation in the Obi-Wan series, a new fan art shows how he would look like with a menacing appearance.
Jar Jar has an appearance that fans would never think that can look scary and menacing. He is a comic relief character with a cute and fuzzy design. He is the type of character that when you see him, you want to be friends with him.
However, a new fan art shared by Kevin Cassidy on Twitter provides a new look for Jar Jar. He gave the character a sinister redesign that makes him look very menacing and terrifying. The art provided some enhancements to Jar Jar’s skin texture.
Darth Jar Jar
My fan art redesign for Jar Jar Binks. pic.twitter.com/bSydhL4JTk
— Kevin Cassidy (@Kevin__Cassidy) February 1, 2021
Cassidy increased Jar Jar’s scales and reptilian appearance, making some adjustments to the skin color and another anatomy. In the new art, Jar Jar’s large eye-stalks were removed. The eyes are now placed on Jar Jar’s head, and made them smaller.
As of now, Jar Jar’s menacing look is just simple fan art. However, in the Star Wars canon, the dark side is corrupting the Sith’s appearance. If Jar Jar will be affected, it makes sense for Jar Jar to fall into the dark side and make him look more sinister.
The fan art is made by Kevin Cassidy, a senior character artist at Roundhouse Studios. He often shares artworks depicting sinister redesigns of characters.
Related: Obi-Wan Series: Jar Jar Binks Will Reportedly Sport a New Look in the Show
One of Star Trek’s major icons, William Shatner is creating an artificial intelligence-powered version of himself. The purpose of this feat is to preserve his memory and legacy for many generations to come and witness.
The Daily Mail reported that the iconic Star Trek actor will be the very first person to have their life story told, captured, and stored by StoryFile’s interactive and conversational artificial intelligence-powered video technology.
The system will let the fans directly interact with Shatner’s recording. They can ask questions about the actor’s work and experiences even after Shatner has passed away. The announcement was made to coincide with the actor’s 90th birthday, with his StoryFile conversation, available for viewing on devices, starting in May.
The process for a StoryFile would involve the person answering questions about their life using the special 3D video technology. The footage will be processed and used to train the AI system to provide natural answers to natural language questions.
The finished product will be uploaded to the StoryFile platform. Once there, people can have a ‘real-life’ conversation with the person. StoryFile works with all connected devices, 3D, augmented reality, and other virtual reality systems.
Shatner said that he has a story to tell. He said,
“I have a story to tell. Imagine if you could record yourself in a way that future generations, hundreds of years from now, could talk to you — and you could talk back. That's possible. With StoryFile, we can now be present in the future. Your authentic self, for all time. This is for all my children and all my children's children and all my children's loved ones and all the loved ones of the loved ones. That's my gift to you down through time.”
Shatner became famous for playing the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. He has become a beloved icon and respected in the industry.
Related: Star Trek Confirms Spock Autobiography Set for September Release
Attack on Titan chapter 139 has been released and the anime is set to end early next year with season 4 part 2. Many fans are happy to see the end to an amazing era of the series, but the manga and the anime are not the only ones set for the series.
Currently, there are plans for a live-action adaptation of the series. The film will be directed by DC’s The Flash director Andy Muschietti. The director is also the one who directed the adaptation of Stephen King’s It.
The series already got two live-action movies in Japan. Muschietti’s movie would be the first attempt of Hollywood to adapt Attack on Titan. Muschietti’s live-action version of the film hasn’t been fully divulged.
Muschietti revealed that he is fascinated with the series. He said that he first saw the anime before diving into the manga. He sees it as a fascinating horror adventure with various elements of human drama involved in it.
Kodansha working with Warner Bros for the adaptation for the Attack on Titan adaptation. Hajime Isayama, the creator of the series, commented in 2018, revealing that many years have passed since the initial negotiations have started and it has finally happened.
Adapting a beloved anime into a live-action film has always been tricky. Hopefully, Muschietti will be able to bring the highly popular anime to life and maintain the same adoration that fans have for anime and manga.
Related: The Release of Attack on Titan Chapter 139 Marks the End of the Era