Having so many seasons of both CRIMINAL MINDS and ARMY WIVES under your belts, what do you do to keep yourselves inspired to continue on with both programs?
Watching the picture is what inspires us. So as long as the pictures are fresh and exciting, with great writing and acting, then we’re always going to be inspired. It’s really a product of what we see. And also, we are trying to raise the bar every season and do things that no one else has done. We enjoy it so much that we never get bored at all; it’s like watching a new movie every week.
What did you do to differentiate CRIMINAL MINDS: SUSPECT BEHAVIOR from its mother-show?
They wanted the spinoff a little more electronic-sounding. CRIMINAL MINDS is very textural and very orchestral, and the spinoff had some of that, too, but they wanted a more electronica base underneath it – the pulses and the drums. But it did retain that character of CRIMINAL MINDS, as well.
Do you have any theories as to what may have attributed to the show’s demise?
I think, at the end of the day, music can play a role in a show; but I think it’s miniscule compared to the characters and casting. I honestly don’t know. People have said it was the casting, but it’s hard to say, because there are so many factors involved.
There is a point, though, when you look at the images where the characters and everything come alive, almost magically, and I guess with SUSPECT BEHAVIOR, that just didn’t happen. I think it could have just used a little more time to find its footing.
What lessons did you learn from spending time with Mark Mancina?
Mark is super-talented, and he pretty much got us into the whole thing. We used to visit him at his studio on Lake Arrowhead, and we started together on CRIMINAL MINDS. He’s primarily a film composer who had done some TV, I think. He basically showed us the ropes and really helped us understand how to write for film as well as the tools to use.
We got to the point where we could really write together to where the cues would be indistinguishable (ours and his); that’s how well he taught us! And we worked on a bunch of movies together. I think the last one we did was HURRICANE SEASON, but we also did SHOOTER and a bunch of other movies. I learned quite a lot from Mark.
The reason I brought it up was because I was looking around online and learned about this film called THE LOST MEDALLION, which has a really cool website but no official release date. What can you tell me about that?
That was actually scored by my brother and I, with Mark as an executive producer. It’s a children’s action/adventure, and it was a really cool departure for us, because it was a full orchestra, and we created a John Williams-esque score. We got to use an orchestra in Macedonia, which we worked with remotely from here. It was performed over there, but the engineers recorded everything here. We did it that way, because although the film didn’t have a huge budget, we wanted it to sound like it did.
We also just did some writing for a video game with Mark called SORCERY, that is coming out sometime in the near future through Sony. He’s the composer on that one, but we did some additional writing for it.
How did the idea for your music blog on CBS.com come about?
That was all Ray Costa, our publicist who came up with that idea. We get a lot of email from fans asking what instruments we used and how we created certain sounds. CRIMINAL MINDS is a very music-driven show, and the fans want to know just as much about the music as they do the actors and the plotline. And Ray thought it would be a great idea to put it out there. And it’s been really great!
Keep up with Steffan Fantini on Facebook, at his official website, and at his CBS blog.
Watch CRIMINAL MINDS Wednesdays at 9pm ET on CBS, and keep tabs on the show on Facebook and iTunes.
And catch ARMY WIVES Sundays at 9pm ET on Lifetime, and keep up with the show on Facebook and iTunes.
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