Comic-Con: Hollywood composers on making blockbuster movies sing

The titular anti-superhero from Deadpool 2, one of the movies that were discussed at the Sounds Of Mayhem: Music And Audio In Action Films, TV, And Video Games panel at Comic-Con.
The titular anti-superhero from Deadpool 2, one of the movies that were discussed at the Sounds Of Mayhem: Music And Audio In Action Films, TV, And Video Games panel at Comic-Con. PHOTO: TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX

SAN DIEGO (AFP) - Award-winning composers lifted the lid on the sounds behind some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters and hit TV shows as Comic-Con kicked off day one on Thursday (July 19).

Their panel, Sounds Of Mayhem: Music And Audio In Action Films, TV, And Video Games, looked at the work of the experts who set the tone and control the sonic worlds in each of their films and television shows.

Among the movies and TV under discussion was anti-superhero sequel Deadpool 2; Cobra Kai, a TV spin-off from the iconic Karate Kid movie franchise, and this year's breakout horror hit A Quiet Place - which is silent for much of its run time.

"For A Quiet Place, survival depends on characters being quiet," said composer Erik Aadahl, describing the movie's terrifying alien killers, who are blind and hunt by sound.

"There is a scene where the daughter is in the corn field and we used sonic envelopes for the point of view of the creatures and what they hear."

Aadahl is no stranger to big-bang soundtracks as well. He was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the 2011 action film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and voiced the character Bumblebee in last year's Transformers: The Last Knight.

Cobra Kai's composer Zach Robinson, a master of guitar shredding stadium rock techniques, described diving into the 1980s universe in which the show takes place as "a blast".

"We were able to work with the iconic 'Karate Kid' universe and there was a great opportunity to collaborate with the creators," he added.

"We actually got to score 80s montages that were not meant to be cheesy and made sense for the story universe."

Cobra Kai, which premiered in May on YouTube Red, is a continuation of the Karate Kid story, set 34 years after the original film.

It follows the reopening of the Cobra Kai karate dojo by Johnny Lawrence and the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel LaRusso, with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles from the films.

"Cobra Kai is just pure, unfiltered fun. For this show, we got to go with our deepest impulses when setting the tone and we got to have a ton of fun doing it," said Leo Birenberg, Robinson's co-composer.

Deadpool 2 composer Mark Stoeckinger discussed the tech and tools he used to create the soundscape of the sequel as well as techniques honed in his other projects.

"You can make an instrument out of anything. As far as making a sound, sometimes it's found and realised. A lot of it is a sense of discovery," he said.