For this year's Comic-Con Special Edition, excited fans filled the room to the brim for a face-to-face conversation with a group of the most sought-after directors, editors, songwriters, music supervisors, songwriters and more to discuss their work on some of the most popular projects like arcane, gives Netflix / Riot Games, Why Women Kill, gives Paramount + and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series gives Disney + and Julie and the Phantoms in the “Set Secrets with Film and TV Creatives” panel.
The panel was moderated by the actor and content creator, Chris Villain, and had the editor Ernesto Matamorors-Cox (Riot Games / Arcane), the editor Lawrence Gan (Riot Games / Arcane), the music supervisor Jennifer Smith (Why Women Kill), the composer Spencer Creaghan (SurrealEstate), and the composer Tova Livtin by the composer duo Rockwell Litvin Julie and the Phantoms, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series).
Speakers began by reflecting on the highlights of their fan-favorite projects. For Arcane, Ernesto and Lawrence discussed the importance of being inspired and honoring the original League of Legends game. “Taking advantage of the game experience was extremely important in our process”, shared Ernesto. “Since Arcane and League of Legends have such a vast world, our goal for the team was to ensure that everyone involved was investing and learning and collaborating on approaches as we worked on our project.” Building on the success of his collaborative process with Ernesto and the rest of the Arcane team, Lawrence added, "The greatest advice I can give you in four words or less: do things with friends."
The group then transitioned to expanding their creative process and how they get the right creative mindset for their projects. “I make playlists for each character,” commented music supervisor Jennifer Smith. "They won't do the show, but it helps with character development." Composer Spencer Creaghan continued: “When I'm looking at breaking a character, I always think, 'What does the music mean to the character? '”. Creaghan also shared some of the unusual instruments he was able to incorporate into Syfy's SurrealEstate, including a bathtub.
The panel ended by sharing special moments on sets. “Working with Kenny Ortega is like working with a phenomenal wizard,” commented Tova Litvin as the crowd responded with laughter. Tova also shared that she and her songwriting partner, Doug Rockwell, often create easter eggs for shows like Julie and the Phantoms. “I always try to insert Easter eggs into the music,” she continued. “For example, in the song “Now or Never”, there is a lyric that says 'The clocks advance, but we don't age' to prefigure the premise of Julie and the Ghosts.”
Speakers closed the discussion with quick words of wisdom for members of the audience interested in working in television and film. Spencer succinctly implored the audience to "be collaborative and listen more." Jennifer concluded by encouraging the audience to “always be authentic” in her expression and narrative.
The fully packed audience at the Comic-Con Special Edition came out with a new appreciation for the work of behind-the-scenes creatives, as well as secrets and Easter eggs, eager to enjoy the rest of the convention.