Chris Lennertz (Composer - 'Supernatural')
'Exploring The Paranormal'
Christopher Lennertz was born in a small town north of Boston, in the same area as one of his heroes, famed American composer Leonard Bernstein. He then moved to Easton, Pennsylvania, where he began his musical training at age 9. After studying composition, jazz arranging, and theory in high school, Lennertz moved to California to study music at USC’s Thornton School of music with filmmusic luminaries such as Elmer Bernstein, Buddy Baker, Christopher Young, and David Raksin.
Upon Graduation, Lennertz began his professional career writing a host of independent film scores spanning all musical and dramatic styles. From the Jazz-based gangster film Baby Face Nelson, featuring Academy-Award winner F. Murray Abraham, to the youthful comedy Freshmen…from Artisan Entertainment’s Lured Innocence, with Dennis Hopper, to the film festival favorite Art House…Lennertz dove into a multitude of genres and styles.
While scoring independent films he also ventured into the world of big budget studio features contributing orchestrations, arranging, and conducting experience to such hits as Frailty, Panic, Free Willy II, The Jungle Book, and Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. In the past few years, Lennertz has delved into television as well, scoring the cult Fox TV series, Brimstone, the Warner Brother’s show The Strip, and now the hit 'Supernatural.'. His full-blown orchestral score for the blockbuster video game Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, created by Steven Spielberg won the Interactive Academy Award for best original music of 2003.
On the horizon is his work for the new Myriad Pictures' The Deal starring Selma Blair and Christian Slater, the comedy mockumentary 'Sledge' featuring Angelina Jolie and Carrie-Anne Moss, and the animated movie 'The Pearl.'
Chatting recently with Chris, and knowing he had recently received his first Emmy nomination for his work on the occult TV show 'Supernatural,' I first wondered how he was frist made aware of the nomination? "Just a phone call from a friend who was up early surfing the net. About ten
minutes later, I got a call from Eric Kripke, who created the show."
So, how did the job of composing 'Supernatural' first find you? "Eric and I went to USC together and had worked together on countless other projects. He knows my instincts and I know his tastes, so it was a natural fit for me to jump aboard the series."
Did show Creator Eric Kripke have any input into what he would like to
hear on the show or were they all your own deep, dark thoughts?! "It was a very collaborative effort on the pilot. Eric gave me a lot of
direction and inspiration, but then let me go and do my thing. After that we honed in on what felt right and made some minor tweaks to develop the sound. I think we have many of the same sensibilities as far as music goes."
You have done a whole host of interesting and unique projects - such as
indie movies to full orchestral scores for video games - but which stands
out in your mind as being your most accomplished thus far? "I think that Medal of Honor: European Assault and Gun are my most mature scores to date. The score for The Deal, with Selma Blair and Christian Slater, is also something I'm very proud of, because it showcases my style very well."
Director Joshua Butler ('Saint Sinner') states that you have an
"incredible gift for melody." So, where and when was this first born within
you that you can recall? "Well, I wrote my first song in 5th grade and played guitar in bands throughout high school. I think it was playing popular music while listening to scores like ET and Indiana Jones that solidified my belief in the power of a great melody. Just thinking about John Williams and the Beatles, you could remember 100+ great melodies in no time."
What new and upcoming film projects have you recently scored for or will
be working on? "I'm just gearing up for season 2 of 'Supernatural.' I also have 2 big Playstation 3 titles coming up and plan to score director Rich Thorne's (Dr. Dolittle 3) next film as well."
If you could re-compose any classic '80s pop song, which would it be and
why?! "I don't know about re-compose, but I'd love to get a chance to re-arrange and re-record Big Country's "In a Big Country". It was always a favorite for me, and the big anthemic drums and guitars that sound like bagpipes. You could do a lot of cool things with that."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "I love Penguins. I actually co-wrote an animated musical about an Emporer penguin a few years ago that never go produced. Penguins rock!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED advance copy of the 'Supernatural' CD, just answer this easy question: Early on in the series, Dean's cell number is given. What was the exact phone number that amazingly had the studio setting up a voice mail so that anyone dialing the number would hear Jensen Ackles reading a certain message?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before November 1st with your answer and the subject title 'CONTEST: SUPERNATURAL SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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