2010 is striking a heady blow to my TV schedule. We had just welcomed the New Year when we learned that the groundbreaking “Ugly Betty” would not be returning for a 5th season. The knife was twisted in even further with news that 24’s exit would be making Monday nights much less suspenseful. I don’t even want to THINK about “Lost” ending in May.
However, one positive has come from this. As I watched the series finale of “Ugly Betty” last Wednesday, I began reminiscing about the scores used in the show over the years. This program had a particularly distinctive atmosphere, thanks in large part to the cheeky, brazen, and often latin-inspired instrumentals that flavored each episode.
Who was responsible for adding this dynamic to the “Betty” brand? Credit goes to three-time Emmy winner Jeff Beal. Having scored several major movies and the popular show “Monk” (in addition to “Ugly Betty”), Beal is one of the most accomplished and in-demand film and TV composers in Hollywood. If there’s anyone to learn the ins and outs of this business from, it’s him. And as it turns out, I found several Jeff Beal interviews that should be of great help to anyone interested in film or TV scoring.
In one of his most comprehensive interviews to date, Beal sat down with Northern Sounds and discussed how he broke into scoring, the typical workflow on a scoring project, his methodology, his advice for aspiring composers, and package deals (a common means of compensation for scorers). You can find the entire interview here: www.northernsounds.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14014
But that’s not all.
In this video, he talks about his entrance into the music world and how he came up with the distinctive scores used in “Ugly Betty” (you may want to skip to 5:25).
And here, he discusses the process of scoring the western “Appaloosa,” staring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen.