Despite it’s intentional episode structure, composer Christophe Beck thinks of “WandaVision” as a “single, cohesive piece of filmmaking from beginning to end.” That concept was essential for the thematic planning he implemented in his musical score for the Disney+ series. Thankfully, the Emmy winner (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) has worked on prior Marvel projects (composing for “Ant-Man” and its sequel), so he came prepared to tackle anything on the ambitious series. Watch the exclusive video interview above.
The central conceit of “WandaVision” is that each episode explores a new era of sitcoms thanks to Wanda’s (Elizabeth Olsen) magic. “I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s,” says Beck, so the pop/rock sounds of those TV themes were “in his DNA.” But classic music from the 50’s and 60’s took some work to learn. The composer studied sitcoms from those decades to decipher how they used music, and learn how much music appeared in an episode when compared to the TV of today. After the research period, it was up to Beck to experiment and discover how to “most faithfully and lovingly create those sounds.”
There is one piece of music that appears in each episode of “WandaVision” no matter the era being explored: Wanda’s theme. As one of the few Avengers who had yet to venture into a solo film, the character had no piece of music to call her own. When Beck set out to give the Scarlet Witch a musical motif, he wanted to focus on “the strong supernatural element to her.” He quickly latched on to the idea that her vast powers could be used for both good or evil. “You root for her,” he explains, “but at the same time you understand…there’s definitely a dark side to her.”
Beck explains the way to musically embody the light and dark of Wanda was to “deliberately make her theme really simple.” The tune, which plays over each episode’s credits, centers on three notes that repeat. That simple base allows him to layer other elements underneath it. “I can make it heroic one moment and it can be a bit darker and mysterious in another moment,” describes the composer.
Beck appreciates the opportunity he had on “WandaVision” to know the entire story at once. “I was able to plan the musical themes accordingly,” he says. Viewing the series as one narrative allowed him to plant seeds in Episode 1 that payoff in Episode 9. “As a result, I believe it is my most deeply developed dramatic score.”
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