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Friday, March 30, 2012

William Anderson on EverFree Radio

By William Anderson

Lo, pony lovers! EverFree Radio recently published a new interview with our BGM god, William Anderson, and I’ve finally found the time to summarize it. Head over there and listen to it. I only summarize the bits that are interesting to me, after all. (By the way, the interview is co-hosted by Final Draft and MandoPony!) Also, I’ll try to use breaks more sparingly. Have fun.

  • It all started when about five composers were invited to score an animation sample, and he won the pitch. (0:34)
  • After 1:50 but more so 3:36, he reminisced about the indirect way by which he ended up as as composer for animation. Some of that is also covered in a journal entry entitled “Giving up” he since deleted. (There’s still a copy in the Google cache.)
  • He’s using a particular guitar riff that has become emblematic of Rainbow Dash less now, but not because anyone told him to. Hasbro has just approved his scoring for the last fifteen to seventeen episodes without any notes, while the directors are often “more exacting.” (5:56)
  • He agrees with Daniel Ingram that “weekly episodic animation scoring is the hardest gig in the business.” (7:55)
  • That most of the time his work needs to be invisible to work its magic is actually something he enjoys. (8:44)
  • At around 10:00, he describes his approach to character themes.
  • Sometimes he first makes musical sketches of the scenes and then fills in the details, sometimes he gets struck by inspiration and composes the whole cue right away. The approach varies greatly from scene to scene. (12:40)
  • He enjoys MondoPony’s music! Who doesn’t! /)^ε^(\ (16:09)
  • Now 17:24. You really need to listen to this. It’s almost ten minutes of verbalized data sheets, which means it’s amazing! The parts where he describes his computer equipment made me nerdgasm all over the place. I can only imagine what it must be like for someone who also knows about audio equipment! You can get a small impression of what I’m talking about in this post and this photo of his.
  • He, and everyone else in post production, only starts his work “in earnest” once they have the locked print, where every frame of the animation and all the voices are exactly where they’ll be in the broadcast version. (26:05)
  • He only recently, during this season, noticed that we are “a really vibrant community,” when he made an DeviantArt account to thank an artist who had ponified him, and was overwhelmed by the response of the thousands of people who subsequently frequented his page. (29:57)
  • Everfree NW (August 17–19, 2012) is “right in the middle of season three,” so he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to come, but he’d love to. (31:47)
  • The famous CMC theme is actually a piece of his score that likes least. He went on to speculate about why the music one is most proud of and has put the most effort into is often scrapped or ignored, while little tunes one churns out in a few minutes are loved and get famous. (34:47)
  • MandoPony especially loves a certain tune at the end of Lesson Zero. (37:26) I think he was referring to the one starting at around 19:36 in the episode.

In case of errors, please comment. Thanks.

Update 2012-03-31 19:02Z: Had to replace a link because of this. Thanks for letting me know, Johnny.