You've got an impressive resume of scoring everything
from animated television shows to feature length film.
Which would be your favorite variety to compose the music
for and why?
To be honest, I'm loving Farscape. It's my first
long term TV series. (Didn't I land on my feet!) It
really sits well within my musical vocabulary.
Sometimes on projects you have to be less-than-true to
your musical self. That's not the case with
Farscape. I write it as I feel it and everyone seems
to like it. But more generally, I'm a romantic at
heart. Any project that requires series melody and
strong harmony and I'm in! And with my animation
background (my family run an animation studio in Sydney
which did the animation on 316) I really enjoy serious
"Mickey mousing". [The art of musically
following exactly each movement on screen]
you please give a description of the steps involved with
creating a score for an episode of Farscape from beginning
to end? What sort of time frame do you have?
all starts with the brief. The director(s) and
sometimes producer and all the sound department sit around
and watch the finished ep; starting and stopping it when
necessary to discuss various ideas. Then we all go off
and do our thing. I compose by improvising to picture
using a G4 Mac running Digital Performer software. I
arrange, perform and mix myself. There's not enough
time to bring in a team to help so the buck stops with me.
Which in this case is a great thing. I usually
get Andrew Prowse around to check the score before the
"final mix playback" so if there are any changes I
can do them immediately. I get around 10 days to score.
I usually do an ep in around 5 days and leave a few days up
my sleeve for any problems. Last season I was also
directing and scoring a kids animated TV series so my time
was pretty precious. Next season I'm only doing
Farscape. (Famous last words!)
the composer, what is your goal in scoring an episode of
Farscape? Do you seek to convey mood? Or is it a
all about telling the story. I have to make sure the
audience feel the intention of the writers, director,
actors, editors etc.. So if someone's in trouble, my
score's got to make sure that that sentiment is understood
clearly. The trick lies with the degree of subtlety
you use to create the various emotions. Also
there's no use trying to create a mood of something that's
not apparent anywhere else on the screen. There are
a few instances where I have developed character themes
but they're only used if the emotional content of the
sequence warrants use of the theme.
Since you've taken on the scoring of Farscape after
Subvision, what are some changes that you've brought
to the music?
be honest, I haven't seen many eps that Subvision did.
The few I did see I noticed they had a great way of
heightening the energy and pace of large sequences.
And a terrific use of electronic sounds. My
scores tend to start and stop much more and I am a serious
traditionalist. Mostly using orchestral sounds.
I think any other comparison is best left to the fans.
Suffice to say that Subvision set up a terrific world
which got the fans in early and often!
to Mr. Gross for taking the time to visit with us at
karlsweb. For more information about Guy Gross, you can
visit his website at http://www.ggm.com.au
or check out his 2001 chat at with the SciFi