Interview: Composer Jared Faber discusses scoring Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Last September when Warner Bros. Animation announced it was making a Teen Titans Go! feature film, fans immediately began to count down when they would see the beloved Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and Cyborg in an all-new story. This weekend that wait is over. With a Rotten Tomato score of 96% and great reaction from the Comic-Con screening in San Diego, fans and critics are calling it an animated Deadpool for a younger audience. Adding to the hilarious ride is the original score by composer Jared Faber. Having written many songs for the series and knowing the characters very well, Faber was able to deliver the sound of the show to the big screen, but with a fresh take. We decided to speak with Faber more in-depth about creating the sound of the film in the below exclusive interview. Read here:

You worked on the Teen Titans Go! series as a song producer and songwriter and are now scoring the upcoming film, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. How did this come about?

Well, I’d been involved in the show since the beginning working on the songs, but I had worked with Peter Rida Michail for several years before that. When it came time for him to get started on the film, he brought the songs my way. Pete co-writes most of the songs on the show and co-wrote all the songs in the film as well. He and I work very closely on music.

The original Teen Titans Go! series had seven composers scoring the series over the many years it was on. How did you make the score for the film your own? What did you do differently?

I approached the film in many ways from scratch. I wasn’t really basing my music on anything that they do on the series. The only two sort of “touchstones” were the occasional use of the original Titans theme and to keep a beat or rhythmic element as much as possible. Aside from that, I just approached it like new. I tried to make it sound big and epic and to deliver the show to the big screen with a sound appropriate to fill theaters!

Did you feel any extra pressure stepping into the shoes as lead composer for the film, since there is such a large fanbase for this title?

Working on a film where you know the characters are already so beloved is certainly a lot of pressure. I knew the film was going to get a big push and it needed to be good so, yes pressure was on. That said, the pressure is always on! Every time I make music I’m trying to make it the absolute best I can do. Some of that pressure is self-imposed some of it is real.

How would you describe your score for the film?

Titans Go to the Movies really allowed me to work out everything I’ve got musically! We had songs of varying styles, hip hop, retro pop, rock musical number etc… The score is a mix of beats and electronic elements with full orchestral epic battle sequences…super cinematic! I really had a chance to go in on all of it!

What was your process like with the two directors, Aaron Horvath & Peter Rida Michail? At what stage did you initially begin work on the film?

I was brought in fairly early on. Songs needed to be written before animation began. As far as the score goes, that began closer to the end of the process. The first thing we did was sit down and discuss a musical direction. It was Peter, Aaron, Michael Jelenick and me. Michael and Aaron are the producers and writers of the film and the creators of the series. All three of those guys had input on the music. Pete and I collaborated very closely on a regular basis but everyone ultimately weighed in. The movie was a true collaboration, not only musically. There’s a lot that went into it and those three guys remained open to ideas and creativity while still maintaining a very specific aesthetic and knowing when things were right and when they were not.

A video released shows there are some new characters in the film, Slade voiced by Will Arnett and Jade voiced by Kristen Bell. Did you create and specific character themes for them? If so, can you tell us a little about those?

I did create a Slade theme and it was one of the first things I did. It’s a simple little melody that’s dark and minor. It served me well throughout. The other theme that leaned on throughout was the Titan theme (from the show). I also occasionally referenced melodies from the songs, specifically “My Super Hero Movie”. There was some fun Jade Wilson music as well!

Without giving too much away, what do you think fans are going to be most surprised about the film?

I think the main thing is it’s a really fun ride! It does everything a fan of the series would want. It’s got tons of humor but it’s wrapped around a great story. It’s filled with action and it makes you really care about these characters. The actors involved did a superb job voicing these characters! Hope you enjoy!

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