Award-winning composer and songwriter Christopher Lennertz (Sausage Party, Lost in Space, Agent Carter) is the guy behind Eric Kripke’s The Boys. A series adapted from a comic about corrupt superheroes is the type of project Lennertz is drawn to. “I’m a huge genre fan in terms of sci-fi, superheroes, gangsters. I like entertainment like that. Anything with swords and sorcery and magicians,” he says. “I go to fantasy worlds a lot; the music seems to be the most interesting for me. Just growing up in the '80s and watching movies like E.T. and Star Wars and Back to the Future and playing Dungeons and Dragons—that’s what I grew up with. I go to a movie to get somewhere that’s larger than life.”
Lennertz has created larger-than-life sonic backdrops for TV, video games and films across the fantasy, supernatural and horror spectrums. His advice is to use the storyline as the compass to dictate the music. As a musician first and foremost, this can be hard to do.
“I got fired from my first TV show after four episodes, because I needed to learn that confidence and simplicity was key. I was so worried about making the music good and impressive that I probably seemed nervous and unsure and panicked when in actuality, the music didn’t need to be as complex or overthought as I thought,” he says. “I wasn’t hearing the people I was working for, who were looking for emotion and storytelling, and I made it too much about the music. I learned that story is the answer, story is the boss.”
Lennertz says it's important to do some basic research and legwork to be able to relate to the show or film’s makers. “I’m surprised how many composers I meet who haven’t seen major classic movies,” Lennertz says. “Knowing those movies and how the stories are told and how the music relates allows you to have a dialogue that makes filmmakers comfortable. If they see you’re someone who gets it, it’s an easy way to have shorthand. When I speak to classes at USC, I tell them to grab the AFI Top 100 movies list and watch one a week.”