Composer Kevin Kiner Interview on Star Wars & Doom Patrol

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Kevin Kiner

Kevin Kiner is a legend to many Star Wars fans as he is the man behind every beat you hear in Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels. Apart from that, we discuss many things such as his association with Blockbuster franchise such as Bond, DC’s Doom Patrol and his dramatic work on City on the Hill as well as Narcos Mexico.

Hi, how are you doing? And it’s great to be talking to you.

Kevin Kiner: I’m great, thanks for having me.

What was it like working on Doom Patrol?

Kevin Kiner: Oh, it was great. We just wrapped up Season 2 on Doom Patrol and the show has a very different music than that of something like Clone Wars, but yeah it’s a lot of fun. I’m scoring that with my sons so it’s fun. For Doom Patrol we even had a musical number so it’s that kind of a show to score.

Speaking of obvious, Clone Wars and Rebels, how did those two shows came about?

Kevin Kiner: Actually for Clone Wars I had to go through an audition process with a bunch of composers. During that process I met Dave Faloni and we all had gone to the Skywalker Ranch. Whilest going through the process I didn’t meet [George] Lucas but it was always very clear to me of the world he hads created and I mean it’s Star Wars; listening to John Williams’ score growing up made me want to compose music.

Is there a difference between scoring Animation over live action?

Kevin Kiner: I get asked that question a lot but no, there’s not much difference. I treat both projects in a similar way because you have to find that moment. Clone Wars and Rebels both are also projects that feel like a live- action projects so that’s also something to taken into account.

They are currently making a bunch of spin offs and Dave [Filoni] is heading that department, would you call him up and jokingly ask whether you can score the movie?

Kevin Kiner: Haha, but Dave is doing a great job with what he had previously done in Star Wars.

To elaborate on the previous question, Ashoka was introduced in The Mandalorian on which you composed. How must that make you feel?

Kevin Kiner: Ashoka was a great character to score, and I still remember we scored her theme which plays when she comes out of the ship at the start of Clone Wars Film. And from there we used variations of that them on Ashoka. It is also great to see an Oscar-Winning Composer Ludwig [Göransson] scoring The Mandalorian.

You have scored Bond, Star Trek, DC and Star Wars. To me that look great, but how do you reflect on your Filmography!?

Kevin Kiner: I have been very fortunate scoring all of them, I think I can’t speak more of how great it was on Star Wars. And now I’m working on Doom Patrol which is a crazy show and it’s a lot of fun to score it.

This is one observation I have done after watching Clone Wars and Rebels, that both of them are very true to their respective timeline i.e the prequels and Original Trilogy. So was the music intentional as well to serve that creative choice?

Kevin Kiner: Yeah, that’s a great observation. With Clone Wars it was more orchestral star wars like which feels like home when you watch the prequels trilogy. Coming to Rebels we had a different sound as it took place in the original timeline, so we also used John William’s score in a lot places. There’s also one more thing to notice that there wasn’t a lot of music in New Hope, certainly not at the level which we now have in Marvel movie or any action film. So my goal was always to add and make audience feel that they are watching Star Wars. 

City on the Hill and Narcos Mexico these two shows in comparison have less action and more drama. For you how does that work?

Kevin Kiner: Both of them are completely different mainly because there’s not a lot of action like Clone Wars or the tone of  Doom Patrol. With City on the Hill, it was pretty great to compose the theme (Kiner plays it on the instrument). Also, it’s important for a show such as this to have a precise amount of music which pushes the drama forward. Narcos Mexico is a very violent show on the other hand. That’s also interesting because it has a level on tension. And I have been learning quite a lot from Gustavo Santaolalla.

The Movie Culture is based in India, so it has become a staple to ask whether you have heard any Bollywood Songs?

Kevin Kiner: I don’t know if the song from Slumdog Millionaire is a bollywood song, but I have heard that and have liked it. The composer for that film have also worked in some Hollywood production, so yeah he’s great.

To wrap up this interview would you like to share an advice or some advice which you had received early on?

Kevin Kiner: I once met Alan Silvestri who is a very good friend of mine for lunch. And at the time I was looking for work and was hoping that he’d suggest some projects to me because he was quite busy at the time. However he asked me one thing which has stuck with me through the years and he had asked, ‘How is your luck?’ I was confused when he asked me that and what he actually meant was how I work on opportunity. At the time he sounded like Yoda, but that has stuck with me. My favorite quotes of all time is, ‘Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity’.

The Movie Culture Synopsis

This was a great interview and for any Star Wars fans it was really exciting to talk about that world and certainly with someone who is at the helm of provoking emotions with his orchestral score.

It is indeed proven that Clone wars and Rebels are such fan made shows that precision of them belonging to their respective timeline was made.

You can find Kevin Kiner’s work on Doom Patrol and obviously you can watch Star Wars Clone Wars and Rebels.