The suspenseful and psychological thrill of Criminal Minds makes the CBS drama one of television’s most addicting shows. The talented writers and cast contribute to its success, of course, but there’s one essential factor that’s often forgotten – the music. Marc and Steffan Fantini have scored the show along with Scott Gordon since the first episode premiered in 2005 and they have helped mold the jaw-dropping moments.
“The way you score it is a huge part of how the audience reacts,” Steffan told Enstars over the phone about shows and films. “If you had this big action scene, or this romantic moment, or a scary moment with no music, it wouldn’t really be complete.”
Originally from New York, the two musicians performed in a rock band years before they scored their first movie in 1999 called The Moment After. Since then the brothers expanded their diverse resume to include projects far different than Criminal Minds. Marc and Steffan scored the comedy Moms’ Night Out, in theaters now, using a full orchestra, which they hope to do again in the future. They also created a “very personal and intimate” score for Lifetime’s longest-running drama Army Wives. One of their latest projects is the sci-fi film Space Station 76 starring Matt Bomer and Liv Tyler.
“Any project thrown at us is always a challenge and we always want to do our best and try to do something we haven’t heard before,” Steffan said.
While both television and film have certain challenges -- like tight deadlines and fulfilling the director’s vision -- Marc and Steffan both agree that working on pilots tends to be the most stressful. That first episode has the potential to convince or dissuade a network from moving forward with a show and so there are many different opinions being thrown at the composers.
“Mostly all of the crazy changes come in, pretty much, the eleventh hour. So you’re writing, you’re writing and everybody says 'It’s great' and the night before everything is due, they can say, ‘You know what? There’s somebody else in the room that doesn’t like any of it, so we need you to rewrite everything by tomorrow morning,’” Marc explained. “And that’s happened more than once.”
It’s moments like those when Steffan and Marc understand the value of working together. “It’s not physically possible to write that much music at that high quality and get it done that quickly,” Steffan said. “That’s why having a team like this has been really, really great.”
And with Criminal Minds' tenth season approaching, Marc and Steffan are excited to get back into the studio and create an even greater score than the years before. Both composers said they are “humbled and blessed” to be part of such a well received series and hope to maintain its popularity.
“Just wanting to make it better and better each season is kind of our feeling,” Marc said about the hit show. “Let’s keep this thing on the air forever.”