2019 WonderCon EXCLUSIVE: Composer Nathan Matthew David Talks SYFY's DEADLY CLASS
At this year's WonderCon, I had the opportunity to speak with the mind behind the music of SyFy's Deadly Class, Nathan Matthew David. If his name doesn't sound familiar, it should, as the USC alum has provided the music for SLICE (an A24 film starring Chance the Rapper and Zazie Beetz), the SXSW hit "Summer 03" (starring Joey King), as well as the upcoming James Cameron produced Sundance documentary THE GAME CHANGERS.
Below you can find our conversation with the composer below...
M&SU: How did you begin your career as a Film Composer? NMD: On my mother's side of the family everyone is a musician, so being musical....I just grew up surrounded by it. I began playing in high school bands, continued that [path] into college, studied composition, and with friends began making films---short films, student films---since they needed music...So I started writing for their films. That eventually parlayed into this. M&SU: What would you consider to be your first "big project?" NMD: To a degree, I think "Deadly Class" is my first big one. I mean, I've done some co-composing with my mentor, Ludwig Goransson, but this is my first solo effort on a big TV show. M&SU: Aside from Goransson (who you just mentioned), was there anyone in the composing field whose work you admired or feel that you emulated? NMD: Yeah, absolutely. Again, I'd have to go back to my mentor. I spent six years with Ludwig Goransson and Ted Shapiro. Assisting them, being around them, just seeing how they conduct themselves - in the way that they write music for film - was just such an inspiration...Especially seeing Ludwig going on to win an Oscar for BLACK PANTHER. His approach of pushing genres and pushing what film music can be provided me lots of inspiration. I think it's so exciting right now that we have so much more representation in film, whether or not it's CAPTAIN MARVEL, WONDER WOMAN, BLACK PANTHER, CRAZY RICH ASIANS...I think it's so exciting that there are more storytellers coming out and sharing stories that haven't been told yet. I'm excited to be a part of all these wonderful stories that are coming out now, and I'd love to continue o work on shows like Deadly Class and on stories that are meaningful. M&SU: You worked on the Sundance film THE LAST WORD. that your first time at Sundance? NMD: It was, yeah, that was the first time. M&SU: How was that experience? NMD: It was amazing! I think, similar to Wondercon, there is a creative energy when you have so many creative people in one place - i.e. it was amazing to be in Park City, where there was a buzz and an excitement, it was cool. Obviously, it was also pretty terrifying for your film to premiere for the first time in front of a thousand people! M&SU: Have you ever watched one of your projects at a regular theater? If so, what was it like? NMD: I have, yeah. Sometimes it's tough to go and watch your work because I'm pretty self-critical, but it was nice, like with the film THE LAST WORD, to go with a group of friends and family and enjoy the experience of going to the theater and watching your film...it was truly a dream.
M&SU: Awesome! Well Nathan, thanks so much for time and go luck to you in your future projects!
Interview by Phillip Estes