|Genres||Film score, orchestral, synth-pop, electronic rock, video game score|
|Occupation(s)||Composer, conductor, orchestrator|
|Instruments||Piano, keyboards, synthesizer, guitar, accordion|
|Labels||La La Land Records, Sparks and Shadows|
Bear McCreary is an American musician and composer of film, television, and video games scores based in Los Angeles, California. He is best known for his work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the reimagined Battlestar Galactica television series, as well as Outlander and The Walking Dead. He also scored the PlayStation 4 video game God of War and will do so again for its sequel as well as the feature film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
McCreary has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series for his work on season one of Outlander and won one Emmy for the main title of Da Vinci's Demons. He has also won a BAFTA for his work on God of War.
Early life and education
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McCreary spent most of his formative years in Bellingham, Washington. He is the son of author Laura Kalpakian and professor Jay McCreary of University of Hawaii. His brother, Brendan McCreary, is also a musician. Bear has directed and produced several music videos for Brendan's band, Young Beautiful in a Hurry. He graduated from Bellingham High School in 1997.
He is a classically trained pianist and self-taught accordionist. He studied under the renowned film score composer Elmer Bernstein during which time he reconstructed and reorchestrated Bernstein's 1963 score for Kings of the Sun. Their collaboration allowed for the complete score to be available as a soundtrack album for the first time in 40 years.
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Battlestar Galactica and Caprica
In 2003, McCreary worked under primary composer Richard Gibbs on the three-hour miniseries which served as a pilot for the reimagined series of Battlestar Galactica. When the show was picked up, Gibbs opted not to devote full-time to the regular series' production, and McCreary became the sole composer. He worked on the series until it reached its conclusion in 2009, scoring over 70 episodes. To date, six Battlestar Galactica soundtrack albums have been released, and have garnered a great deal of critical acclaim and commercial success. The soundtracks for seasons two and three ranked amongst Amazon.com's Top 30 Music Sales on their first days of release.
McCreary provided the score for the series Human Target (based on the comic book of the same name). The pilot episode and main theme score had been recorded with a full orchestra. The series has the distinction of having one of the largest orchestras on television.
The score to the finale of season one, "Christopher Chance", used the largest orchestra ever assembled for episodic television, and he took the opportunity to rerecord the main title theme with a new orchestration with this larger ensemble.
In July 2010, he received his first Emmy nomination for the Human Target main title.
In a post on his blog on July 25, 2010, McCreary announced the new creative leadership brought in for season two had not asked him to return for it, and he would be leaving the series.
The opening title sequence for Black Sails was composed by McCreary with a backing sea shanty inspired theme. It accurately features an instrument of the period in the form of the hurdy-gurdy.
McCreary has composed the soundtrack for each of the first five seasons of Outlander, with the main title being sung by long time collaborator and partner, Raya Yarbrough. McCreary was nominated for an Emmy for the episode "Sassenach" in 2015.
On July 15, 2013, McCreary announced that he would compose the score for ABC's series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. On September 4, 2015, McCreary released the official Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. soundtrack publicly.
McCreary served as orchestral producer for the rock opera Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem airing on Adult Swim on October 27, 2013. This is a continuation of the Metalocalypse universe following the band Dethklok. The music features a 50-piece orchestra. The soundtrack was released on October 29, 2013.
McCreary worked on several films providing additional music and conducting for My Baby's Daddy and Johnson Family Vacation before striking it off on his own and scoring Rest Stop and Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, both direct to video.
McCreary has only worked with a few directors multiple times. Christopher Landon on three films, Happy Death Day, Happy Death Day 2U and Freaky, and director McG twice on Rim of the World and The Babysitter: Killer Queen.
McCreary made an eight-bit rendition of the Dark Void theme, which was, originally, an April fools joke. However, the theme was used for the prequel, Dark Void Zero. He composed all the songs in an eight-bit fashion by connecting the wires on an actual NES console and cartridge to create authenticity.
He arranged James Rolfe's The Angry Video Game Nerd "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" parody "You're a Mean One, Mr. Nerd" for the 2010 Christmas special, with orchestra and eight-bit audio elements.
McCreary married singer/songwriter Raya Yarbrough in 2010. They have collaborated on the music of Battlestar Galactica, Outlander, Defiance, Da Vinci's Demons, among other projects. Their daughter Sonatine, named after the musical term sonatina, was born on June 2, 2014.
McCreary credits composers Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Danny Elfman, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, and Shirley Walker as being key to his growing up adoring film music. They were his heroes while he was growing up. Contemporary composers including Hans Zimmer continue to inspire McCreary's growth.
|2004–09||Battlestar Galactica||71 episodes|
|2008–09||Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles||31 episodes|
Terminator themes by Brad Fiedel
|2010||Human Target||12 episodes|
|2010–present||The Walking Dead||131 episodes|
|2011||The Cape||10 episodes|
|2012||Day Break||5 episodes|
|Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome||10 episodes|
|2013||Metalocalypse: The Doomstar Requiem||Composed with Brendon Small|
|Da Vinci's Demons||28 episodes|
|2013–2020||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||136 episodes|
|2014–17||Black Sails||38 episodes|
The Omen themes by Jerry Goldsmith
|Black Mirror||Episode: "Playtest"|
|2017–18||Electric Dreams||3 episodes|
|2018||Into the Dark||Episode: "Pooka"|
|2010||Dark Void Zero|
|2011||SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy SEALs|
|2015||Assassin's Creed Syndicate||Jack the Ripper DLC|
Composed with Austin Wintory
|2018||God of War|
|League of Legends||Ryze: Call of Power|
|2022||Untitled God of War sequel|
Awards and nominations
- "67th Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners". Television Academy. Retrieved October 11, 2015.
- Weisman, Jon. "LIVE From the Creative Arts Emmys". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- "BAFTA Games Awards winners 2019". www.bafta.org. March 11, 2019. Retrieved December 11, 2020.
- McCreary, Bear (October 13, 2011). "'I Don't Want to Die a Virgin' Music Video!". BearMcCreary.com. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Relyea, Kie (January 12, 2005). "Score for the Stars: Bellingham High grad now composes for 'Battlestar Galatica'". The Bellingham Herald. Archived from the original on October 29, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017 – via BearMcCreary.com.
- McCreary, Bear (June 7, 2006). "ScoreKeeper interviews Battlestar Galactica's Bear McCreary!!!". Interviewed by ScoreKeeper. AintItCool.com. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- "Biography". BearMcCreary.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2009. Retrieved April 13, 2009.
- Sepinwall, Alan (June 22, 2008). "Sepinwall on TV: Michael Giacchino and Bear McCreary, score keepers". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- Ryan, Maureen (June 16, 2008). "'Battlestar Galactica' provides some Earth-shattering 'Revelations'". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 29, 2009. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
- McCreary, Bear (July 25, 2009). "Human Target Screens Today". BearMcCreary.com. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
- Burlingame, Jon (July 8, 2010). "Emmy Music Nominations Announced". FilmMusicSociety.org. Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- McCreary, Bear (July 25, 2010). "I Am Leaving 'Human Target'". BearMcCreary.com.
- Fitzpatrick, Kevin (July 23, 2010). "Comic Con 2010: The Cape Casts a Mighty Shadow". Ugo.com. UGO Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 27, 2010.
- Nguyen, Hanh (July 23, 2010). "'Walking Dead' reveals trailer, taps Bear McCreary as composer". Zap2it.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Boucher, Geoff. "'Agents of SHIELD': Clark Gregg's 'commanding presence' calls the tune for composer Bear McCreary". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on September 10, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
- "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Original Soundtrack Album)". September 4, 2015. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Hartmann, Graham (October 17, 2013). "Dethklok, 'Blazing Star' – Exclusive Song Premiere". Loudwire.com. Townsquare Media. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- "Bear McCreary Scoring TNT's 'Snowpiercer' TV Series". filmmusicreporter. Film Music Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2020.
- "Kevin Smith Reacts to Masters of the Universe: Revelations Score". YouTube. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
- Yamato, Jen (July 2, 2010). "Exclusive: 'Step Up 3D' Billboard Art Premiere!". Cinematical.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2013.
- Diener, Matt (April 2011). "Interview with Bear McCreary (April 2011)". Squareenixmusic.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Napolitano, Jayson (December 16, 2010). "Bear McCreary Vs. The Angry Video Game Nerd: A Christmas Special". Original Sound Version. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
- Davis, Justin (June 13, 2016). "E3 2016: New God of War Announced". IGN.com. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
- McCreary, Bear (February 24, 2009). "I'm Getting Married!!". BearMcCreary.com. Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved February 29, 2012.
- "Malibu Wedding Photographer". Archived from the original on September 5, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
- McCreary, Bear. "Sonatine Yarbrough McCreary". BearMcCreary.com.
- Barnett, Barbara (July 29, 2016). "A Conversation with Outlander Composer Bear McCreary". Original Sound Version. Retrieved July 29, 2016.
- Bear McCreary at IMDb
- Official website
- MAFgest 2016 interview
- Audio Interview on GeeksOn!
- "Of Duduks and Dylan: Negotiating Music and the Aural Space in Battlestar Galactica'', by Eftychia Papanikolaou; chapter in Cylons in America: Critical Studies of Battlestar Galactica, edited by Tiffany Potter and C. W. Marshall, 224–236. New York and London: Continuum, 2007.