Tag Archives: dc showcase animated original shorts

The Track Team Talks Scoring The “DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts” Line

Jeremy Zuckerman recently took time to discuss the work of the acclaimed music and sound design production company The Track Team, which he co-founded in 2004 with Benjamin Wynn, on the recent DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts line from Warner Home Video and DC Entertainment. Zuckerman and Wynn composed the music for the entire series of shorts, just one of their recent many projects in the realm of film and television.

And now, La-La Land Records has just released Original Soundtracks from the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts on compact disc, collecting The Track Team’s entire works for the direct-to-video shorts. The Limited Edition release is now available through official La-La Land Records website and other online soundtrack specialty stores. Please continue below for the Q & A.

The World’s Finest: First off, care to introduce yourself and some of your past works?

Jeremy Zuckerman: I’ve been working in TV/Film since 2001. My first project came to me via a friend at BMI and was an ambitious short called Radius. Shortly after I began working for a company doing composition, sound design and audio engineering for commercials. After doing some time in the trenches I landed a gig composing the score to the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender. That turned out to be a really excellent learning experience and really got my TV chops together. Currently, Ben and I are composing the score for the forthcoming TV series Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Outside of scoring, I’ve recently finished a dance piece for the Scottish Dance Theatre called Khaos; it makes use of traditional instrumentation as well as computer processing.

WF: How did you get on board for DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts. Are you a fan of DC Comics, or comics in general? Any favorite characters, or even comic-inspired animated series?

JZ: Joaquim Dos Santos (the director) brought us in. We had worked with him on the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was great for us to do a project with Warner Brothers. Really easy company to work with and the people have a lot of integrity.

Growing up I was a superhero nut like most kids. Although I have to admit, I was probably more of a fan of Underoos than comic books!

WF: The majority of these shorts bent more toward some of the lesser-known DC characters, such as The Spectre and Jonah Hex (well, lesser-known to those outside the comic world). Did that make it easier knowing you weren’t slave to anything that came before?

JZ: That’s a really good observation. Yes, it was liberating not having to work from pre-existing musical themes or much aesthetic history in general. We weren’t working with a completely blank slate but a blank state can be stifling. Option paralysis and all that… The parameters that were set in place by Joaquim, Bruce Timm and the little history that did exist, were just enough to get the creative juices flowing.

WF: Each short had a distinct style. The Spectre felt like a 1970s crime film, Jonah Hex a bleak western, and so on. Can you run us through your inspiration for all of the shorts you scored?

JZ: Sure. Joaquim had a very specific idea for the music in The Spectre The Corrigan stuff had an obvious and strong reference to Lalo Schifrin’s brilliant Dirty Harry score. For the Spectre moments we referenced those wonderfully cheesy and effective 80’s synth scores from the John Carpenter and George Romero movies. Jonah Hex was a bit less derivative. Bruce wanted it to sound like a score that Morricone could have written but never did. Morricone was definitely an influence in some of the instrumentation and harmony but we also used some more modern elements and things that were a little outside of the style of the western. We also listened to a bunch of early American frontier music, which informed the fiddle-like violin material. And of there was some good old ragtime piano music for some on screen material. The Spectre and Jonah Hex were the two that were most obviously referential.

WF: As a semi-follow-up to the previous question, was there any short that seemed to be “easier” in terms of scoring than the others? Why?

JZ: I’m a huge fan of 70s funk, as a matter of fact I play guitar in an old school funk ensemble. Also Ben and I both have a strong background in synthesizers and computer music. So The Spectre was a really good fit in that regard. I loved working on that score but strangely enough, I think I was most inspired by the Jonah Hex stuff. The narrative mood was really appealing to me and the themes were very rich in that there were a lot of ways to develop and vary them.

WF: Do you have any favorite moments, both in the actual shorts and your work on them, that you’d like to discuss? Were there any moments where, after watching the finished product for any of the shorts, you felt you just nailed it?

JZ: There are a lot of moments I’m really proud of in these shorts. The lonely cue that supports Jonah’s entrance, the Madame Lorraine violin and guitar music, the montage when Madame Lorraine and Jonah go to the mineshaft… I really like that scene in The Spectre when that dude in the hot rod is fleeing to Mexico. There’s a little synth melody in there that combined with those Linn drum sounds really captures that cheesy, yet stirring quality a lot of film and TV music from 80s possessed. The scene in Shazam where Black Adam snatches the female bystander out of the car and uses her to force Captain Marvel to return to his Billy Batson form really works for me… There are a lot of moments that I really like! What can I say? It was an inspiring project!

WF: Is it a relief to see your work on DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts get an actual CD release, given how the market here in North America tends to difficult toward these type of niche releases?

JZ: To be honest, I don’t know much about the history of the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts releases. But I will say that I know how hard it can be to get music property released and was amazed at how easy it was with this project. It’s a really unexpected and nice surprise that La-La Land Records wanted to do this. The fact that the music will be heard on it’s own is simultaneously terrifying and gratifying!

WF: To wrap this up, where will we be seeing your work next? Will you be sticking around the DC Comics world in addition to your other works?

JZ: We’d love to work on more projects like the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts. The niche stuff is really fun for me because there’s a bit more room for experimentation. It felt very fresh…

The next thing of ours you’ll be seeing is our work on Nickelodeon’s new Kung Fu Panda TV series. We’re really getting into Chinese instrumentation on this and are working with some amazing musicians. We’re excited to bring some sounds to American TV that are rarely heard. It’s a great opportunity to combine western scoring styles with some of the incredible beauty of traditional Chinese music.

In the future we both would love the opportunity to work in dramatic feature or dramatic hour-long TV. Ben and I feel that while we love working in animation, we also have a lot to bring to a musical landscape that fits a dramatic narrative.

The World’s Finest would like to thank Jeremy Zuckerman for his participation in this Q & A!

Click here to view the press release for this soundtrack title. To purchase the title, check out the official La-La Land Records DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts soundtrack site.

Click here to visit the official The Track Team website.

Original Soundtracks from the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts is now available to order through the official La-La Land Records website, and through other online soundtrack specialty stores. Stay tuned for further updates and coverage here soon at The World’s Finest.

Discuss this in The DC Animation Forum!

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Soundtrack Release For “DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts” Now Available

La-La Land Records is taking orders starting today for the new Original Soundtracks from the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts CD release. The release features score music from the recent DC Showcase Animated Original Short titles released by Warner Home Video. The Limited Edition release is available through official La-La Land Records website and other online soundtrack specialty stores. La-La Land Records has previously released multiple soundtracks for DC Comics animated, television and movie properties over the last few years. Continue below to look at the package artwork for this release. Click on the thumbnails below for a closer look.

Click here to view the press release for this soundtrack title. To purchase the title, check out the official La-La Land Records DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts soundtrack site.

Original Soundtracks from the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts is now available to order through the official La-La Land Records website, and through other online soundtrack specialty stores. Stay tuned for further updates and coverage here soon at The World’s Finest.

Discuss this in The DC Animation Forum!

Follow The World’s Finest on Twitter and Facebook!

La-La Land Records Announces Limited Edition “DC Showcase” Soundtrack Title

La-La Land Records has announced plans to release a CD soundtrack for the recent DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts line. The shorts were included on a handful of DC Universe Animated Original Movie home video releases as well as its own home video title. La-La Land Records, the label which has already released multiple soundtracks for DC Comics animated, television and movie properties, will release DC Showcase – Original Soundtracks to the Animated Shorts on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011. Continue below for the cover artwork and official press release.

AVAILABLE FROM www.lalalandrecords.com on April 12th, 1pm (PST)
DC SHOWCASE: SUPERMAN/SHAZAM! The Return of Black Adam / JONAH HEX /
GREEN ARROW / THE SPECTRE: LIMITED EDITION (LLLCD 1172)

Music Composed by Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn
Limited Edition of 1000 Units
RETAIL PRICE: $19.98

Presenting the world premiere limited edition CD release of the original score soundtracks to the DC Showcase animated original shorts Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, Jonah Hex, Green Arrow and The Spectre. Composers Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn, aka The Track Team (Kung Fu Panda: Legend of Awesomeness, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Legend of Korra) expertly create a vast musical palette of dynamic musical environments in this thrilling collection of their music from these acclaimed DC Showcase original shorts. An eclectic array of styles and motifs are referenced here in exciting fashion, from old fashioned superhero spectacle to Spaghetti Western, 70s Grindhouse, horror and more! Produced by Jeremy Zuckerman, Benjamin Wynn and MV Gerhard, and mastered by James Nelson, this is a special limited edition release of 1000 Units.

Autographed copies will be available at no extra charge from www.lalalandrecords.com upon release. Note: Autographed copies are only while supplies last and are NOT guaranteed.

Additionally, autographed copies can also be obtained from Dark Delicacies now at www.darkdel.com

Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn will be appearing at Dark Delicacies in Burbank, CA on April 16th at 2pm to greet fans and sign copies of the DC Showcase soundtrack purchased at Dark Delicacies. For more info: www.darkdel.com

TRACK LISTING:

1. WB Logo (0:29)
2. DC Showcase Main Title (0:47)

SUPERMAN/SHAZAM!: THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM
3. Black Adam (0:49)
4. Billy Batson (1:36)
5. Looking for Change (0:30)
6. Good is Hard (0:32)
7. Battle in the City (4:37)
8. The Subway Ride / The Wizard Shazam (3:51)
9. Back in the City (1:07)
10. Shazam! (3:11)
11. The Dam (1:28)
12. Gods and Ants (0:58)
13. Billy’s Had Enough (1:55)
14. Tawny’s Reveal (1:16)
15. Just One Word (0:23)
16. The Return of Black Adam End Credits (0:39)

JONAH HEX
17. Ella’s Rag (1:55)
18. Madame Lorraine (0:52)
19. Above the Bar, Red Doc
Gets Comfortable (0:51)
20. Jonah Rides into Town (1:31)
21. Madame Lorraine
and Jonah (1:25)
22. Jonah Takes Care
of Business (1:25)
23. To the Mine Shaft (2:47)
24. Jonah Hex End Credits (0:37)

GREEN ARROW
25. Late Again /Tension at the Airport (2:20)
26. Assassination Attempt / The Princess… The Queen (3:58)
27. The Conveyor Belt (2:00)
28. Merlyn andGreen Arrow Duel (1:04)
29. Safe? (Count Vertigo) (0:51)
30. Every Queen Needs a Consort (1:01)
31. Green Arrow End Credits (0:38)

THE SPECTRE
32. Mr. Brenner Takes a Dip (0:57)
33. Corrigan Assesses the Crime Scene (1:19)
34. The SurveillanceCamera Tapes (0:32)
35. Costumes (2:23)
36. Squashed (0:24)
37. Heading to Mexico (2:51)
38. An Old Friend / The Secret (2:35)
39. The Spectre End Credits (0:38)

Total Time: 60:42

DC Showcase – Original Soundtracks to the Animated Shorts will be available to order through the official La-La Land Records website, and through other online soundtrack specialty stores, on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011. Stay tuned for further updates and coverage here soon at The World’s Finest.

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Year-End 2010 Sales For “DC Universe Animated Original Movie” Animated Titles

Debuting three new feature-length titles this year, along with an animated shorts-compilation release, the DC Universe Animated Original Movie direct-to-video animated feature line from Warner Home Video moved nearly 2.5 million home video release units in 2010. Over 2,100,000 of those sales came from the three new DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles that debuted this year – Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman: Under the Red Hood and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse – and those numbers are expected to grow during the December 2010 holiday season. Note that all numbers listed in this articles are estimated numbers only based on research and market analysis.

Among the three new DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles, the July 2010 Batman: Under the Red Hood animated feature made the biggest splash of this years releases, moving 510,000 DVD units and nearly 275,000 Blu-ray units since hitting shelves. Home video retail outlets are expecting the title to finish with at least 800,000 of combined units sold by the end of 2010. The direct-to-video Batman: Under the Red Hood animated feature debuted to 140,000 DVD copies sold in its first week of sales, during the week ending August 1st, 2010.

The third feature-length DC Universe Animated Original Movie title released this year, released Fall 2010, the direct-to-video Superman/Batman: Apocalypse animated feature has moved 350,000 DVD copies since its debut. The direct-to-video Superman/Batman: Apocalypse animated feature debuted to 155,000 DVD copies sold in its first week of sales, during the week ending October 3rd, 2010, with Blu-ray units trailing closely behind with 95,000 copies moved. The latest Superman/Batman animated adventure is expected to hit 600,000 in combined DVD and Blu-ray sales before the end of 2010.

Lastly, the first 2010 release under the DC Universe Animated Original Movie banner, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths leaped out of the gate upon release, moving an impressive 205,000 DVD copies in its first week alone. Blu-ray sales for its first week also roughly totaled 60,000 units, for the week ending February 28th, 2010. Sales quickly evened out in the following weeks and remained steady throughout the year. The critically-acclaimed direct-to-video animated feature is also expected to finish out 2010 with a projected estimate of 700,000 combined Blu-ray and DVD unit sold according to home video retail outlets.

Additionally, theDC Showcase Animated Original Shortshome video collection, anchored by the exclusive Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adamanimated short, has remained consistent in sales after a soft debut. After debuting to the combined DVD and Blu-ray sales of 94,500 in its first week, the week ending November 14th, 2010, the title has remained a steady seller, averaging roughly 15,000 20,000 units weekly in sales since its debut. The title will likely top out with a respectable 250,000 – 300,000 in combined Blu-ray and DVD estimated units moved by the end of 2010.

Please note the above sales numbers do not take into account rental numbers, OnDemand numbers or legal download numbers. Sales numbers are estimates gathered through independent research, market analysis and various home media retailing outlets. A detailed look at the sales of each release can be found in the news archives here at The World’s Finest.

Stay tuned for updates on current and upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles here at The Worlds Finest, including exclusive content and more. More details on the entire DC Universe Animated Original Movie line, including the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts, can be found here at The World’s Finest special dedicated subsite. Please click on the links below to discuss the assorted releases covered in this article.

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
Batman: Under the Red Hood Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Batman: Under the Red Hood Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

Also, the staff of The Worlds Finest would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays and all the best for the New Year. Additionally, the staff here at The Worlds Finest will be taking a break from regular news updates for the next week, from December 27th, 2010 to December 31st, 2010. Regular news updates will return January 3rd, 2011. However, keep checking The World’s Finest and The DC Animation Forum daily for special updates and breaking news.

Discuss these holiday-themed episodes on The DC Animation Forum:

Batman: The Animated Series “Christmas with the Joker” Talkback (Spoilers)
Batman: The Animated Series “Holiday Knights” Talkback (Spoilers)
Justice League “Comfort & Joy” Talkback (Spoilers)
Batman: The Brave and The Bold “Invasion of the Secret Santas” Talkback (Spoilers)

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“DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts” Home Video Release Retains Sales


According to various home media retailing outlets and independent research, the recent DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts collection, anchored by the exclusive Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam animated short, held tight in its second week of sales, slipping just 50% from its previous week of sales. The release moved an estimated 35,000 DVD copies in its second week, along with an additional 12,000 units in Blu-ray editions in the same timeframe, resulting in an estimated 47,000 home video units sold for the week ending November 21st, 2010. This brings the two week total sales, combining both DVD and Blu-ray sales, to nearly 142,000 units moved.

Sales for direct-to-video animated features, especially titles featuring comic book-based characters, tend to fall an average of 60 – 70% in the second week, but the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts collection managed to retain a higher numbers of sales in its second week. For comparison, the recent DC Universe Animated Original Movie Superman/Batman: Apocalypse saw a 67% drop in sales for its second week, though has still moved over 500,000 DVD and Blu-ray units since its debut. Note the sales numbers above do not take into account rental numbers, OnDemand numbers, or legal download numbers.

Above is the cover art for all standard definition DVD and high-definition Blu-ray home video releases for the DC Showcase Animated Original Shorts collection. Click on the links below to discuss both the recent Superman/Shazam!: The Return Of Black Adam animated short, exclusive to this new collection, along with the home video release, accompanied additional animated shorts and other topics pertinent to this update.

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)
DC Showcase: Green Arrow Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
DC Showcase: Jonah Hex Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
DC Showcase: The Spectre Animated Short Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Feature Talkback (Spoilers)
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse Blu-ray/DVD Talkback (Spoilers)

Additionally, when asked if consumers can expect to see future DC Showcase animated shorts, a representative for Warner Home Video simply stated “Maybe.” Stay tuned for further updates here soon on The World’s Finest, including further coverage on upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie titles and much more.

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