The creators of Childrens Hospital unleashed a hilarious spinoff on Netflix called Medical Police, which takes parodying procedural dramas and spy thrillers to a whole new level. Lacing all the action and comedy with just the right underscore is composer Matt Novack.
Creators Rob Corddry, Krister Johnson, Jonathan Stern, and David Wain scored a hit with Childrens Hospital back in 2009. The short-form web series premiered on TheWB.com but was picked up by Adult Swim later, where it found a strong following throughout its seven seasons. Now, the team reunites to take their doctors into the spy game where many jokes about nefarious villains and un-killable heroes will undoubtedly fill the screen.
PopAxiom reached out to composer Matt Novack to talk about his road to making music for film and television, the Harley Quinn animated series, and making music for Medical Police.
Matt became interested in music at an early age. “My dad played a little saxophone. He was a jazz musician for a while before I was born. My mom played a little bit. They encouraged me to pursue music.”
During his formative years, the would-be composer admits he was “… obsessed with film scores early on … Star Wars, of course.”
Matt started off as a percussionist. “Drums and keyboard percussion,” Matt says, “My dad actually bought me my first drum set without running it by my mom first.”
At Northern Illinois, Matt studied “… percussion performance and composition … “ After graduating, Matt says, “I moved out to L.A. and went to USC’s film scoring program and then started working.”
Road To Childrens Hospital
Before Childrens Hospital, Matt worked for “Craig Wedren, as his assistant.”
The young composer also spent time “… working for a music library as an assistant and sort of jack-of-all-trades; composer, orchestrator, office manager.”
He explains a bit about what a music library does. “These are music houses for commercials, documentaries, stuff like that. Their main thing is that they’ll produce albums of music for licensing. Movie trailers, commercials, TV shows, mostly reality TV shows. It’s typically for productions that don’t hire a composer to work on the show. So it’s pre-produced music.”
About working in a music library, Matt says, “It’s a good gig to do between shows.”
Matt considers Childrens Hospital as his big break. “It was my first show on my own with my team. I scored it for seven years. It opened doors for everything else.”
About Medical Police
Medical Police released January 10th on the streaming giant Netflix. “It’s a completely different score from Childrens Hospital. The score was a parody of Grey’s Anatomy.”
Matt continues, “There are some hints of the Childrens Hospital score at the beginning of the season, but then the rest of it we are in full-on international thriller score.”
Where Childrens Hospital leaned heavily into the comedic score, Medical Police takes things in a different direction. “We wanted to make a score that could fit into a more serious version of this kind of movie. The score could be lifted from Medical Police and put into one those kinds of movies and work fine.”
Matt rattles off three names in quick succession when asked about influences. “Elliot Goldenthal, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith are all tied for how much they influence me.”
What would John Williams do? “Whenever I get stuck, I think ‘How would these guys do it?’ It usually helps me unlock my writer’s block. There’s so much to learn from them.”
In the age of remakes, what would Matt love to be a part of? “There was a Greatest American Hero pilot that didn’t go, but that would be so much fun. Maybe Gremlins. Growing up, I was obsessed with Gremlins and Goonies.”
Medical Police is out on Netflix and tickling funny bones, but there’s more to come from the composer. You can hear more of Matt’s work on “Harley Quinn on the DC Universe.”
Will you be watching Medical Police on Netflix?
Thanks to Matt Novack and Impact24 PR for making this interview possible.
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