Composer Sean Callery on his Dual Emmy Nominations

Sean Callery received Emmy nominations for Jessica Jones‘s main title sequence and for Minority Report‘s series orchestrations

Sean Callery is no stranger to the Emmy cycle. In fact, his two current nominations – Netflix’s Jessica Jones‘s main title theme and Fox’s Minority Report‘s music composition – gave Callery a total of 16 Emmy nominations. He even won three Emmys for his beloved work on Fox’s 24. But even though he’s been to the dance before, Sean Callery still feels the excitement of a first-time nominee.

“When you get contacted by someone that says you got a nomination, you still can’t believe it,” Callery said. “You might think it’s old hat, but when you do get nominated, you do get excited. It humbles you a bit. These are special moments…”

Sean Callery

On orchestrating the neo-noir of Jessica Jones

Sean Callery fully immersed himself in the gritty world of Netflix’s Jessica Jones to create the unique opening theme music. It’s a critical component of the overall product as the main title experience orients the viewer into the world they’re about to experience. Getting it wrong would prove jarring for the audience, and Callery lacked access to actual filmed moments on which to build the score. So he worked closely with showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and relied on still images to develop the opening theme tone.

“The things that I love about the character are that she’s a very strong person morally and ethically. She has a very biting sense of humor. She knows the street well. Her very job as a detective is one of lurking in the shadows and being clever,” Callery said. “As I sat at the piano and started thinking about her, there’s a little mercurial part of that character – the part that has a sense of humor and the part that hops up on fire escapes and so forth. It kind of felt a little playful, like a cat.”

Callers created the opening theme by weaving together that cat-like playfulness with Jessica’s drive to protect others from the same trauma she endured. While he loves working on them, he admits that the task of initiating viewers into the show’s world is a daunting one.

On his nomination for Fox’s cancelled Minority Report

Jessica Jones‘s darkness and intimacy contrasts significantly with the grand futuristic scale of Fox’s Minority Report. The ambitious project tried to bring fans of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi classic into a sequel-of-sorts world with challenged results. The expensive series received a cancellation notice two months after its premiere date. Still, Emmy took notice of Sean Callery’s series orchestrations and provided Minority Report with its only nomination.

“I wish it had gotten some nods for art direction and stuff like that. I thought they did a really great job,” Callery said. “Honestly, who knows why certain things work and certain things don’t. I truly wished that had worked. That show had a lot of adventure and fun to it and a lot of musical possibility.”

Up next, Sean Callery tackles Fox’s 24 reboot which will employ new theming to mirror the completely new cast. He’ll also return to the neo-noir world of Jessica Jones Season 2. But first, he has a date with Emmy at the Creative Arts ceremony in mid-September.

AwardsDaily TV’s full interview with Emmy-winning composer Sean Callery is available below or by subscribing to the Water Cooler Podcast on iTunes.

Sean Callery
(Photo: FOX)

Published by Clarence Moye

Clarence firmly believes there is no such thing as too much TV or film in one's life. He welcomes comments, criticisms, and condemnations on Twitter or on the web site. Just don't expect him to like you for it.