One of the most striking things about House of Cards is its cinematic touch: the high production value and filmic gloss that gilds everything from the obvious (movie stars playing the leads) to the more subtle—like the score. Episode after episode, I’ve been continually floored by Jeff Beal’s elegant, sophisticated, and richly produced music. So when I walked into his lovely (but far from pretentious) Agoura Hills home last October, I was stunned to discover just what a small, literally do-it-yourself production his contribution to the show is.
“Gillian always had a great sense of music,” says Newman. “Do you remember a movie she did called Mrs. Soffel? Mark Isham did the score, and it was an amazing use of music. It was clear to me that Gillian had developed ears and she was interested in new sounds and all that. I wanted to do Mrs. Soffel back in the day, and Little Women was like 11 years later. Gillian was always a director I had my eye on, just because I loved the way she used music.”