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 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 10:39 AM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

I worked on COLD CASE for a few years, on which Michael Levine was the composer. Really good guy, and he wrote some fantastic music for the show.

I don't agree with every one of his points above, but I think he's right as to why Hans is so popular and why he keeps getting the choice gigs.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 10:43 AM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

I worked on COLD CASE for a few years, on which Michael Levine was the composer. Really good guy, and he wrote some fantastic music for the show.

I don't agree with every one of his points above, but I think he's right as to why Hans is so popular and why he keeps getting the choice gigs.


Of course he is right by pointing out that Zimmer becomes popular by (1) employing the right gimmick for the right film, (2) getting rainmaker producers to like him, (3) working pretty hard, (4) writing a catchy melody occasionally, (5) hiring a bunch of (semi)-talented interns to help him out (i.e. "working with great people").

Unfortunately, none of the above makes him a "great composer" as some would believe.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 10:59 AM   
 By:   Ado   (Member)

Yeah, agree with facehugger, he might tick all of these boxes, as many other new composers will too someday. It is not the same as being a great composer, or any inspired one. His scores serve fine in the picture, not so well apart from it. So as married to the film, he might be great, as a composer to listen to for the music, less so.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   stay-puft   (Member)


BTW, he is also very aware of what the power structure is - who really makes decisions. I was fired - or more accurately not hired after a trial period - from a film because I jumped through hoops for the director who had hired me while not spending enough time figuring out what the producer - the actual power - wanted. Rather than being sympathetic, Hans told me I had failed in a fundamental task: determining who was my boss. He was right, and I haven't made that mistake again.


remember that!

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   robertmro   (Member)



Talk about rambling.
Give me a fucking break!

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

Of course he is right by pointing out that Zimmer becomes popular by (1) employing the right gimmick for the right film, (2) getting rainmaker producers to like him, (3) working pretty hard, (4) writing a catchy melody occasionally, (5) hiring a bunch of (semi)-talented interns to help him out (i.e. "working with great people").

Unfortunately, none of the above makes him a "great composer" as some would believe.


Well look... I never really started to like Zimmer much until 8 years ago or so, and even now I find him to be incredibly hit and miss. That said, when he gets a score right, I think he _really_ gets it right, and you really can't deny that.

I don't like everything the man has done... some of it ranks among my least favorite music written for movies. But he's also written a handful of scores, at least, which have really dug themselves into the public conscious and had a huge impact on pop culture. You don't have to like that, of course, but that seems to cement his status as a highly significant composer, if not a great one, at least.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:33 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

oh well. It was worth a shot. I don't agree with all his observations too (he's drawing on a weak hand about those composers who got fired from their scores like Yared for Troy which stands as one of the finest film scores for pure musicality that has been written in the past decade) but there's a lot of truth about the industry- something some of you guys just don't seem to acknowledge and that make you come off as really ignorant individuals. The industry has changed and the best indication of that is even Williams has been affected to a certain degree. HOw so? Well, he only scores Steven Spielberg films. That's his way around a lot of the b.s. that is endemic to being a film composer in Hollywood. Others like Zimmer have adapted or else play up their strengths- good PR, music that appeals to the masses and that makes producers who want to see an ROI (return of investment) back.

I won't do a repeat of the proverbial storming off and saying I'm deleting my account on this forum but I obviously will have to weigh how much it's worth to post here when it seems like it's more frustrating than enjoyable these days.

I miss the interesting exchanges I had with fellow film score enthusiasts....

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:40 AM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)



Well look... I never really started to like Zimmer much until 8 years ago or so, and even now I find him to be incredibly hit and miss. That said, when he gets a score right, I think he _really_ gets it right, and you really can't deny that.

I don't like everything the man has done... some of it ranks among my least favorite music written for movies. But he's also written a handful of scores, at least, which have really dug themselves into the public conscious and had a huge impact on pop culture. You don't have to like that, of course, but that seems to cement his status as a highly significant composer, if not a great one, at least.


Honestly I like Zimmer's scores. Zimmer's name being attached to a blockbuster's poster at least GUARANTEES that it will be a guilty pleasure, unlike some of his lesser minions, whose works are always hit and miss (Gregson-Williams, Djawadi, Balfe, etc.).

What I HATE is: (a) Zimmer and his sound dominating everything (even Patrick Doyle was forced to sound like Zimmer with that ridiculously cliched ostinato); (b) his cohorts calling him a master and attacking anyone who think otherwise.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:47 AM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)


Well look... I never really started to like Zimmer much until 8 years ago or so, and even now I find him to be incredibly hit and miss. That said, when he gets a score right, I think he _really_ gets it right, and you really can't deny that..


YOR does not want to get Monkey Eating Taco mad, but, yes, YOR can deny that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

The industry has changed and the best indication of that is even Williams has been affected to a certain degree. HOw so? Well, he only scores Steven Spielberg films.

Williams only score Spielberg films because he's almost 90 years old and is semi-retired.

But you're right the industry is dumbed down so much there is no return.

In the 70s, a film like "Papillon" can be a tentpole film while being timelessly smart, moving, with a Goldsmith score that (IMO) stands head and shoulder to the works of Debussy and Stravinksy.

How times have changed.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   batman&robin   (Member)

What I HATE is: (a) Zimmer and his sound dominating everything (even Patrick Doyle was forced to sound like Zimmer with that ridiculously cliched ostinato); (b) his cohorts calling him a master and attacking anyone who think otherwise.

EXACTLY!! WELL SAID!! MY FEELINGS EXACTLY!!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

The article was one of the most sycophantic pieces of garbage I've seen in a long time. So much, in fact, that it has the ironic potential to do more damage to Zimmer reputation than Zimmer himself. As the saying goes, "With friends like that, who needs enemies?". One wonders what the real purpose was, here. I can easily imagine Zimmer, fearing even greater losses of artistic credibility in this particular community, telling what's-his-face to stop trying to help!

I also couldn't help but notice that if I replaced each instance of Zimmer's name with the word "laxative", the end result of the article's relevance was exactly the same.

big grin

EDIT: Just read this back to myself and it seems a bit on the strong side. Couldn't help it... it's how I feel.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

The industry has changed and the best indication of that is even Williams has been affected to a certain degree. HOw so? Well, he only scores Steven Spielberg films.

Williams only score Spielberg films because he's almost 90 years old and is semi-retired.

But you're right the industry is dumbed down so much there is no return.

In the 70s, a film like "Papillon" can be a tentpole film while being timelessly smart, moving, with a Goldsmith score that (IMO) stands head and shoulder to the works of Debussy and Stravinksy.

How times have changed.


And here is where we agree. Papillon is one of Goldsmith's finest scores IMO but it's no secret that the director Shaffner had a refined since of music taste that allowed Jerry to spread his wings. This was the case with a lot of directors from that era. Not so much any more where you have a generation of directors who only know rock or pop music from the '80s or '90s. Heck, I have issues with their film making chops much less their ability to have their composer write decent music. Someone with Zimmer's skill sets (and he does have some skills) has flourished in this environment whereas composers with what we would call "great music chops" went by the wayside because they had some ego that went hand in hand with their talent or they themselves found the current system antithetical to quality music so they left of their own accord (Bruce Broughton).

What I think is telling and informative about this original post is that it aptly describes the world of film and film composing in Hollywood. Luckily we do get a PT Anderson who says "fuck you" to the establishment (aka final cut privileges) and goes with music by Jonny Greenwood (formally trained classical musician before he left academia for the rock world) or quirky Jon Brion.

I'm not sure why someone with discerning taste like Guillermo del Toro went with Djawadi instead of his normal composer Beltrami unless it was studio pressure to deliver that RC sound that dominates the music landscape...Possibly. Probably. And it's not a bad score- it's fun! But art it ain't let's be clear. There's a certain level of competent writing but there's also some pretty basic stuff in there too. And that's what producers think the masses want. And it's probably true because soundtrack enthusiasts are a small niche group.

I also will whole heartedly agree that having Hans Zimmer around isn't a bad thing. But it's not great when his sound is the only game in town. That's what the bummer is. There's less stylistic variety out there. Even Patrick Doyle, the author of such wonderful scores like Henry V and Dead Again was forced to do a RC score for Thor (which I loathed btw). It's examples like this which I understand makes fans despondent.

However, complaining about it on this forum isn't going to change the establishment's ideas. We can only hope there's a renaissance of sorts in the next while where we see a return to solid thematic driven scores with great orchestral back up.

Or we could just create a huge global EMP explosion that would render all synths and computers inoperable and we'd see who could still compose using piano, pencil, and paper. HA!

[note my illogical thought process. A massive EMP would render ALL electronic devices inoperable which would include film cameras]

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 12:46 PM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

Or we could just create a huge global EMP explosion that would render all synths and computers inoperable and we'd see who could still compose using piano, pencil, and paper. HA!


This line brought the biggest smile to my face. By God, what a wonderful thought.
smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 12:51 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

Or we could just create a huge global EMP explosion that would render all synths and computers inoperable and we'd see who could still compose using piano, pencil, and paper. HA!


This line brought the biggest smile to my face. By God, what a wonderful thought.
smile


Don't forget even then, Zimmer can hum a tune and get his twenty interns to "arrange" it for him.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 12:52 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Luckily we do get a PT Anderson who says "fuck you" to the establishment (aka final cut privileges) and goes with music by Jonny Greenwood (formally trained classical musician before he left academia for the rock world) or quirky Jon Brion.

I'm not sure why someone with discerning taste like Guillermo del Toro went with Djawadi instead of his normal composer Beltrami unless it was studio pressure to deliver that RC sound that dominates the music landscape...Possibly.


This comparison is apples and oranges. PT Anderson makes films for an indie/art house audience. The films cost in the $25-30 million range. He appeals to an audience that values his integrity (full disclosure: I'm actually not a big fan of his films, though I respect him as an artist). That's his brand.

"Pacific Rim" cost close to $200 million, and it appeals to an audience that wants to see giant monsters fight giant robots. They're not there for artistic integrity, they're there for explosions. (I'm not casting aspersions on the film or the filmmaker.) To be profitable, this film has to appeal to vast worldwide audiences. And those audiences don't (in the macro) like to be surprised. Or at least, that's what the studios have convinced themselves of, though extensive market research. So the music should not jar, or surprise, in any way.

PT Anderson will keep his "fuck you" final cut privileges as long as his films retain the prestige and audience he currently enjoys. James Cameron does the same thing, on an exponentially larger scale. Del Toro, while highly respected, is not in that position right now.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

"Hans asked Heitor Pereira (guitar), Martin Tillman (cello), and me (violin and tenor violin) to separately record some variations on a set of instructions involving 2 notes, C and D. This involved a fair amount of interpretation! For those who are familiar with classical music, it was John Cage meets Phil Glass."




HAHAHAHAHA! I actually feel bad about this Levine guy: even with this amount of ridiculous ass kissing, he still got no big solo assignment from Zimmer Da Man, after 8 years of mopping the floor and occassionally playing two notes on a violin.

But hey, what do I know? Guy is a professional violinist so he is entitled to equal any "cat-jumping-on-a-piano" to John Cage and any "repeating-two-notes-like-a-drone" to Philip Glass. Right?



It isn't a surprise you'd chime in with your usual bile. I feel bad for the people who know you in everyday life. You must be a tremendous unpleasant person. You're the one people avoid at parties "oh no, HE'S here...shit" smile


LOL, just my thoughts.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)



LOL, just my thoughts.


Oh shit, it's the boat guy here! Intelligent people, please stand aside!

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   orbital   (Member)

Well, after reading this interesting post I was like "yeah, okay, accepted, but now what?". In the end all this does not really change the fact that "the (film) music *the industry* demands nowadays" is not my cup of tea (for the most part anyway). Be it from Hans Zimmer or someone else.

 
 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

Or we could just create a huge global EMP explosion that would render all synths and computers inoperable and we'd see who could still compose using piano, pencil, and paper. HA!


This line brought the biggest smile to my face. By God, what a wonderful thought.
smile


Says the big Tangerine Dream fan.

 
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