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 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 11:01 AM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

via the BBC radio Sound of Cinema series. A wonderfully frank, candid, and revealing discussion with several composers on today's film music production climate. I love the discussion with Horner, in particular.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03bfjqv/Sunday_Feature_Sound_of_Cinema_Composing_for_Hollywood/

Topics covered/people interviewed:

-Horner
-Elfman
-Temp tracks
-The 300 Goldenthal/Bates issue (with some interesting comments from Bates)
-Richard Kraft
-Jon Burlingame
-Yared, Horner, and Troy
-Remote Control Productions
-Lorne Balfe
-technology vs. traditional
-Zimmer
-how the cues are divided up in a Zimmer score (get ready to feel the awkwardness)
-Harry Gregson-Williams


This was such a great program, I'll probably give it another listen. Yared's closing comments are very poignant in particular.

ps. does anyone know what the final piece of music is? Is it a Yared piece?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 11:26 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Hmmm...I don't know. I'm not in the mood for another "oh, everything sucks these days and everything used to be so much better back in the day" rants, no matter who says them. Before I click it, can you tell me something about the balance of negativity/positivity?

If it's wellbalanced, I'll have a listen. If it's one-sided, I'll skip it.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 11:40 AM   
 By:   Rnelson   (Member)

Hmmm...I don't know. I'm not in the mood for another "oh, everything sucks these days and everything used to be so much better back in the day" rants, no matter who says them. Before I click it, can you tell me something about the balance of negativity/positivity?

If it's wellbalanced, I'll have a listen. If it's one-sided, I'll skip it.


Maybe just take a chance and listen. It does, at least, attack this from a composer's perspective.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   richuk   (Member)



ps. does anyone know hat the final piece of music is? Is it a Yared piece?


First track from The English Patient. (from about a minute in)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caDKlkleL-M&list=PL9XgCXFmme5cHtnaR-N6vqUVzej71g-29

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 2:11 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Hmmm...I don't know. I'm not in the mood for another "oh, everything sucks these days and everything used to be so much better back in the day" rants, no matter who says them. Before I click it, can you tell me something about the balance of negativity/positivity?

If it's wellbalanced, I'll have a listen. If it's one-sided, I'll skip it.


Well I thought it was well balanced, but that's probably because I'm tired of the - thick wall of sound, big echoey drums & not remembering a note of the score two minutes after the film has finished. But then it's not like some great movies are getting bad scores, more like a lot of bad movies are getting bad scores. Movie making by committee, bad idea, but it looks like Hollywood has lost its nerve & doesn't trust any one person anymore. I was surprised just how cheesed off Horner was about the whole situation.

I'd skip it if I was you smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 2:25 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Previous Hollywood scores were heard and memorable. Many modern Hollywood scores are unheard and forgettable. There's your fair and balance.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 2:28 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Thor:
If it's one-sided, I'll skip it.

I'm going to use that for every post you make in new limited edition announcement threads. ;-)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 2:40 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

.....Thor:
If it's one-sided, I'll skip it.....



I love the idea of these new 78rpm lacquer records
over the Edison cylinders I now have.

.....but if even some of them are one-sided, I'll skip 'em! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Hmmm...I don't know. I'm not in the mood for another "oh, everything sucks these days and everything used to be so much better back in the day" rants, no matter who says them. Before I click it, can you tell me something about the balance of negativity/positivity?

If it's wellbalanced, I'll have a listen. If it's one-sided, I'll skip it.


Well I thought it was well balanced, but that's probably because I'm tired of the - thick wall of sound, big echoey drums & not remembering a note of the score two minutes after the film has finished. But then it's not like some great movies are getting bad scores, more like a lot of bad movies are getting bad scores. Movie making by committee, bad idea, but it looks like Hollywood has lost its nerve & doesn't trust any one person anymore. I was surprised just how cheesed off Horner was about the whole situation.

I'd skip it if I was you smile


Yeah, from your description it sounds like something that could provoke me in its one-sidedness. I'll save it for a later time when I'm more receptive to that kind of stuff. Thanks.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 2:59 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)



Yeah, from your description it sounds like something that could provoke me in its one-sidedness. I'll save it for a later time when I'm more receptive to that kind of stuff. Thanks.


Don't wait too long, it's probably only online for a week, & it's a good program, you should listen to it.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Oops.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 3:20 PM   
 By:   samlowry   (Member)

Great program, thanks for posting smile

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

My issue with this debate is that it seems to ignore the history of Hollywood film music.

Most movies in a given period share a certain sound, or really a set of sound choices. Sweeping (and often weepy) Golden Age scores built on late Romanticism and popular song styles; eighties and nineties adventures of all kinds that couldn't shake Star Wars for a generation; Oscar-bait pictures that might as well all be scored by late-period John Barry, whoever is penning them; simplified orchestral jazz updated by period to the noir demands of the decade. And on and on.

There are occasional outliers like Bernard Herrmann who ultimately sound like no one else, and exceptional practitioners who own a sound and are exemplars in their practice (Rozsa, Williams, Goldsmith, Barry). But the sound is very consistent, and often less and less distinctive the longer it goes on - whatever the period.

That is essentially what's happening now - wacky comedy scores that sound more-or-less like wacky comedy scores throughout film history; bombastic minimalism; quirky minimalism; foreboding sound design; sad (or sadly triumphant) piano and strings. With the innovation of less reliance on melody ... but that too is a long road, that includes much of Herrmann and Goldsmith, whose music is often built on small musical cells (even if extended into longer tunes) rather than long-limbed melody - because that approach works especially well for films - you can make a musical impression in just a few notes, which is very helpful in movie time.

This is not new - just the preferences of the period have changed. And will change again - and most of the movies of that next period will be mostly consistent.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 7:58 PM   
 By:   Maleficio   (Member)

The whole RCP section left me very disillusioned.

And, I agree, Yared's closing comments were very poignant

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 8:02 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

It was fun to hear Horner enthusing about Williams' "Superman."

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 8:11 PM   
 By:   KevinSmith   (Member)

Didn't Goldsmith once comment how he dislikes the wall-to-wall noise scoring of the movies in the 1930s/1940s? I seem to remember an interview of him saying that.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 8:41 PM   
 By:   ChristianK├╝hn   (Member)

Thor, honest question out of curiosity: are you an academic/have gone through academia in one way or another?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 9:09 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

These are contemporary composers. What would they know about the modern film scoring climate? They were either not born or were babies during the modern era.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 9:26 PM   
 By:   turnin110   (Member)

I have to say that Yared's closing thoughts were just on point. A lack of ethic in the emotional process and the oncoming death of classical music are really tied into what is going on in film music. If you notice, no one wants to feel as a result of their films anymore (unless that feeling is some very extreme emotion). Is it indicative of our society now that we are incapable of feeling subtle emotions?

I also, as always, appreciated Horner's candor. His discussion of where Man of Steel is inadequate is spot on. His thought on modern music are clear and correct (it does lead me to wonder how many more scores Horner has left in him as he sounds depressed and disillusioned through this interview, especially considering both his 2013 projects were beached). I also found it interesting that Horner could explain the Zimmer/RC musical construct better than either Balfe or Zimmer could!

I love the discussion of 300 and the legalese in there. Bates' statement was hysterically evasive!

Finally, I just have to comment on Lorne Balfe. Balfe seemed like a very nasty person and listening to him was painful. He seemed so sneering of the interviewer and dismissive of anyone--be them composers or filmmakers--with legitimate, academic musical knowledge. Balfe seemed absolutely arrogant about his utter lack of education, very much "Hey look at me! I'm modern and I'm 100% right and you're stupid for knowing these terms." Balfe seemed bewildered anyone would know musical terminology, and I was horrified when he said he'd need to Google it! His interview stood in stark contrast to Zimmer, who as always was humble about his lack of knowledge but demonstrated a craving to learn the musical language. Perfect? No, but I give him a lot of props.

One missed opportunity was the time spent with Elfman. One could (and really should) bring up that Elfman, like Zimmer, is not classically trained and came out of the rock world. But yet, Elfman still uses big orchestras, themes, style, etc. So Zimmer/Balfe saying that's why they write like they do could be easily demonstrated to be an excuse (I'm not trying to degrade Zimmer, just pointing out how is logic doesn't quite work).

 
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