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The "Last" Top Forty Composer Countdown, Part One
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/4/2016 - 9:00 PM
I'm calling this countdown series the "last" one simply because, given how long it's taken me to finally get around to it -- and with the one-column false start in November of 2013 -- I honestly doubt I'll get around to doing another one. Frankly, if I get this one finished I will have impressed myself, but then I'm easily impressed. Especially by myself. On the upside, this is planned to be a ten-column series, so get ready for a lot of reading (or not reading; it's entirely up to you).
2011 RANKING: Not ranked
AGE: 38
BIRTHPLACE:  Nottingham, England
REPRESENTATION: Gorfaine/Schwartz
BACKGROUND: Cambridge, rock programmer-arranger-musician, programmer for Trevor Jones, music editor for Howard Shore
TYPECAST IN:  Science-fiction
1. Gravity--274 (U.S. gross in millions)
2. Fury--85   
3. The World’s End--25  
4. Attack the Block--1 
Steven Price may have scored his first film only five years ago, but he’s been gainfully employed in the film music world for two decades. His first credit was as a music mixer on the Irish drama Trojan Eddie, released when he was only 19, and within a few years he was working for such major composers as Trevor Jones (as a musician and programmer) and Howard Shore (as music editor on the final two Lord of the Rings films). After more than a decade of dues paying, he received his first feature scoring credit on Joe Cornish’s critically acclaimed first-film, the low-budget sci-fi thriller Attack the Block. He had already worked with Block executive producer Edgar Wright, serving as music editor and additional composer for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Price graduated to principal composer for Wright’s next film, the comedic Quatermass homage The World’s End. That fall his career moved into a whole new realm with Alfonso Cuaron’s visually groundbreaking Gravity. Along with rave reviews and blockbuster box-office, Gravity managed to win a whopping seven Oscars including one for Price’s original score -- an impressive achievement for a composer so early in his career, and an unusual one in that Price’s work on the film largely eschewed melody in favor of a more soundscape-oriented approach. He wrote a comparatively more thematic score for 2014’s impressively crafted World War II adventure Fury, but his hoped-for entry into the field of blockbuster superhero movies fell through when Edgar Wright left his long-in-development Ant-Man, replaced by director Peyton Reed (and composer Christophe Beck). His next feature project has yet to be announced, but so far he’s got a 4 to 1 movie-to-Oscar ratio (as well as a Grammy for his contribution to Adele’s album 21), and that’s nothing to sneeze at...since I first wrote this (but before it was uploaded), Price has been announced to reunite with Fury director David Ayer for the highly anticipated graphic novel adaptation Suicide Squad, so a good case can be made that he should be ranked above #40 on this list, but someone's too lazy to rework the list, and I suspect it's me.

WHAT'S NEXT: Suicide Squad 
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Film Score Friday 3/4/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 3/3/2016 - 9:00 PM
As was widely expected, Ennio Morricone won his first "competitive" Oscar for Original Score for THE HATEFUL EIGHT (he had five previous nominations, as well as a 2006 Honorary Award "in recognition of his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music").

In one of the biggest surprises of the evening, the highly touted "Til It Happens To You," written by Lady Gaga and Diane Warren for The Hunting Ground and performed by Gaga in the film (and whose performance on the telecast was introduced by none other than Vice President Joe Biden), lost the award to Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes for SPECTRE's "Writing's On The Wall," only the second James Bond song to win an Oscar (following 2012's "Skyfall") and, with Skyfall, only the second Bond film since 1965 (Special Visual Effects, Thunderball) to win any Oscars. (The other biggest surprises of the evening were Mark Rylance receiving Supporting Actor instead of Sylvester Stallone, and Ex Machina winning Visual Effects. For me, the biggest disappointments -- but not surprises - were 45 Years' Charlotte Rampling and World of Tomorrow's Animated Short nominee Don Herzfeldt going home empty handed).

Intrada has announced two new releases this week: a three-disc set featuring music from the 1980s revival of TV's THE TWILIGHT ZONE, featuring episode scores by William Goldstein (3 episodes), Elliot Kaplan, Arthur Kempel, Dennis McCarthy, Basil Poledouris (4 episodes), JAC Redford, Craig Safan (7 episodes), Fred Steiner, Kenneth Wannberg and Christopher Young (2 episodes); and an expanded, two-disc set of Bruce Broughton's thrilling score for the lavish 1998 feature film version of LOST IN SPACE, featuring a wealth of alternate cues.

Varese Sarabande has announced four new CD Club releases this week, expected to begin shipping next week: an expanded Deluxe Edition of Jerry Goldsmith's score for the 1996 thriller EXECUTIVE DECISION, which marked the directorial debut of master editor Stuart Baird (Superman, Lethal Weapon, Casino Royale, Skyfall); an expanded Deluxe Edition of James Horner's sequel score for 1988's COCOON: THE RETURN; the LP tracks for Ennio Morricone's score for the 1979 romantic thriller BLOODLINE, which gave Audrey Hepburn her final starring role in a feature (many years ago, the CD Club released a selelection of Morricone's Bloodline on their Red Sonja CD); and a limited release of Alan Price's score for Lindsay Anderson's 1988 drama THE WHALES OF AUGUST, which teamed Hollywood legends Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price and an Oscar-nominated Ann Sothern.

Warren Ellis won France's Cesar Award in the Best Original Music category for MUSTANG. The other other nominees were Gregorire Hetzel (My Golden Days), Ennio Morricone (Come What May), Raphael (Cowboys) and Stephen Warbeck (Mon Roi).

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Aisle Seat 3-1: March Arrival Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/29/2016 - 9:00 PM
Folks seem to have forgotten that the original “Species” was one of the bona-fide sleepers of Summer ‘95, raking in an impressive $60 million (a solid figure for 20 years ago, back before the benefit of 3-D and IMAX) and spawning a slew of sequels. Scream Factory brings those follow-ups to Blu-Ray this month with all new special features, offering fans a high-def trip back into the gooey world of sex, blood and H.R. Giger’s half-alien/half-human creatures.
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Film Score Friday 2/26/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/25/2016 - 9:00 PM
Intrada has just released two new LPs - a two-disc set of Laurence Rosenthal's rousing score for CLASH OF THE TITANS, and Vince DiCola's score for the beloved '80s sequel ROCKY IV. For those who'd like a heads-up about what CDs they may be releasing next week, go to this thread.

Varese Sarabande plans to announce four new CD Club releases next Monday.

Creature Features in Burbank will be holding two film music related events tomorrow, February 27th -- a panel discussion and CD signing for THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, currently scheduled to feature composer Bruce Broughton and director Mike Gabriel, at 2:00 p.m; and a restrospective and CD signing for the imminent [SPOILER!] Intrada release of music from the 1980s revival of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, hosted by our own Lukas Kendall and currently scheduled to feature composers Dennis McCarthy and William Goldstein and writer-producer Alan Brennert, at 4:30 p.m. 

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FSMO -- New Issue Is Live!
Posted By Tim Curran 2/23/2016 - 2:00 AM
The February edition of FSM ONLINE is now live. This month's cover story is an interview with MARK KORVEN about his terrifying score to the THE WITCH. Also this issue, RACHEL PORTMAN talks about RACE and DESPITE THE FALLING SNOW; PANU AALTIO discusses his music for the Finnish documentary TALE OF A LAKE; Cary Wong offers his Oscar predictions and reflections; concert reviews of ENNIO MORRICONE - The 60 Years of Music World Tour and ALICE IN WONDERLAND by DANNY ELFMAN at the Royal Albert Hall; a MORRICONE Score Restore takes on LE PROFESSIONNEL; an archival interview with BRUCE BROUGHTON; an interview with FEDERICO JUSID about MISCONDUCT; THE GIFTED scare up some synths in SOUTHBOUND; the final installment of Soundtrack Obscurities; more embedded audio clips, and more.

Subscribers, you’ll get notification by email shortly. Or, just go here to log in. For those who want to join FSM ONLINE, go here, click on the “Subscribe” link and follow the instructions. And email us if you have any questions.


Your Friends at FSM ONLINE

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Aisle Seat 2-23: Arrow, Grindhouse & New Releases
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/22/2016 - 9:00 PM
Anyone else going through infant potty training? Believe me, it’s a drain on movie viewing! Without any further discussion of my personal life, here’s a look at what I’ve been able to sample over the last few days – with some tasty exploitation favorites on Blu-Ray being first and foremost on the list.
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Film Score Friday 2/19/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/18/2016 - 9:00 PM
Intrada announced two new CDs this week -- an expanded version of the soundtrack to Disney's 1990 animated sequel THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, featuring more than twice as much Bruce Broughton music as in the original soundtrack release (this was the project that kept Broughton from scoring Home Alone); and the score for the 2013 India-set drama SIDDHARTH, composed by Andrew Lockington (City of Ember, Journey to the Center of the Earth, San Andreas).

The latest release from Varese Sarabande's subscription LP-to-CD series is Jay Ferguson's score for 20th Century Fox's Nightmare on Elm Street-ish 1988 horror film BAD DREAMS, starring Jennifer Rubin, Bruce Abbott, Richard Lynch, Dean Cameron and Harris Yulin, which was the first feature from writer-director Andrew Fleming (Threesome, The Craft, Dick, Hamlet 2).

This year's Grammy winners included Antonio Sanchez's BIRDMAN score for Score Soundtrack for Visual Media; Lonnie Lynn (Common), Cle Smith and John Stephens (John Legend) for Selma's "Glory" for Song Written for Visual Media, and GLEN CAMPBELL: I'LL BE ME for Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. Fifty Shades of Grey's Oscar-nominated song "Earned It" won R & B Performance for The Weeknd. 

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Aisle Seat 2-16: February Freeze Edition
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/15/2016 - 9:00 PM
Shout Factory’s first Blu-Ray volume of THE VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION has quickly become one of the most collectible releases in its format’s history. The 2013 anthology combined various films from the American-International library and went out of print a year ago; now fetching over $200 on the secondary market, its value is likely to increase over time, even if the individual movies within it are re-released piecemeal. For that reason alone, fans are advised to snap up Shout’s second volume, as well as the all-new VINCENT PRICE COLLECTION VOLUME III, which streets next week.
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Film Score Friday 2/12/16
Posted By Scott Bettencourt 2/11/2016 - 9:00 PM
Intrada plans to release two new CDs next week.


Day of Anger
 - Riz Ortolani - GDM
Devil's Knot - Mychael Danna - Varese Sarabande CD Club
- Pascal Gaigne - Quartet
Fracchia Contro Dracula
 - Bruno Zambrini - Beat
 - Benjamin Wallfisch - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Il Dolce Corpo Di Deborah
- Nora Orlandi - Quartet
Il Sogno Di Zorro/Il Giustiziere Di Mezzogiorno
 - Ubaldo Continiello - Beat
Marius Ruhland: Musik Fur Film, Fershehen Und Konzertsaal
 - Marius Ruhland - Alhambra
Person of Interest: Seasons 3 & 4 - Ramin Djawadi - Varese Sarabande
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
 - Fernando Velazquez - Varese Sarabande
Quel Pomeriggio Maledetto
- Stelvio Cipriani - Quartet
Rise of the Legend
 - Shigeru Umebayshi - Varese Sarabande CD Club
The Seducers
 - Sante Maria Romitelli - Beat
Serengeti Darf Nicht Sterben - Wolfgang Zeller - Alhambra
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
 - Bernard Herrmann - Kritzerland
Suits - Christopher Tyng - Phineas Atwood
Tale of a Lake
 - Panu Aaltio - MovieScore Media
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom - Jasha Klebe - Phineas Atwood
The X-Files Vol. 1 (re-release)
- Mark Snow - La-La Land 

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Aisle Seat 2-9: Kino, Criterion & Crimson Peak
Posted By Andy Dursin 2/8/2016 - 9:00 PM
Tim Matheson might’ve been over the hill by the time he starred in UP THE CREEK (**½, 96 mins., 1984, R), a surprisingly watchable Orion Pictures release with Matheson and fellow “Animal House” alum Stephen Furst vying to win a white water rafting contest. Yet this Samuel Z. Arkoff release still boasts genial fun for ‘80s comedy fans, even if it never quite reaches the level of hilarity its premise suggests.
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Film Score Monthly Online
Music at the 54th New York Film Festival
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Today in Film Score History:
October 28
Carl Davis born (1936)
Gershon Kingsley born (1922)
Gil Melle died (2004)
Howard Blake born (1938)
Jerry Fielding records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “The Exchange” (1968)
Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Alfred Hitchcock Hour episode “Memo from Purgatory” (1964)
Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Submarine” (1969)
Oliver Nelson died (1975)
Recording sessions begin for James Newton Howard’s score for Eye for an Eye (1995)
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