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 Posted:   Sep 14, 2020 - 3:29 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Maybe you're trying to find some common sense, where none exists, Dylan wink
But yes, incredible that this came to pass...and that no one has ever mentioned or raised it, but you, after all these years!!
It makes the Round Midnight sin...sorry, win, seem normal by comparison. At least Herbie squeezed 10 minutes of score in amongst all the jazz standards.
But let's not forget Delerue won his only Oscar for people voting for Vivaldi, in the main.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2020 - 3:39 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Maybe you're trying to find some common sense, where none exists, Dylan wink
But yes, incredible that this came to pass...and that no one has ever mentioned or raised it, but you, after all these years!!
It makes the Round Midnight sin...sorry, win, seem normal by comparison. At least Herbie squeezed 10 minutes of score in amongst all the jazz standards.
But let's not forget Delerue won his only Oscar for people voting for Vivaldi, in the main.


The year Vivaldi beat STAR TREK THE MOTION PICTURE!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2020 - 3:40 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Haha, yeah.
Well, at least he lost out to a Legendary Composer wink

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2020 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

I've been on film music message boards since 1999 (or so) and there are quite a few Best Original Score winners that are generally considered "unworthy" by the consensus. "Fame" has always been among those, but as a namecheck - I never saw the score actually being discussed (unlike "Round Midnight" or others). As I said, though the film also interested me because of the director Alan Parker, one of my chief motivations for watching "Fame" was to hear the score that won an Oscar over four scores that many (most?) consider to be among the greatest scores of their era. So I watched it, open-minded and all ears. And... there isn't a score.

I would say a film score that doesn't exist being given the most conspicuous film award in the world is the single weirdest thing to ever happen in the history of film music.

And yet, I believe there is a logical explanation. The rules for qualification must have been changed for 1980 (and that year alone) for this to have happened, but there doesn't seem to be anything about this on record.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2020 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Somebody should write an article about it and show up how silly the Oscars are, but... wink

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I've been on film music message boards since 1999 (or so) and there are quite a few Best Original Score winners that are generally considered "unworthy" by the consensus. "Fame" has always been among those, but as a namecheck - I never saw the score actually being discussed (unlike "Round Midnight" or others). As I said, though the film also interested me because of the director Alan Parker, one of my chief motivations for watching "Fame" was to hear the score that won an Oscar over four scores that many (most?) consider to be among the greatest scores of their era. So I watched it, open-minded and all ears. And... there isn't a score.

I would say a film score that doesn't exist being given the most conspicuous film award in the world is the single weirdest thing to ever happen in the history of film music.

And yet, I believe there is a logical explanation. The rules for qualification must have been changed for 1980 (and that year alone) for this to have happened, but there doesn't seem to be anything about this on record.


There was no "Best Adaptation or Song Score" (or whatever) category that year (and the next year too, I do believe), so I guess they conflated that with "Best Original Score." Catchy songs always beat instrumental scores. (I remember the Alan Menken Era all too well.)

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 4:53 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Yes. And deserving or not, this is where it won IMHO--



You do not get a better final shot than that if you're into film/music - film music.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 5:08 PM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

Yes, I suppose the only explanation one can cobble together is that in 1980 both the Oscars and the Globes changed their qualifications for "Best Original Score" to mean "Best Original, Adaptation, or Song Score" but without actually renaming the award. And nobody - that I can tell - seemed to notice or care.

Though we have yet to verify this, I think it must be pretty close to the truth. And if so, I'm guessing this is the only year a selection of songs mysteriously qualified for Best Original Score at both the Oscars and the Globes?

It would indeed be a great investigative article - how *exactly* did a group of songs win Best Original Score at the Oscars?

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 5:17 PM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Yeah it's fairly obvious they just included it as it features original music and lyrics i.e. a score. What other category could it have been in at the time?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

Well, I think for every other year the songs in "Fame" would've only qualified individually for Best Original Song (which they also qualified for in 1980, in addition to also presumably qualifying as a lump sum for Best Original Score). Having a group of songs eligible for Original Score wasn't the usual practice before "Fame" and hasn't been since (that I know of - somebody mentioned Alan Menken, but that isn't the same case because Menken composed proper scores for those Disney films as well as writing the music for the songs).

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 5:27 PM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

Far as I'm concerned, if someone writes original music for a film even if it is in song form it's still a score. I don't think a score simply has to be instrumental "incidental" music. Not from my corner of the couch anyway. A musical is a score.

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2020 - 6:40 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Oscars are irrelevant: change my mind.


Special invitation to PandaMan.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2020 - 1:03 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

"Far as I'm concerned, if someone writes original music for a film even if it is in song form it's still a score. I don't think a score simply has to be instrumental "incidental" music. Not from my corner of the couch anyway. A musical is a score"
-----------------------
I'm the complete opposite on this.
To me, a song is a song, either dropped into a film (or musical) to further the story (musical-wise) or sell the film, as a marketing tool/sales product, and it's usually placed at the beginning, end or during a montage or big crux moment.
The score, on the other hand, is the non-diegetic music that heightens the drama, suspense, action...whatever, basically the button-pushing hoisted upon the audience to enhance their emotional involvement in the film.
The ghost music, if you will.
Yes, there will always be anomalies to this (The Graduate, with it's mainly song soundtrack...although even that film had source/score cues by Dave Grusin, or something like Saturday Night Fever), but by and large, I've always seen the two (song vs score) operating from different points of contact.
That's how I've always thought about the whole shebang.

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2020 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Oscars are irrelevant: change my mind.


Special invitation to PandaMan.


Please. Someone, change my mind. wink

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2020 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

People often say, "I don't understand how such-and-such didn't win the Oscar?!?"

And I often reply, "I do!"

Take, for example, STAR TREK—THE MOTION PICTURE.

Was it the best score of 1979? Yup!

Was it a surprise that it didn't win? Not at all!

In fact, the real shock would have been if it actually did win.

See, this is what happens when the vast majority of the voting population are basically ignorant or not that invested in what they're voting for.

To re-cap: The scores are nominated by the music branch, i.e. by the people who know. But the voting is open to everyone, and most people just aren't that invested in that category.

So how does somebody vote when they aren't that well informed about the choices?

They go and do their research, right?

Yeah, yeah, okay, stop laughing and pick yourself up off the floor.

No, they take a wild punt, which is some mix of:

1. Voting for whatever's top of mind
2. Voting for whatever you remember some bloke banging on about
3. You do a bit of mental arithmetic, 2 + 2, and get 7.
4. You ignore any facts and support the film you want to support.

Starting to sound like politics, right?

A lot of voters would have thought, "Star Trek? Nah, it's Star Trek. I didn't see it. I think I remember reading that it was rubbish. Nah, that can't have been the best score."

Meanwhile, a lot of them would have remembered that this nice LP called A LITTLE ROMANCE got sent to them. If it got sent to them, it must be important, right?

I'm hardly surprised that FAME won. I mean, it was a musical, and everybody's playing the songs on the radio, and the LP did massive business. So, it must have had the best music, right?

Cheers

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2020 - 2:18 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

I'm hardly surprised that FAME won. I mean, it was a musical, and everybody's playing the songs on the radio, and the LP did massive business. So, it must have had the best music, right?

Your post is a great summation, Stephen. But I would rather live in a world in which tracks from ALTERED STATES were played heavily on the radio.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2020 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

But how did it even get nominated by its peers, when it didn't have any actual score in it?
It's alright saying the great unwashed voted it top music of that year.
But surely the composers 'in the know' should have vetoed its very inclusion in the first place.
I wonder would we be saying Elephant Man only won it cos of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, if that score had triumphed?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2020 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I remember reading one Academy member saying he let his children tick the boxes on the ballot.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2020 - 5:41 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Oscars are irrelevant: change my mind.

Special invitation to PandaMan.


Please. Someone, change my mind. wink


Tonight's Oscar is awarded to Barbara Bouchet for "Best Babe of 1968"

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2020 - 1:52 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

Another way of looking at it is this:

FAME wins. The 1% who are specialists scratch their heads.

FAME loses. The 99% who are popularists scratch their heads.

Seriously, most of the people I've met in my life would look at me as if I had three eyes and tentacles if I said I'd sooner listen to the score of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK than the music than FAME.

Even though you and I, as specialists, know that THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK stands like a tower over FAME in terms of its delicacies as a film score.

Popular votes are always swung by the popularists, not the specialists.

Again, sounds like politics, right?

Admittedly, the Oscars aren't quite that extreme. At least all the voters are IN or AROUND the film business. It's not like it's the ignorant public at large.

But the principle still holds true that most people voting in that category won't be voting from a position of specialist knowledge or research, they'll be going with what's top of mind plus assumptions and prejudices.

Something like THE OMEN (a worthy winner) was helped by the fact the film was a surprise hit, and there was a lot of buzz about the music.

Something like STAR TREK—THE MOTION PICTURE was hindered by being considered a creative and commercial failure (relatively speaking) plus snooty prejudices against things like Star Trek.

Winning the Oscar is a competition to become top of mind with the general voting population.

That means generating buzz. Talk. I often think the best way to predict the Oscar is to look at where the buzz is and where the snooty prejudice factors come in.

But moods swing. In 1979, people—artistes—probably turned their nose up at Star Trek, just like the used to turn their nose up at James Bond, but as we saw with Bond, what is once 'vulgar, popular entertainment' later becomes the in-thing.

Cheers

 
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