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 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 4:27 PM   
 By:   lacoq   (Member)

One of the most frustrating things to read or see is a “new” interview with Williams which 99% of the time ends up being the same old same old: riveting questions about the shark motif in Jaws, or how long have you collaborated with Mr. Spielberg? Blah blah blah......
Except for those few writers like Jon Burlingame's work, I come away from said interview(s) learning absolutely nothing! So in the hope that some reporter may chance upon our little forum here, I herewith submit three questions to ask the maestro. After all he is really the last connection to the age of many of the giants of film music. And the last to actually work directly with them. There is so much he could tell us. Nothing salacious, just fascinating tidbits:

1. You were good friends with the great Bernard Herrmann. Did you ever show him your work in progress and ask for his advice? I know he once told you, when you were complaining about wanting to write a symphony, said “who's stopping you”? Did he help guide you to possible solutions for specific musical problems? Teach you a bit of orchestration, etc?

2. In many of your interviews, you talk about really having to work on what finally becomes the theme or themes. Adding some notes here, crossing out a couple of notes there. Until you get that theme that sounds fresh and memorable. Can you name some themes we all know that came to you fully formed and ready to go? Maybe while playing a round of golf or shaving? You always say that you can do better even after writing a great score and you are never really satisfied with what you compose. There must be times when your head hits the pillow after a day of work when you say to yourself, perhaps after writing the theme for Jurassic Park, “ that one will do the trick! They’re going to love that one.”?

3. When you see a rough cut of a film for the first time do you you “hear” music in your head? Maybe a theme or motif. Do you bring along some manuscript to quickly jot down your ideas while watching? Does that fresh first time viewing give you solid musical ideas?

4. (I’m cheating with a fourth question) -

Can you give us sense of what it was like to see Herrmann vs. Waxman vs. Newman vs. Tiomkin working in the recording studio? We know Herrmann’s way while recording. What were the personalities of the others at work? And besides Herrmann, did you socialize with any of the others? Did Mr. Waxman ever teach you or help you with your learning process?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 4:45 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

5. How might your career have turned out if you didn't devote it to scoring children's movies?

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 4:57 PM   
 By:   Replicant006   (Member)

1) What director would you like to work with whom you've never worked with before?

2) What are your thoughts on Shore's music for the LOTR films?

3) What film do you regret turning down to do the score for?

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

When you're asked to do a replacement score and given a crushing time deadline...how much fun is it to put the screws to the producer and demand twice your normal salary?

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 6:35 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Ginger or Mary Ann?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 7:07 PM   
 By:   barryfan   (Member)

I am most curious as to why the OP made this thread about three questions and then asked four. LOL

But he exactly right. EVERY SINGLE interview I have seen with Williams lately he tells the Schindler's List story. "I told Steven he needs a better composer. He replied, 'I know but they are all dead.' " I mean... c'mon.... that's a great little tidbit, but after all the famous people he has met, all the landmark movies he has worked on, why are we hearing the SAME FRIGGIN THING over and over?

How about....

1. Is there a film you felt you never really found the right theme for? And had to settle for less?

2. After all these years in the business, what is your biggest regret?

3. Do you feel the work you've done in the last say, 10 years, measures up to the rest of your body of work?

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

1) What director would you like to work with whom you've never worked with before?

2) What are your thoughts on Shore's music for the LOTR films?

3) What film do you regret turning down to do the score for?



I can help you...

Scorsese

Sorry, I don’t listen to others scores.

Jaws 4, The Swarm...It would of been my best Comedy Scores Ever. Lol.

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

Ginger or Mary Ann?


I Can Help you...


Many Ann, Made a Mean Ass Coconut Pie.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 8:59 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

Could you talk about your work scoring films directed by Hitchcock, Wyler, Sinatra and Gene Kelly?

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 9:24 PM   
 By:   Replicant006   (Member)

1) What director would you like to work with whom you've never worked with before?

2) What are your thoughts on Shore's music for the LOTR films?

3) What film do you regret turning down to do the score for?



I can help you...

Scorsese

Sorry, I don’t listen to others scores.

Jaws 4, The Swarm...It would of been my best Comedy Scores Ever. Lol.


Scorsese, indeed. Makes you wonder what Williams would have put together for a film like Gangs of New York or The Aviator.

 
 Posted:   Feb 17, 2020 - 9:26 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

Could you talk about your work scoring films directed by Hitchcock, Wyler, Sinatra and Gene Kelly?

This will help you.....


On William Wyler:

That was for “How to Steal a Million” back in the middle ’60s and it was quite a delicious comedy with Peter O’Toole. What I remember about Wyler was that was he was a very, not a gruff person, but very direct and also very quiet. I don’t recall playing any music at the piano before we scored. At the scoring sessions he was very friendly and appreciative. The dubbing went extremely well. My recollection of him is of a very focussed professional. I think he was the kind of person that relied on musicians to compose and interpret and record his music. I don’t know this for a fact, whether he was a concert-goer or a particular music lover, but I don’t remember him being specific about the details of the musical score. We got on very well and that’s about it. Anecdotes about Wyler don’t come to mind particularly beyond that.

On Frank Sinatra.

I conducted several times for Frank singing at shows and appearances, but I had the privilege of composing the score for the only film he ever directed, “None But the Brave.” Again, along the lines of my continued good fortune, I mean, Frank Sinatra had the reputation of being a very difficult guy, but he couldn’t have been sweeter to me. We discussed the music a little bit. He came on the recording stage briefly when we recorded the music. He sent thank you notes and beautiful gifts and was very attentive and very friendly. It was a very good experience. That score, incidentally, was conducted by Maurice Stoloff. It was done at Warner Bros. but Stoloff was a very good and longstanding friend of Sinatra. It might have been Stoloff who convinced Frank to ask me to do the score. I was very surprised about that because Frank Sinatra knew all the musicians in Hollywood and could have had anyone he wished. I felt at the time, and still do, that I was a very lucky person to have that assignment. I had known him slightly before. I never played the piano for Frank because he always had his own pianist; but later I conducted some shows for him, many years later. We would reminisce about “None But the Brave.” He was then, as he was earlier on, very grateful and appreciative of what I tried to do for him.

On Gene Kelly:

Williams: Yes, yes. “A Guide for the Married Man.”A good experience also. Gene was very demanding. In contrast to Wyler, for example, he was very hands-on, so to speak, where music was concerned. He would stand over the moviola and talk about tempo, where it should increase where the comedy does this and that and almost kind of directing the composition of the music the way that a choreographer would do, dealing principally with aspects of speed and dynamics. He was very good and very experienced and very helpful. I also had known Gene before. My wife was a friend of his wife and while we’d never worked together before it seemed as though I’d known him for quite a few years. I found him a very hard working guy. He could be a tough taskmaster where music was concerned. I enjoyed it. We got on very well. I felt instructed by him.

On Robert Altman:

We did a television series called “Kraft Theater.” Bob was the director and I did many shows at Universal with him. I did several shows for Altman on the “Kraft Theater” and several pictures for him and he has been a close personal friend through the years. I will also say that indirectly through Stanley Wilson, and through Jennings Lang, being the vice president of the company, these two fellows introduced me to Steven Spielberg, and that was one of the more important connections in my professional and personal life. They also introduced me to Alfred Hitchcock, for whom I did “Family Plot,” which was the last film he made.

On Alfred Hitcock:

We could have another whole conversation on that relationship because it was filled with wonderful stories. I used to have lunch with him alone and we’d talk about the film for about five minutes and then he would speak to me, knowledgeably about the state of British music. He was enormously interested in British music from between the wars, of Vaughn Williams, Benjamin Britton, William Walton, and others. He knew their work and knew what was happening in British music and was greatly interested in it. He knew British theater as well. He was a man full of marvelous stories and history. It was a great experience being in his presence. He was a lover of Elgar, I think, more than anything. He talked about Elgar and Holst all the time and was very interested in Walton. He had such detail at the tip of his fingers of all things theatrical in London in that particular period. As well as musical. He paid attention to all of this, and retained it all. Very impressive.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   barryfan   (Member)

Could you talk about your work scoring films directed by Hitchcock, Wyler, Sinatra and Gene Kelly?

This will help you.....


On William Wyler:

That was for “How to Steal a Million” back in the middle ’60s and it was quite a delicious comedy with Peter O’Toole. What I remember about Wyler was that was he was a very, not a gruff person, but very direct and also very quiet. I don’t recall playing any music at the piano before we scored. At the scoring sessions he was very friendly and appreciative. The dubbing went extremely well. My recollection of him is of a very focussed professional. I think he was the kind of person that relied on musicians to compose and interpret and record his music. I don’t know this for a fact, whether he was a concert-goer or a particular music lover, but I don’t remember him being specific about the details of the musical score. We got on very well and that’s about it. Anecdotes about Wyler don’t come to mind particularly beyond that.

On Frank Sinatra.

I conducted several times for Frank singing at shows and appearances, but I had the privilege of composing the score for the only film he ever directed, “None But the Brave.” Again, along the lines of my continued good fortune, I mean, Frank Sinatra had the reputation of being a very difficult guy, but he couldn’t have been sweeter to me. We discussed the music a little bit. He came on the recording stage briefly when we recorded the music. He sent thank you notes and beautiful gifts and was very attentive and very friendly. It was a very good experience. That score, incidentally, was conducted by Maurice Stoloff. It was done at Warner Bros. but Stoloff was a very good and longstanding friend of Sinatra. It might have been Stoloff who convinced Frank to ask me to do the score. I was very surprised about that because Frank Sinatra knew all the musicians in Hollywood and could have had anyone he wished. I felt at the time, and still do, that I was a very lucky person to have that assignment. I had known him slightly before. I never played the piano for Frank because he always had his own pianist; but later I conducted some shows for him, many years later. We would reminisce about “None But the Brave.” He was then, as he was earlier on, very grateful and appreciative of what I tried to do for him.

On Gene Kelly:

Williams: Yes, yes. “A Guide for the Married Man.”A good experience also. Gene was very demanding. In contrast to Wyler, for example, he was very hands-on, so to speak, where music was concerned. He would stand over the moviola and talk about tempo, where it should increase where the comedy does this and that and almost kind of directing the composition of the music the way that a choreographer would do, dealing principally with aspects of speed and dynamics. He was very good and very experienced and very helpful. I also had known Gene before. My wife was a friend of his wife and while we’d never worked together before it seemed as though I’d known him for quite a few years. I found him a very hard working guy. He could be a tough taskmaster where music was concerned. I enjoyed it. We got on very well. I felt instructed by him.

On Robert Altman:

We did a television series called “Kraft Theater.” Bob was the director and I did many shows at Universal with him. I did several shows for Altman on the “Kraft Theater” and several pictures for him and he has been a close personal friend through the years. I will also say that indirectly through Stanley Wilson, and through Jennings Lang, being the vice president of the company, these two fellows introduced me to Steven Spielberg, and that was one of the more important connections in my professional and personal life. They also introduced me to Alfred Hitchcock, for whom I did “Family Plot,” which was the last film he made.

On Alfred Hitcock:

We could have another whole conversation on that relationship because it was filled with wonderful stories. I used to have lunch with him alone and we’d talk about the film for about five minutes and then he would speak to me, knowledgeably about the state of British music. He was enormously interested in British music from between the wars, of Vaughn Williams, Benjamin Britton, William Walton, and others. He knew their work and knew what was happening in British music and was greatly interested in it. He knew British theater as well. He was a man full of marvelous stories and history. It was a great experience being in his presence. He was a lover of Elgar, I think, more than anything. He talked about Elgar and Holst all the time and was very interested in Walton. He had such detail at the tip of his fingers of all things theatrical in London in that particular period. As well as musical. He paid attention to all of this, and retained it all. Very impressive.



Thank you for posting this! It was interesting read!

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 1:19 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Source(s)?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 2:34 PM   
 By:   BrendonKelly   (Member)

What did Richard Lester say to you that made you not want to score Superman II?

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Those Williams quotes above are just rubbish, and pretty clearly so. Concocted by some random person, using bits and pieces of facts about the films and scores, or bizarre rewritings of actual quotes. If you want REAL quotes from Williams on, say, Robert Altman, then seek out the brilliant book "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" by Mitchel Zukoff.

If I had the opportunity to interview Williams myself, and only had three questions, I would try to make them as broad as possible, allowing for the most content. And they would most certainly be about his early years, or more obscure material.

If I had more questions at my disposal, I would ask about specific works and biographical facts. I would not be asking about 'process'.

 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 3:52 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

What did Richard Lester say to you that made you not want to score Superman II?


John Williams has said it was the treatment of Richard Donner by the Salkinds, and including to save major money, The LSO was out!

Also...Williams was on a major time crunch ...Starting with the Boston Pops, and The Salkinds wanting to release Superman ll in Europe Six months before US Release.

If my facts are correct! Since Lil Dick Lester had worked with Ken Thorne on previous film, I never believe that Williams recommend Ken Thorne to Lil Dick Lester.


We should contact Johnny T...and ask him these important question..get the real scoop on who what where why and how come!

 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 3:56 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

Those Williams quotes above are just rubbish, and pretty clearly so. Concocted by some random person, using bits and pieces of facts about the films and scores, or bizarre rewritings of actual quotes. If you want REAL quotes from Williams on, say, Robert Altman, then seek out the brilliant book "Robert Altman: The Oral Biography" by Mitchel Zukoff.

If I had the opportunity to interview Williams myself, and only had three questions, I would try to make them as broad as possible, allowing for the most content. And they would most certainly be about his early years, or more obscure material.

If I had more questions at my disposal, I would ask about specific works and biographical facts. I would not be asking about 'process'.



Thor are you stealing medication out of ur moms purse again. Without you knowing any facts of where my source came from..you pull a Trumpstool...failure.


https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=2ahUKEwjhpvPxptznAhWXlp4KHUrsCgQQFjAHegQIARAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fthecliffedge.com%2F%3Fp%3D3049&usg=AOvVaw3mhF2NtQ0FPI9NwBjFmAwy

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 4:14 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

The most important question: How did you feel living in the shadow of Jerry's overwhelming genius all those years?

 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 4:20 PM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

The most important question: How did you feel living in the shadow of Jerry's overwhelming genius all those years?


Fucking moron and fucking Thor also..just some massive dickheads...this place has bottomed out with dumb clucks.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 18, 2020 - 5:14 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

The most important question: How did you feel living in the shadow of Jerry's overwhelming genius all those years?


Fucking moron and fucking Thor also..just some massive dickheads...this place has bottomed out with dumb clucks.


Please restrain yourself, Sir. May I suggest a chill pill?

 
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