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 Posted:   May 8, 2024 - 9:23 PM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

I recently went to a live concert of Close Encounters with the score played live to film and I must say the final edit of the movie dials out some of his best music.

- Barnstorming cue, the movie dials out an incredible brass passage
- Visitors, some of the best harmonic lead up to Roy being led away by the ET's is also dialed out
- Encounter with Rimbaldi's alien during the Kodaly hand signal sequence, the five note sequence isn't even heard when the alien gives the signal (though the music as we hear on the soundtrack is quite clearly there for this moment)

The necessities of film editing at the very last minute have to take precedence but in these cases I feel like Spielberg, staunch advocate of the music that he is, especially when the music is a plot point, could have done something (more so given the director's edits we now have access to).

Here's another one, not Spielberg related but galls me to no end. 1979 Dracula, climactic scene, Dracula's death, Johnny had waited the whole score to go brilliant major chord! And in the movie, it's just dialed out like who cares. What! It's the whole point of the composition.

These poor edits make me sad. Am I the only one who noticed them?

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2024 - 9:29 PM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

Should say, at the (Chicago Symphony!) concerts I am talking about, they played all of Barry's Abduction (with chorus!) and all of the Arrival of Sky Harbor, neither of which you get to hear in the film, so I have zero to complain about.

 
 
 Posted:   May 8, 2024 - 10:11 PM   
 By:   RonBurbella   (Member)

I was there at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra live-to-film CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. I definitely noticed that the
music tracks burned into my memory were edited down a bit to fit the edit of the film that was presented. I felt
the same disappointment that you did, when the music that I know by heart did not quite match the film as presented.

However, what WAS performed was most excellently done, just not completely complete.

Ron Burbella

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2024 - 5:36 AM   
 By:   maurizio.caschetto   (Member)

For some of the big vfx sequences in CE3K, Williams wrote music to rough versions of the edit or sometimes even to blank footage, using just descriptions or storyboards, so the film kept being massaged after scoring and that led to the music being conformed through editing, with several trims or in some cases even being completely dialed out.

As far as I know, the live to picture presentation restores at least some of the cues as intended by the composer. I think this is one of the perks of these ventures, whenver it's done right.e

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2024 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I had no idea this sort of restoration was being done in live performance. Must involve a lot of work, since the players must sync to something other than the actual film. Much as I love the music and the composer's vision, this practice does seem questionable.

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2024 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   alexp   (Member)

As far as I know, the live to picture presentation restores at least some of the cues as intended by the composer. I think this is one of the perks of these ventures, whenver it's done right.e

The 'at least some of the cue as intended by the composer' is correct...stressing heavily on 'at least'.

The end credits of the 'live-to-picture' concert-version of CE3K doesn't use Williams' original arrangement over that sequence where we hear another placement of 'When You Wish Upon a Star' (first heard in the end-credits of 1980-Special Edition cut).

 
 
 Posted:   May 9, 2024 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   alexp   (Member)


These poor edits make me sad. Am I the only one who noticed them?


My advice is don't go to any of the Star Wars Live-to-picture concerts. The music that gets performed in those are the same music-edits as heard in the film-edits (the 2011 cuts).

 
 
 Posted:   May 25, 2024 - 7:27 AM   
 By:   DusteeKeyz   (Member)

Even though I'm there for the music with these concerts, I still expect to see the film presented in full. It feels untrustworthy when the cuts of the films they're presenting have been edited down from whatever the standard release is.

Film Concerts Live announced sometime within the past year that they're making Fiddler on The Roof available as a live-to-picture concert (which is great because Williams's arrangements of that score deserve to be played live). However, according to the "production info" dropdown on their website, they've cut nearly a half hour of footage from the actual film (although, a quick look at the "alternate versions" section on the IMDb page says that the film was cut down this way for a 1979 reissue, so it's nothing new but still). It's not the same as when you go see an orchestra do Amadeus live-to-picture, where they just show the original theatrical cut, where effectively nothing has been "removed" from what the public had initially seen in theaters.

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2024 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   alexp   (Member)

Even though I'm there for the music with these concerts, I still expect to see the film presented in full. It feels untrustworthy when the cuts of the films they're presenting have been edited down from whatever the standard release is.


The only times that I’ve seen these ‘live-to-film’ concerts alter the film is in the end-credits…it gets sped-up so that a shorter musicial arrangement for the end credits can fit in. That was the case with the live-to-picture concert version of ‘Jurassic Park’. The Williams' film-version of the end credits was not used. It was replaced with the concert-version where its closing is the ending of the cue, “T-Rex to the Rescue”



This method was also done in the 'live-to-film' concert version of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens" resulting in the duration of the end-credits being 3 minutes and 21 seconds shorter than the theatrical version. The sped-up occured at the remaining half of the end-credits after the “A Bad Robot Production” card was displayed. Because of this, the music for that sequence was changed. It used the album version of the end credits up until the the final 19 seconds where it gets dumped and replaced by the Rebel Fanfare ending from SW:ROTJ in a different key.

You can hear that in this Facebook video:
https://www.facebook.com/DrTunMyint/videos/2138479436342302/


In 'Superman - In Concert', the end-credits for that film was altered a different way. Between Superman's 4th-wall smile and the end-credit sequence, we see the 'Superman - In Concert' image logo on the screen.



BTW, no music is played during the end-credits for that concert.

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2024 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

End credits have become endless and therefore tiresome. Almost nobody stays to see them. The musical response to this expansion has become anti-musical: just paste together bits from the score, with maybe a pop song tossed in. I see no problem with omitting all this in live performance. CE3K is the prime example. The true ending -- the diminuendo as the spaceship fades into the distance -- is exquisite. Williams preserved this jewel in his suite. The rest is for cleaning up the popcorn.

I'm sure there are exceptions. Care to suggest them?

 
 Posted:   May 26, 2024 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

End Credits for concerts (and intermission placement) is entirely dictated by the running time of the film so as to avoid going into a block of overtime, which kicks in if an orchestra is on stage for 75 minutes following tuning and after 2-1/2 accrued hours. So any movie more than 135 minutes is affected. That's why the Superman credits are not played. Jaws, Raiders, E.T, and Jurassic Park are all short enough that there's time to do the credits. Close Encounters is right on the edge. John Williams did want to have more concertized endings where possible, thus the changes there for E.T. & Jurassic Park. Contractually the credits do need to be run on screen, but it can happen after the bows are taken.

You didn't have wait for the concerts to find changed End Credits in Williams scores. He did that great ending for Attack of the Clones but it wasn't used in the movie, and the credits for Always and Hook ended up with tracked music. And then there was the End Credits for Far and Away getting bumped by Enya.

There is no evidence, by the way, that any of the cues we hear in Close Encounters were done wild, despite that anecdote being out there forever. Williams scored sequences that were missing effects and there was film editing done after scoring, but there's nothing unusual about that. The track "The Approach," which was a fantastic discovery for the 40th anniversary edition soundtrack, seems to be the only cue done completely without picture.

 
 
 Posted:   May 26, 2024 - 5:47 PM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

I do appreciate that Williams was writing to a timing rather than an final edit in those Close Encounters sequences. I guess it’s just always been jarring to me, having been so familiar with the LP way back when, that the bars of music I always enjoyed most managed to be cut when it was time to make that final edit. He wasn’t “robbed” as my titles indicates, he just wrote more great music than there was ultimately film for smile

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2024 - 4:00 AM   
 By:   maurizio.caschetto   (Member)

There is no evidence, by the way, that any of the cues we hear in Close Encounters were done wild, despite that anecdote being out there forever. Williams scored sequences that were missing effects and there was film editing done after scoring, but there's nothing unusual about that. The track "The Approach," which was a fantastic discovery for the 40th anniversary edition soundtrack, seems to be the only cue done completely without picture.

Thanks for the clarification, Mike. I never intended that JW scored sequences wild à la Morricone, but that some vfx shots were indeed missing and that he had slugs with perhaps only descriptions of what the shot was going to look like.

 
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