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 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 12:43 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I sure would be very interested in Howard Shore's KING KONG score.

Also, would an expanded version of James Newton Howard's score of KING KONG be worthwile? The release as is plays very well, so it is a good album. Yet he composed so much music for the film, I wonder, there must be some great cues missing from the current release? Should suffice for a good double CD, presumably.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

I saw it at the cinema when it opened & enjoyed it, & I think the longer version on Blu-ray plays better. The problem I have with the film is that the tone is all over the place, it's jokey, it's serious, it's romantic. The uneasy & disturbing scenes with the tribe don't seem to belong to this film as all...& then there's Jack Black! I think once they're over the wall & on the island & fighting monsters it all works a treat (except having Kong jumping around like a demented Jack Russell robs him of any dignity, & his fight with all those T-Rex's is way over choreographed). The New York scene at the end goes on to long (that frozen lake scene shouldn't have made it past the rough cut). I think it made a profit (IMDB, budget $207,000,000, world-wide gross $562,363,449), but not as much as Universal hoped. I think I prefer Kong: Skull Island, it's larky & fun.

The "frozen lake" scene is one of my favorite parts of the film. As someone who's not a Jack Black fan, I was pleasantly surprised how good he was in the film.

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   DougAdams   (Member)

The overall concept of Shore’s KONG was similar to what was heard in the final version: lighter jazz-inflected material for the New York scenes, heavy orchestral stuff for the island, and tender writing for Kong and Ann.

The emotional material was originally scored for cello ensemble w/ soprano soloist. (A musical representation of Kong and Ann, obviously.) This was expanded in the score, and set more orchestrally. From my biased point of view, it was some of the best lyrical material Shore has ever composed — harmonically and texturally inventive, and enormously moving.

The first third of the score was fully composed and recorded. The final third was composed and mocked up. The middle section was largely incomplete, since the effects were in flux and the picture wasn’t locked. (Although the dinosaur stampede was completely recorded. If memory serves, that’s what was partially heard in the video blog released shortly before everything fell apart.)

There had also been some discussions regarding an end credits song … likely a setting of the Kong and Ann material. A well-known band was in talks to collaborate.

Will it ever be released? We came extremely close about ten years ago, but didn’t move ahead. Some of the Kong and Ann material was eventually reworked into one of Shore’s concert pieces. Maybe someday.

AS for THE HOBBIT: just did a lengthy talk on all things HOBBIT this past week. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZXazIAo-5c

If blatant self-promotion isn’t your thing, I’ll give you the short version: I dunno! wink





 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 7:46 AM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

Perfect, thank you very much Doug!
I hope someday it moves ahead, the Kong project.
Cello ensemble....yes, I'd like to hear this one.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   Replicant006   (Member)

Doug: thank you for taking he time to talk about Shore's score. Based on what you described it sounds like everything I would've expected from him. Heck, he could write music to someone doing routine house cleaning and I would be enthralled.

Based on the information you provided about the direction he was going with the music it makes it even more unfathomable that Peter Jackson was unhappy enough with it to drop it entirely. I love the work Peter Jackson did with LOTR and I feel like he was very supportive and happy with Shore and his work as well, which makes it so hard to understand how things played out with Kong. Anyway, I hope Shore shows an interest again in getting this out there for us to hear. It sounds like it almost came to fruition, so maybe there is still hope.

And I'll check out that YouTube video today. Perhaps there is some good news in there as it pertains to complete recordings of The Hobbit. I must have every "precious" note of it. And I loved the detailed analysis you put together with your book, The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films. I hope that if we get those complete recordings some day that we also have a nice companion book from you to go with them.

[Edit]: Rereading your post, Doug. If you don't mind me asking, what prevented you from moving forward with the release of Shore's material for Kong?

 
 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   DougAdams   (Member)

Honestly, there was no single thing that derailed a KONG album release. More than anything, I think there was a struggle on how best to contextualize everything. This was both early in the days of unused scores being released, and shortly after the film had come out. It wasn’t insurmountable, but it did cause the idea to drift out of focus. As newer projects appeared, it sort of slipped into the “someday” category.

That’s how these things go sometimes. Actually, that’s sort of the situation with The Music of the Hobbit Films as well. The book is done. It just needs a final layout. But it was pushed to a back burner each time something more pressing or immediate came up, and now it’s sitting in limbo, just waiting for the spotlight to return.

Thank you for the kind words, though!

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Replicant006   (Member)

Honestly, there was no single thing that derailed a KONG album release. More than anything, I think there was a struggle on how best to contextualize everything. This was both early in the days of unused scores being released, and shortly after the film had come out. It wasn’t insurmountable, but it did cause the idea to drift out of focus. As newer projects appeared, it sort of slipped into the “someday” category.

That’s how these things go sometimes. Actually, that’s sort of the situation with The Music of the Hobbit Films as well. The book is done. It just needs a final layout. But it was pushed to a back burner each time something more pressing or immediate came up, and now it’s sitting in limbo, just waiting for the spotlight to return.

Thank you for the kind words, though!


Thank you for that information, Doug. We tend to hear a lot of "maybe this happened..." or "I wonder..." in these threads, so it's nice to get answers from a reliable source. Here's hoping we get to hear Shore's Kong or the complete recordings of The Hobbit, as well as getting to read a great analysis from your book, sooner rather than later.

 
 Posted:   May 21, 2020 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   Totoro   (Member)

Honestly, there was no single thing that derailed a KONG album release. More than anything, I think there was a struggle on how best to contextualize everything. This was both early in the days of unused scores being released, and shortly after the film had come out. It wasn’t insurmountable, but it did cause the idea to drift out of focus. As newer projects appeared, it sort of slipped into the “someday” category.

That’s how these things go sometimes. Actually, that’s sort of the situation with The Music of the Hobbit Films as well. The book is done. It just needs a final layout. But it was pushed to a back burner each time something more pressing or immediate came up, and now it’s sitting in limbo, just waiting for the spotlight to return.

Thank you for the kind words, though!


Thanks for the inside information, mr. Adams.
I hope Shore's score sees the light of day someday...

 
 
 Posted:   May 24, 2020 - 1:25 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Mr. Shore would/should be pleased with the defense in his favor presented throughout this thread. Not that he or any composer needs that sort of confirmation, per se, but it's just nice when third parties stick up for your name and work without any solicitation. It would be fun down the road if his music is released and I don't doubt that some intrepid member of our little FSContingent will attempt to synch his stuff to the picture even if it's with the sound turned off. 'S happened before (even if attempts were crude to say the least).

 
 Posted:   May 24, 2020 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

This always happens. A director makes a smash hit, and then producers stand in line to throw money at him, assuming his next film will be a similar smash, and it rarely is. Billy Wilder followed SUNSET BOULEVARD with ACE IN THE HOLE. Michael Cimino created the marvelous THE DEER HUNTER, and followed it up by wrecking United Artists with HEAVEN'S GATE. Further examples abound.

I'm not expecting KING KONG to be un-entertaining; I'm sure it will be crafted very well. But it will never reach anything like the mythical status of the original. The whole thing is just a real vanity project.

At least, once Jackson finally gets it out of his system, he will be able to put his energy into more worthwhile filmmaking.

At least I hope so.


Heh- 'Toys'...

 
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