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Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1238]Bear McCreary ([t.44278]Damien), [c.10168]Stephen Rennicks ([m.44276]Room), [c.1743]Alec Puro ([m.44260]The Runaround), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here.
There were 31 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2015-07-27]Click here for the full schedule.
Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.42191]Vacation ([c.139]Mark Mothersbaugh) and [m.38497]Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation ([c.631]Joe Kraemer).
Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for:
- [m.42191]Vacation (28 songs)
- [m.38497]Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation...
La-La Land Records will be releasing the [a.15898]Justice League: Gods and Monsters soundtrack CD (limited edition 1000 units) exclusively at [url.http://www.lalalandrecords.com/]lalalandrecords.com on [da.2015-08-11]August 11, 2015. Composer [c.1540]Frederik Wiedmann composed the music for the DC Universe Animated Original Movie available on DVD and BluRay also on July 28, 2015.
"I was super excited to get to work on [v.43687]Justice League: Gods and Monsters with Bruce Timm, our second project together," said Wiedmann. "When I first saw the footage, I was blown away by how different everything was. Nothing was like I expected. It was a very unique, new take on our favorite superheroes, an invitation for me to reinvent myself a little bit from a musical perspective,...
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the global leader in music rights management, will continue to celebrate and nurture the art of conducting at the organization's annual six-day conducting workshop series taught by BMI Classic Contribution Award-winner, conductor and composer [c.3205]Lucas Richman. Each year, an elite group of BMI composers are selected to participate in the workshop, where they will hone the craft of conducting, from fundamentals and multi-meter scores to conducting to picture with a 32-piece orchestra. Classes will be taught at BMI's office, the Professional Musicians Union Local 47, with the finale taking place at a Warner Bros. Eastwood Scoring Stage.
In 2007, BMI honored [c.3205]Lucas Richman with the Classic Contribution Award, recognizing his service in...
Varèse Sarabande announced the release of their latest CD Club title, [a.15913]Fimucité 6: Universal Pictures 100th Anniversary Gala gala on CD [da.2015-07-27]July 27, 2015. The 2-CD limited edition set (3000 units) retails for $19.98, and features live concert performances of celebrated films from the history of Universal Pictures including music from horror favorites.
In 2012 the Fimucité festival in Tenerife, Spain, (one of the most important and prestigious film music festivals in the world) was selected as the location for the official Universal Pictures 100th Anniversary concert celebrating the studio's illustrious history of great film music. "Almost everything was a world premiere concert performance," said producer Robert Townson in the liner notes. "To add even...
ON THE SCORE is sponsored by La-La Land Records
From birth a tape was playing in Joe Kraemer’s head that was not so easy to self-destruct, namely his family’s love for music that gave him the enthusiasm to write his first full-fledged score at the age of 15 for a friend’s Super-8 feature. Those early relationships now reflect Kraemer’s big-time scoring gig as the fourth feature composer who’s chosen to accept a blockbuster fifth “Mission Impossible’ movie, as his teen friendship with a budding writer and filmmaker named Christopher McQuarrie would play a happy constant through Kraemer’s life.
After teaming on the blood-soaked, crafty cult thriller for his western-styled score for 2000’s “The Way of the Gun,” Kraemer found himself as a can-do indie composer, spending the following years as a prolific musician capable of gonzo horror (“Dead and Deader”), Skinimax thrills (“Femme Fatales”), disaster reboots (“The Poseidon Adventure”) documentaries (“The Emerald Cowboy”) and urban action (“Confessions of a Gangster”). But leave it to McQuarrie to surface again and propel Kraemer to the studio level with 2012’s “Jack Reacher,” for which Kraemer would create a taut, conspiratorial score for an unusually dark entry in Tom Cruise’s action oeuvre, music suspensefully steeped in an old-school 70’s conspiratorial sound.
While Kraemer’s smaller projects have continued unabated with his noir suspense in “Favor” and the powerful surfer-revenge score for “Dawn Patrol,” McQuarrie has struck the match under Kraemer’s career like never before with “Rogue Nation,” wherein The Impossible Missions Force face their villainous counterpart The Syndicate, who not only get the team officially disbanded, but pursued by the CIA as well. For Tom Cruise’s can-do Ethan Hunt, it’s reason enough to engage his band of espionage brothers in any number of daredevil chases, with a particular real-life death defying sequences testing the star’s ability to hold his underwater breath and grip onto a plane well after take off.
While McQuarrie has often excelled in delivering the darkness, what’s especially engaging about Kraemer’s work for “Rogue Nation” is just how much fun it is, a score that not only captures the brassy orchestral spirit of past “Mission Impossible” composer Michael Giacchino, but takes an equally enjoyable cue from TV composer Lalo Schifrin in crafting propulsive, and witty percussive builds that capture the series’ enjoyable dodge between high-tech hide-and-seek with explosive stunt work. Giving its heavies a sinister operatic touch by way of “Turandot,” ethnically jetting between international locations with a motorcycle vengeance and dynamically swinging into the trademarked Schifrin theme with his own spin, Kraemer has lit the fuse and run with the “Rogue Nation” with particular retro panache.
Now on a new episode of “On the Score,” Joe Kraemer talks about taking on the anti-IMF for a very pro-Hollywood ascent with “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”
Click above to Listen Now or Click Here to DownloadBuy the Soundtrack: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION (available August 10) Buy the Soundtrack: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: THE TELEVISION SCORES (available August 10) Buy the Soundtrack: JACK REACHER
Buy the Soundtrack: DAWN PATROL Buy the Soundtrack: FAVOR Buy the Soundtrack: THE WAY OF THE GUN Visit Joe Kraemer’s website
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1422]Ilan Eshkeri ([m.43170]Autobahn), [c.515]Johnny Klimek ([m.44240]Patient Zero), [c.]Chris Bacon ([m.44237]Being Charlie), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here.
There were 29 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2015-07-20]Click here for the full schedule.
Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.41753]Paper Towns ([c.16467]Ryan Lott), [m.32339]Pixels ([c.1480]Henry Jackman), and [m.42027]Southpaw ([c.89]James Horner).
Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for:
- [m.41753]Paper Towns (24 songs)
- [m.32339]Pixels (14...
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 2015 67th Emmy Awards this week. For more on the music-related nominations, [url.http://www.soundtrack.net/news/article/?id=2048]click here.
Also announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1312]Stephen Barton ([m.44220]Unlocked), [c.234]Gabriel Yared ([m.44218]Chocolat), [c.683]Ben Decter ([t.44215]Shadowhunters), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here.
There were 24 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2015-07-13]Click here for the full schedule.
Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.35578]Ant-Man ([c.564]Christophe Beck) and...
Varèse Sarabande announces the [da.2015-07-24]July 24 release of [a.15601]The Music of Patrick Doyle: Solo Piano featuring original performances and arrangements by Oscar-nominated composer [c.50]Patrick Doyle. The collection features some of Patrick's most revered compositions performed on piano by Doyle himself. The eighteen tracks include music from [m.22983]Sense and Sensibility, [m.10205]Great Expectations, [m.18187]Nanny McPhee, [m.10115]Gosford Park and [m.36438]Cinderella. Doyle's career will also be celebrated later this year when he is presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 15th World Soundtrack Awards in Ghent.
"I have been recording the piano album over the last three years in between many other projects and I hope you enjoy listening to...
Lakeshore Records will release [a.16047]The End of the Tour Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on [da.2015-07-24]July 24 and on CD [da.2015-08-28]August 28, 2015. The film, which is set in the mid 90s, features songs by artists including R.E.M, Felt, Tracey Ullman, Fun Boy Three, [c.60]Brian Eno, Tindersticks, with a score by [c.58]Danny Elfman.
Director James Ponsoldt knew what songs would be part of the film from the early stages. In an interview with ComingSoon.net Ponsoldt said, "From early on, R.E.M. and [c.60]Brian Eno were a band and a musician that sort of factored into the time that Lipsky and Wallace spent together and they had conversations about what they listened to. So I knew that R.E.M. and Eno would feature in the movie."
Few Marvel superheroes might have an inferiority complex like Ant-Man. He’s a guy decked out in blue and red, wearing what appears to be some diver’s helmet, gifted with the ability to shrink down to insect size while still delivering a man-sized punch. Not exactly as cool as a mythic hammer, a repulsor ray equipped iron suit or an ability to turn into a big green rage engine. Plus, there’s that name, one subject to any number of self-effacing quips by Paul Rudd, an oft-comedic actor. You know “The Dark Knight,” which is great indeed when it comes to giving composer Christophe Beck the ability to deliver music that’s knockout fun. Driven by a joyful symphonic theme that shouts “good guy” to the rafters while taking Marvel scores into a whole new realm of spy-jazz big-heist music, Beck can proudly call “Ant-Man” one of the most enjoyable, unashamedly comic book scores of the genre that Marvel re-ignited, showing a sense of humor, adventure and emotion that’s distinguished Beck’s repertoire, while increasing it to new symphonic size.
A Canadian native who made his first big Hollywood splash with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s” TV exploits, Beck has mainly specialized in the rocking, rhythmic approach to such comedies as “The Hangover,” “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “Tower Heist,” “The Pink Panther” and any number of tween flicks like “The Perfect Man” and “Ice Princess” (certainly his dreamier, sensitive side in “Guinevere,” “Charlie Countryman” and “Good Kill” deserve as much notice). Beck’s boisterous and sunny string-driven sound has also jetted him up to the top of the kid-friendly castle with “Frozen,” “The Muppets” and the forthcoming “Peanuts the Movie.” But whether showing his chops at grunge, r & b, hip-hop or techno-jazz, there’s been an adventurous voice in Beck’s work just as eager to get spotlighted – music capable of reaching Mount Olympus in “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” or getting a power-suited jolt of gnarly strings and electronics in “Edge of Tomorrow.”
One of the first scores where Beck demonstrated his superhero stealth was in “Elektra,” a “Daredevil” spin-off that Marvel would likely wanted to forget, but a picture that certainly showed he had comic book scoring chops. It’s a geek enthusiasm that now welcomely switches from martial arts Sais to miniaturization for the company’s way more successful second wave, especially with such an unlikely choice as “Ant-Man.” Given his most auspicious genre shot yet, Beck’s music can hardly contain its joy as it zooms into the sewers and into the air on the backs of faithful insect steeds as ridden by Scott Lang (Rudd), a down-and-out dad (but top-rate break-in artist) given the chance for super-heroic redemption when the O.G. Ant-Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) suits him up in his silver age Marvel duds. With propulsive electronic rhythms and boldly symphonic music crafting a combo of high tech and old-school heroism, “Ant-Man” sings with real melodic delight, seamlessly veering from retro-jazz break-ins to trumpeting do-gooding and the way odder percussive chattering of earth’s tiniest heroes, which jam with a surf guitar in one of the year’s most delightful cues. “Ant-Man’s” score is a triumph of thinking bold and big about the true, delightful nature of comic book films and scores as the kind of spirit-enhancing uppers that distinguish the Marvel Pictures brand, and Beck’s frothier music. It’s a score that will likely make Beck “Ant-Man’s” wingman for some time to come, while adding a whole new chapter of comic book scoring to his resume.
Had you ever encountered Ant-Man as a comic book character? And how did the film come your way?
I was never a huge ant-man fan in particular, but definitely a comic book fan, like most other kids of my generation. I certainly knew of the character.
I’d been on a short list or two for Marvel movies prior to this one but couldn’t quite break through. On this film, a combination of things helped get me the gig, I think. The director, Peyton Reed, was someone I’d worked with before (in fact, his “Bring It On” was pretty much the first feature film for both of us), and music supervisor Dave Jordan was also very supportive of me in the hiring process, to name two. In fact, I should thank them: thanks Peyton, thanks Dave! Of course, the success of “Frozen” and “Edge of Tomorrow”, which was still somewhat fresh in people’s minds, helped a bit too.
It’s been quite a while since you took on your last Marvel film with “Electra.” How do you think the Marvel movies, and their scores have changed since that time?
As most industry observers know, things really took off for Marvel once they reclaimed creative control of most of their characters. They’ve had a ridiculous streak of big hits. Kevin Feige, who’s in charge over there, has crafted something truly special and epic in scope, with the interconnection of all the films and characters.
As for their scores, I certainly have my favorites. I’m not sure that there’s been any kind of change or evolution in the musical approach over time– each film takes on a bit of the character of the composer scoring it, and there have been a handful of us now. Of course that also makes it challenging to tie the films together, musically speaking. I know that Marvel is working hard to bring a bit more of a musical grand architecture to their films as a whole. I thought Brian Tyler and Danny Elfman did a great job on “Age of Ultron” using some of Alan Silvestri’s themes from the first movie, and, I try to do the same in the “Ant-Man” score. So, hopefully that helps a bit in the thematic cohesion department. It certainly helps that Alan wrote such a good theme!
Do you think your own background doing pop-inflected comedy scores like “The Hangover” series and “Get Hard” made you ideal to score a far more humorous superhero film? And do you think that doing such unheralded fantasy scores as “Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief” and “The Seeker” also set you up well here?
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my first Marvel film is a heist comedy, considering how many comedies I have worked on. As for the unheralded fantasy scores… well, yeah, they are indeed largely “unheralded” and I’m not sure the Marvel folks even know I worked on them. I’m still fond of both of those scores, so I try to mentally herald them to myself whenever I can!
In terms of Paul Rudd’s character, Scott Lang is far from a superhero when we meet him. How did you want to play a guy who’s an ex con and can’t hold down a job, with no intentions of putting on a suit?
At first there were a number of scenes which featured a down-and-out Scott Lang, and there were some opportunities to portray this musically, but they were either cut from the film or eventually accompanied with source music, as opposed to score. But there’s a “blue collar” feel to a lot of the music in the heist scenes, with rhythm section and a smattering of guitar. That’s really the unique element here, the fact that it’s essentially a heist movie as much as it is a superhero movie. That’s what sets this movie apart from most other Marvel films.
There’s an undeniable goofiness to any superhero calling himself “Ant Man,” let alone from Scott. Did you want to tip your hat to the basic absurdness of the character? And on that note, how “light” did you want the score to be?
In fact, the word “absurd” was used often by Peyton in discussing the feeling he was after in some of the scenes. For example, at one point in the movie (also featured in the trailer) there’s an intense and epic battle between Ant-Man and his opposite number Yellowjacket, both shrunken to insect-size, on a child’s toy train set. It’s shot and edited as if larger than life– we, the audience, get to experience the battle from the perspective of the combatants, and it’s huge. The camera then pulls back and we get a glimpse of the action from a more normal-sized perspective, and suddenly you’re reminded that it’s all taking place on a Thomas the Train set.
Musically, for this moment, and others like it, I tried to acknowledge this absurdity by using rhythm section and odd meters and a certain wildness to the orchestration, and evoking an out-of-control feeling that Peyton would describe as “Mr.-Toad’s-Wild-Ride”-esque.
Given such a literally infinitesimal character, how important was for you play a bigger symphonic size? And conversely, did you ever want the music to get “small?” with a sense of wonder?
We considered trying to portray “smallness” in the music. There’s actually a lot of fun to be had in this area: I thought about using artificially sped-up sounds, or actual tiny playable instruments. The problem is, this is not a story about miniaturization. It’s a story about a hero who is also a dad. So yes, it was important to have a big symphonic sound as the backbone of the score, and to let the sound design and visual effects (which look and sound astonishing) take care of the “small” of it all.
How did you want to play the “father-son” relationship between Scott Lang and Hank Pym, as well as Scott’s family ties?
There’s a musical theme in the film that represents family, and it’s a crucial one. There’s the father-son-like relationship you mentioned between Hank and Scott, but equally important are the relationships between characters that are actually related! For example, as far as I’m aware, Ant-Man and Hawkeye are the first Marvel heroes who are also parents. And of course there’s the relationship between Hank and his daughter, Hope. This “family” theme is doubly important because it eventually will come to signify the emergence of Hope as something of a hero herself. With any luck this theme can travel with her should she appear in any more Marvel movies.
Another important “family” comes from the telepathic bond that Scott makes with the titular insect. How did you want to play that relationship, and what was the challenge of giving musical personality to ants?
There are actually four different species of ants featured in the story. One in particular seemed to deserve its own identity: the bullet ant. Being primarily indigenous to South America, we used some ancient Aztec drums and tribal flutes. Peyton was pretty clear that he wanted this more regional flavor for the bullet ants, and it took me a few tries until I really embraced the concept, but I love how it turned out in those scenes.
What makes a memorable superhero theme?
Simplicity? Tasteful repetition? Small musical intervals between notes? Luck? Inebriation? The awesomeness of its composer? I wish I knew!
Conversely, how did you want to play his arch nemesis Yellowjacket?
It’s not really the converse, is it? In a way, villain themes are easier, because the underlying emotions are a little more straightforward. For the Yellowjacket there’s a more traditional theme, presented in traditional fashion, but augmented with processed electronics to convey the crazed and obsessed nature of the character as well.
How are brass and percussion essential to superhero scoring muscle, especially in “Ant-Man?”
Well, you said it, they are essential. Especially in a Marvel film, where the filmmakers tend to gravitate toward that classic, symphonic, thematic film sound. Someday, I’m sure, a composer will write an awesome, classic, superhero score without brass or percussion. But I doubt that it will be me!
Industrial spying, espionage and general breaking-in play big parts in “Ant-Man.” How did you want to play that aspect of it?
This ties into an earlier question- the fact that this is Marvel’s first “heist comedy.” With Marvel, you’ll never stray too far from a traditional orchestral approach, but for some of these heist-y scenes I was able to sneak in a synth or two to evoke a bit of the high tech world our characters operate in. There were also a number of sequences that featured rhythm section, complete with drums and electric bass.
Could you tell how the film’s tone changed directors from Edgar Wright to Peyton Reed?
Ha, good question. I’m dying of curiosity to know the answer myself. It would seem to me that the absurdity you referred to in an earlier question is a hallmark of Wright’s style, and there’s definitely a lot of that is in this movie, including some of the more genre-specific music choices, like the South American drums for our bullet ants, or a “surf-chestral” version of the main theme as Ant-Man cruises a water pipe on a raft made of thousands of ants. This absurd style is evident even where there is no music- for example, there’s are a couple of extended sequences near the end where music drops out and we hear only highly stylized and exaggerated sound effects.
I’ve heard that entering the Marvel Universe can be demanding for filmmakers and composers. What was your experience like?
I heard that too, mostly from the people at Marvel themselves, who I must say have an almost perverse pride in the craziness of their post production process. It’s basically a continuation of the trends we’ve seen in the last few decades, only taken to their absolute extremes. Unexpected VFX shots, additional shooting, significant re-edits, dropping whole scenes, reshuffling whole reels… it’s all on the table, right up until a week or two before the premiere. But you can’t argue with Marvel’s track record, so it’s tough to say that there’s anything really wrong with their process, chaotic though it may be. It really wasn’t a problem as a result. I dare say it was almost “fun”. (Almost.)
And, really, enough people warned me, that I was ready. I had a small, excellent crew working full time on this score. Leo Birenberg, who’s been working with me for five or so years now, wrote a number of impressive cues including some great action music. Zach Robinson and Jeff Morrow also contributed some excellent material. And my regular production crew, including music editor Fernand Bos, engineer Casey Stone, my orchestrator Kevin Kliesch and my orchestrator and conductor Tim Davies really rose to the occasion. I couldn’t have done it without them.
When so many DC superhero films get crushed by their own seriousness and darkness, was it refreshing to do a comic book movie that was about having fun? And do you think that’s something that all comic book films, and scores, should have more of?
I like having both styles available to me as a fan of movies in general. Both styles can work, as we’ve seen plenty of evidence with great movies from both DC and Marvel. It’s great to watch the genre mature and evolve over time, as a fan.
You’ve next got “The Peanuts Movie” coming up. What’s it like to score such iconic characters, let alone to pick up the scoring baton from Vince Guaraldi? Will we get a similarly jazzy approach?
I think everyone can agree that it wouldn’t be a Peanuts movie without Guaraldi. There’s of course the classic “Linus & Lucy” which makes a couple of appearances in the film, as well as a few of his other well-known pieces. The score I wrote takes a more modern symphonic approach, with only occasional excursions into jazz-combo-land, however. Today’s musical landscape is quite different from when those Guaraldi-scored specials aired. Fox is hoping to make a movie with wide appeal here, and to score it with a combo might make you and me and others of our generation feel warm and nostalgic, but to most everyone else it would just feel a bit old fashioned. That said, I tried where I could to evoke the feel of those old specials, just because I love them so much! So every once in a while I try to drop in that classic piano combo sound.
What’s it like to introduce a character into the Marvel movie universe who’ll be continuing in it in even bigger ways? And how do you see your scoring for Scott developing along with them?
I try not to think too hard about Marvel’s 15-year, 30-movie plan! I focus on what’s in front of me. That said I do feel I tend to put a little extra pressure on myself when I know that the music might live on past the film in sequels or spin-offs. As for my role in any future Marvel plans, I think they know I really enjoyed scoring “Ant-Man”, and I think they know my phone number! Of course I’d love to work with them again. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Visit Christophe Beck’s website HERE
(Christophe Beck Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
Lakeshore Records will release [a.15972]Wild Horses Original Motion Picture Soundtrack digitally on [da.2015-07-24]July 24 and on CD [da.2015-10-16]October 16, 2015. The album features songs by artists including Caitlin Eadie, Roy Gaines and his Tuxedo Blues Orchestra, Billy Joe Shaver, with score by [c.3228]Tim Williams and a special performance of Cheyenne by the film's writer/director/co-star Robert Duvall.
"The music for Wild Horses was a highlight in the film making process for me," said Duvall. "The group of talented musicians and producers crafted the music perfectly to enhance the film's story. Sometimes music can go too far, but [c.3228]Tim Williams, Michael Hodges and their teams found a beautiful balance."
"Recording Cheyenne was a delight for us...
Varèse Sarabande will release [a.15678]JJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Original Soundtrack digitally on [da.2015-07-17]July 17 and on CD on [da.2015-07-24]July 24, 2015. The album features the original music composed by [c.2557]Benoit Charest and [c.16106]Benoit Groulx.
"Episodes 1 and 2 were scored first to draw the principal thematic ideas and musical soundscape," said the composers Charest and Groulx. "The process was fluid and open and as themes and sound flavours came to life, [c.2557]Benoit Charest found affinity with the Gent and Lady Pole while [c.16106]Benoit Groulx took care of Strange and Arabella. The two sides of Norrell's character, dark and funny, was put in music by both of us. Later in the process, we used each another's musical ideas to blend...
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.2159]Matthew Margeson ([m.43481]Eddie the Eagle), [c.743]Anton Sanko ([m.44140]Border Crossing), [c.1748]Fernando Velazquez ([m.43476]Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here.
There were 29 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2015-07-6]Click here for the full schedule.
Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.42667]The Gallows ([c.16075]Zach Lemmon), [m.35066]Minions ([c.827]Heitor Pereira), and [m.38144]Self/Less ([c.448]Antonio Pinto and [c.3017]Dudu Aram).
Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits...
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences yesterday published its list of upcoming submission deadlines for [t.44150]88th Academy Awards consideration.
Submissions for Original Score and Original Song and the General Entry/Official Screen Credits (OSC) form are due by 5 p.m. PT on Wednesday, December 2.
The submission process may be initiated online at [url.https://submissions.oscars.org/]submissions.oscars.org. For the entire list of key dates and complete rules, please visit [url.http://www.oscars.org/oscars/rules-eligibility?hq_e=el&hq_m=255666&hq_l=1&hq_v=873dbecbb9]oscars.org/rules.
[t.44150]The 88th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 28, 2016, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live...
Lakeshore Records will release [a.15826]The Slap Original Television Soundtrack digitally on [da.2015-07-24]July 24, 2015 with a CD to be released later this year. The album features original score by the composing team of [c.1260]Jon Ehrlich and [c.1532]Jason Derlatka. The 8-episode miniseries event, aired earlier this year on NBC.
"[t.43132]The Slap is unique in that it centers around a single event, but the reverberations of that one moment impact each of the characters differently," said Ehrlich. "In an early meeting I referenced Stephen Sondheim--Walter [F. Parkes, executive producer] loved the idea of a Sondheim influenced language for the score. I think we had an instinct that it would serve the show's emotionally layered and complex architecture."
While the films he scores might not have to do much with his homeland of Brazil (even if they’re filled with yellow characters with mad love for a certain tropical fruit), there’s most often a joyous, rhythmic energy that fills the soundtracks of Heitor Pereira. With a surfeit of kids’ movies to his credits, Pereira’s lovably bouncy, melodically eccentric scores are the equivalent of smurfs, chimps and Chihuahuas, all jumping for joy and lapping your face. They’ve got enough unrestrained, clever fun to put an energetic smile on anyone’s face, perhaps most notably one super villain hell-bent on being the bad guy. And perhaps if his nonsensical, fuzzball assistants did a more competent job, then the star of two “Despicable Me” movies would have remained truly despicable instead of becoming the kid-loving Gru with a heart of gold that we know today.
Given a decidedly unfortunate history of job employment, you might not think any band of goofy sidekicks could carry their own movie. But then, you’re not talking about the lovably tormentable “Minions.” Heitor Pereira is now accompanying these nonsensical hench-things outside the safety net of their master, tracing their desperate need for a boss from the ooga-booga beginning of time to the swinging spy jazz of 1960s, where they end up in the thrall of the completely wretched evil doer-ess Scarlett Overkill (Sandra Bullock), who’s get her world-dominating plans set on stealing The Queen’s particularly shiny tiara.
Sure we might barely be able to understand any of the delightful, sped-up gibberish of the minions. But it’s through Pereira’s loopy, delightfully rhythmic approach that we get everything we need to know about their screwball desperation to please, and more importantly, belong. Beyond getting inside their loopy, chattering heads with a distinctively eccentric musical identity, Pereira’s brassy, thematically inventive score mashes together 007 grooves and 60s pop with antic inventiveness of sci-fi weaponry. It’s all as fresh as a big banana, with the minions coming into their own chattering, melodic identity, while also reflecting on Pereira’s rise as a big time helper at Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control studios (where he strummed and co-composed for “Spanglish,” “The Simpsons Movie” and “It’s Complicated”) to show his own diverse voice. It’s played the tropical drug runners of “Haven” to the sexually blocked author of “Ask the Dust” a teen on the edge of heaven for “If I Stay” and a forthcoming, revenge-fueled “Jesuit.” Though Heitor has now proven himself above all to be the scoring king of kid-friendly franchises with “The Smurfs,” “Curious George” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” it’s the “Minions” who clearly speak for Pereira’s proclamation as a big kid at heart, with lovable retro-deviousness to spare at proving these characters as their own musical boss.
You’d started out as a percussionist, and a guitarist with the band Simply Red. What encouraged you to move into film scoring?
What encouraged me to do this was the possibility of writing and orchestrating more colorful music. I have played with all the great artists in Brazil as well as playing in Simply Red. Then I did many sessions here in the function of a guitar player. Yet I always wrote music – though not necessarily “guitar” music, even though I’ve made guitar records in the past. Something kept bugging me. I would play the guitar and would hear something else coming out of it. Then I started working, still as a guitar player, but now playing in scores for Hans Zimmer. He even wrote “Gladiator” as a concerto for the guitar in Augusta, which I played on as well. We had so much fun in the process of his scoring of films like “Black Hawk Down,” especially because I could hang with him and played him some of my music. Hans said “Man, your melodies and the way you hear music would fit perfectly in a composition for pictures and film.” And that’s how it was. At first, I was collaborating with composers like Hans (“Rango”), and John Powell, for whom I did “I am Sam” and some animation pictures like “Shrek 2.” With Harry Gregson-Williams I did a lot of Tony Scott movies like “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” and “Unstoppable,” and was a featured musician in many of those scores. All of these composers were very generous and always supportive of me getting my own movies. I am very lucky in that way, so when the first movie came out, I already had a lot of training with the best people in the business. So the transition into my own work wasn’t painful. It was something that was very natural.
Right from the beginning of your scoring career you were doing films aimed at kids like “Curious George” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” What do you think attracted to you about that genre?
What attracts me, is the fact that you can be super colorful with the music in movies for children. You can go places you wouldn’t think of, and everything happens very fast. I like the fact that I can mix the orchestra with some other different instruments and make it vibrant, because with today’s animation, it’s not like everything is completely tongue-in-cheek. With “children’s” movies, you’re writing for adults as well. So there’s more psychology involved in these score. In a way, I find what attracted me to these pictures is that they allow me to be more of a musician. Yet I’ve also done movies that definitely were aimed at adults, as well as a documentary called “Sonic Sea” that talks about the dangers of the impact of oil in the ocean, which really affects the lives of the animals down there. But somehow, people keep calling me for animation films, which I don’t have a problem with that at all. I come from a big family with a lot children. I love children. They are our hopes. And the more that adults don’t do what they should have done, the more we deposit our hopes in our children. I believe they let me write music. It’s honorable, it’s good music, and it has a lot of great musicians featured in them. We can guarantee that families have a lot of fun in the theater as well with the kid’s pictures that I score.
Your membership with the minions began with “Despicable Me,” and continued with its sequel. How would you say you developed their sound through these pictures before they got their own?
It’s hard to talk about the first “Despicable Me” without including Pharrell Williams from the word “Go” – or “Gru!” That’s because the movie was originally going to be scored by him and Hans. Then Hans was generous enough to say, “Man, I have this guy that’s a great musician,” He played Pharrell my scores, including “Curious George,” which I’d done with Jack Johnson. It showed how I could create help create songs around an orchestra. Pharrell and I got along very well. We used two of his songs to play Gru and the girls in “Despicable Me.” I wrote the Minions theme myself. We started differently on “Despicable Me 2,” where I took care of all of the score, and Pharrell took care of songs and that also worked fine. So the “Despicable Me” sound came about by my being very attentive to Pharrell’s songs while writing my own melodies for characters whom I thought need a different musical treatment. And those characters were The Minions. Pharrell and I also worked together on The Minions ride at Universal, for which I deconstructed their theme as they start as one little cell, and then travel through time. I helped to reconfigure the song in the same way. And now it’s all evolved into the “Minions.”
What’s interesting is that while Gru was always trying to be the “bad” guy, his Minions themselves were never “evil” as such. In that way, what’s it like to play sympathetic characters that want to attach themselves to sinister types?
Well, I think it’s because they want to be “mean.” But it just doesn’t work! Now we get Scarlet Overkill coming in, and she’s just a mean, bad character. She really wants the crown and the royal jewels. So she’s obviously worse than Gru. The Minions are all fun and games with little at stake at first, even though they unintentionally killed all of their masters. So Sandra Bullock’s character allows this score to become a little more serious, and a little darker. It’s a little bit of a balancing act, because you don’t want the music to become too horrific with such a bad woman as Scarlett. So I used the continuous quirkiness and lightness of the Minions to counterbalance her heaviness.
There’s also far more of a James Bond-ian element to this score than the “Despicable Me” pictures had.
That’s because I wanted to pay homage to that style, as “Minions” takes place in England during the 1960’s. Yet we also wanted the score to sound as current as 2016. We have many songs from the sixties, so the treatment of the orchestra and the band, has to somehow drink from that fountain of time with the spy stuff, but with some very contemporary filters and crazy things that didn’t exist during that period. We mixed those elements to also reflect the gadget-filled paradise of these super-villains.
When you talk about the idea of “gadgetry,” it really shows up in the fun, futuristically electronic and rhythmic sound of you score. It tells us that the Minions could be androids in a way, almost as if the Minions could be Androids or not human in a way.
I think that feeling comes from Scarlett’s boyfriend Herb is showing them all of the gadgetry that he created, and he’s Scarlet’s husband Herb Overkill, who has this amazing room of weaponry. And then we have the mad scientists. So it just allows the music to really go to different places, which is what I love about animation in the first place. You can really use your imagination. But it’s also important not to fall into clichés during the process.
What do you think your music tells us about the personalities of the minions?
I tried to be as diverse as I could regarding the three different minions. The featured ones are Kevin, Stuart and Bob. They show that we may all look a little bit like each other, but we are all different because of what we have inside of us. So Kevin is a fatherly and heroic, always taking care of the other two. Bob is more of the fragile, and full of infinite heart. And Stuart is the one who can surprise us because he’s a goofball. That’s what I wanted the music to tell us about about their personalities.
The emotional core of the film, and score is that these are characters that desperately need to belong, and be loved, even if they’re often treated badly.
The minions are a tribe, and keep looking for someone to guide them. Kevin does to a degree, but he has in mind what the rest of the tribe wants too. I think there’s a bigger picture about how we ourselves jump from one emotion to the other very quickly. In three seconds we can be having the craziest laughter, and then be on the verge of crying. It’s a roller coaster of feelings, and I dig being able to play that. While I love score live action, animation triggers something in myself, as I still have that inner child. I haven’t gotten hardened in my soul and my heart, and I hope I never will. Maybe that’s why people keep calling me to work on these things. I am not saying I’m an adult and “lowering” myself to write for these kinds of films. I love having them, and the minions, in my life.
In that way, there seems to be a real, joyful spirituality running through all of your scores. Do you think that you purposefully seek out lighter movies like the “Minions?”
I actually did a very dark movie recently called “The Jesuit.” And man, I’ll tell you that it was crazy dark! I remember some of my assistants walking into the room. They took a look at the screen, heard my music, and their eyes turned big. But I was actually having fun, in the same way I enjoyed scoring “Minions.” It’s all about supporting the characters, whether they’re real or animated. In that way, being a musician lets you a journey to places you’ve never visited before – and make them sound new in the process. I’ll never get the time that I spend in my studio composing a score back, so I give every score everything that I’ve got, whether it’s light, or dark.
Do you think there’s an extra importance placed on the score in “Minions” because Gru essentially isn’t in the film?
I don’t remember once writing the music for the “Minions” while thinking about Gru. I love the character a lot, but this was about the Minions being without him. They didn’t know of his existence, and that allowed me as well to completely forget about him.
Have you ever tried to figure out what the minions are actually saying?
That’s an interesting question because many times I have to make the decision about letting the dialogue, or the music be featured, especially as we can’t understand what the minions are saying. But when you follow those “words,” they really do have a meaning. I let the child inside guide me through their vocabulary, and it usually has me open up the music around it. The directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin would say things like, “Oh the emotions could be more clear here.” “ I think we need to make the line a little more heartfelt.” Sure their dialogue sounds like a joke, but it’s always about what the minions are feeling inside. They’re saying meaningful things, even if they’re not using the vocabulary that we normally would. So I think it’s funny, isn’t it? The minions also have a lot of great body language. It’s like when we travel to a country where we don’t speak the language, and have to resort to using our hands and our facial expressions to get across what we’re trying to say. That’s a fun thing for the music to capture. I am very grateful for the opportunity and thankful to the filmmakers who keep inviting me to these things! I hope people like “Minions.” It’s very dear to me.
Special thanks to Catherine Horner for transcribing this interview
Varèse Sarabande announces the release of their latest CD Club title, [a.15913]Fimucité 6: Universal Pictures 100th Anniversary Gala on CD [da.2015-07-27]July 27, 2015. The 2-CD limited edition set (3000 units) retails for $19.98, and features live concert performances of celebrated films from the history of Universal Pictures including music from horror favorites [m.33529]Frankenstein, [m.7065]Dracula, [m.31096]The Wolfman and [m.17785]The Mummy, award-winning films including [m.2065]A Beautiful Mind, [m.7322]E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, [m.9247]Fried Green Tomatoes and [m.19093]On Golden Pond, and family fare like [m.31263]The Lorax and [m.970]An American Tail.
In 2012 the Fimucité festival in Tenerife, Spain, (one of the most important and prestigious...
Directed by composer Rick Baitz, this New York City-based program will select nine emerging film composers and provide a series of workshops, followed by year-round continued consultation and development. Participants will explore a wide range of film music excerpts – studying, composing, recording, and sharing work in a supportive environment. Students will leave the workshop with greater confidence in their own voices as film composers, several strong cues for their reel, an increased understanding of the business of film music and greater sensitivity to the art of composing for the screen. During the year following the workshop, the group will meet on occasion to share work and discuss students’ development as film composers.
The program will be open to emerging film composers who have some experience in film and want to learn more about it. Free to accepted participants, enrollees must commit to attend all six sessions listed below. Prerequisites include experience and credits as a composer with film scoring experience preferred; ability to read and write music; and access to music production equipment: computer, DAW (Logic, Digital Performer, ProTools, Cubase, etc.), notation software (Sibelius, Finale); ability to create MIDI or hybrid scores.
Six sessions, to be held at the BMI Media Room, 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich St, NYC 10007 (except for Session 5, the final recording session, location TBA).
1. Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, 4-7 PM
2. Thursday, Sept. 17, 4-7 PM
3. Thursday, Sept. 24, 4-7 PM
4. Thursday, October 1, 4-7 PM
(2 week break to prepare final project)
5. Thursday, October 15—Recording session, time & location TBA
6. Thursday, October 22, 4-7 PM
Announced this week were new composer assignments for [c.1371]Austin Wintory ([m.44109]The Rendezvous), [c.8161]Danny Bensi and [c.1781]Saunder Jurriaans ([m.44093]The Blunderer), [c.149]Thomas Newman ([m.43695]He Named Me Malala), among many others. For the full list of composer and music supervisor assignments from this week, [url./composers/]click here.
There were 40 new soundtrack albums released this week. [da.2015-06-29]Click here for the full schedule.
Opening nationwide this week are (with music by): [m.40888]Magic Mike XXL (no composer) and [m.38258]Terminator: Genisys ([c.1465]Lorne Balfe).
Among all new theatrical releases, we are tracking song credits for:
- [m.40888]Magic Mike XXL (40 songs)
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), a global leader in music rights management, is proud to continue its support for the Sundance Institute Film Music Program, which collaborates with Skywalker Sound to host the Sundance Institute Music and Sound Design Labs at Skywalker Sound. Its first 2015 session of the Lab, which begins July 7 at Skywalker Ranch, provides an opportunity for composers and directors to explore the collaborative process of writing music for feature film and is a joint venture of the Institute's Film Music Program and Feature Film Program.
BMI is a long-time supporter of the Sundance Institute Film Music Program. As a founding supporter of the Institute's Composers Lab, BMI has played a critical role in the long-term development of the Lab. Through its involvement, BMI...