Written by Michael Schelle
|This book really opened my mind to what a film
composer thinks about when working on a movie. Its not so much the technical aspects
that I found interesting; it is the thought process, method of each composer and how they
individually deal with filmmakers, producers, musicians and other composers.
Being a music composer is certainly not an easy job and the composers function is massively important to each movie. The situation happening in most films today is the music composer gets the film pretty close to films deadline and that usually doesnt give the composer the much time to create something that works in tandem with the picture, exceeds the films budget level and will move/thrill the audience on an emotional level.
Michael Schelle a concert composer from Butler Universitys School of Music, who has twice been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, speaks to fifteen music composers and captures a wealth of information. After reading this book, I not only learned more about a music composers job but it made me think of how I will deal with each composer on every future film that I make.
Christopher Young comes across as unsatisfied with his own work and seems to doubt the importance of film music in the grand scheme of things. I have to say that I couldnt disagree with him more. If any kind of music can affect a person on an emotional level, to me it carries great importance. I have been listening to film music since my childhood, it inspires me to live life fuller, always stimulates me when writing and I even play music on my sets.
John Barry has accomplished much in his career. I loved learning more about his involvement in the JAMES BOND films, DANCES WITH WOLVES and his other work. He comes across as quite distinguished which I find happens often with many of the people in the industry that come from England.
Terence Blanchard comes across as any normal insecure human being. He admits his shortcomings and tells of how he yearns to be more than just a jazz trumpet player.
Bruce Broughton isnt known as widely as John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith but if you look closely at the wide scope of work this man has done, you have to say hes one more accomplished composers weve seen in the last twenty years. After working in television on shows like GUNSMOKE, HAWAII FIVE-O, QUINCY and DALLAS, Broughton has scored a diverse selection of films like SILVERARDO, YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE MONSTER SQUAD, HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, THE RESCUERS DOWN UNDER, THE PRESIDIO and TOMBSTONE.
John Corigliano is an undisputed master. His scores for ALTERED STATES, THE RED VIOLIN and REVOLUTION are considered landmarks in the industry. Any serious composer would tell you how influential his music has been; he was even Elliot Goldenthals teacher. You learn that Corigliano approaches scoring movies his own way and if a filmmaker doesnt want to work with him his way then he doesnt do the film.
James Newton Howard is one of my favorite composers. He has amazing flexibility as he not only creates full orchestral soundtracks but he can work as effectively in a rock or pop music environment. He first caught my attention with his underrated score for FLATLINERS and has since done excellent work GUILTY BY SUSPICION, ALIVE, THE FUGITIVE, FALLING DOWN, OUTBREAK, WATERWORLD, PRIMAL FEAR, THE SIXTH SENSE, UNBREAKABLE, SIGNS, THE VILLAGE and COLLATERAL. In this interview Newton Howard explains how he got started and how he works hard to keep improving.
Thomas Newman admits how much his music team of people come up with some of the unusual sounds hes created for films like HEATHERS, THE LOST BOYS, THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and AMERICAN BEAUTY.
Mark Isham has been another guy Ive followed since THE HITCHER. Isham explains how he still continues to play jazz while simultaneously doing scores. Isham talks about his work on NEVER CRY WOLF, TIMECOP, POINT BREAK, A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT, THE BEAST, THE NET and even his involvement in WATERWORLD.
With the history of scoring almost all of David Cronenbergs films and all three LORD OF THE RINGS films Howard Shore has ascended to the top of film composing.
Shirley Walker has worked with some of the most well known composers in the business. Shes taken that experiences and along with her considerable music knowledge to act as a composer for John Carpenters MEMOIRS OF AN INVISABLE MAN & ESCAPE FROM L.A., as well as the two FINAL DESTINATION films and WILLARD. This woman is a powerhouse of talent and should be better known.
THE SCORE is a book for any fan of film music or filmmaker.