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      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008 edited
    2008; We are discussing the rapid turns of style and quality as well as quantity in everything film music during the last 3 years, as it was inspired by the KEVIN KINER thread and extended up to several policies people in key-positions use to manipulate the market or at least portions and trends of it.

    Now, a notice: THIS THEAD IS OPEN FOR ANYONE TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS, NO MATTER WHAT THOSE ARE - NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE, PRO OR CONTRA AND NOT LIMITED TO EITHER KINER OR STAR WARS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT. IT IS OPEN WITH EVERYTHING THAT THIS IMPLIES.

    This means it's open to ANYTHING and i'd really ask everyone kindly not to jump upon other's throats and demand for things not to be said or repeated or anything, some honesty wouldn't do harm to anyone;

    On the contrary, i think there's a lot of ostensible, self-proclaimed attitude going on these days in all fields and a lot of bull; for once let us try to be open, direct and honest about things we like and those we don't, but also polite (as much as possible) and most importantly CIVILIZED as this thread will be extra monitored to avoid sagging. And please keep it respectful, after all we are all a big family who are all in love with and interested in the same field.

    Cheers,
    D

    -----

    So, quoting some stuff from the Kiner thread so we can continue, for anyone interested:

    1)
    Christodoulides wrote
    New interview over at bsx

    In detail:




    Expanding the Star Wars Universe: Kevin Kiner in the Clone Wars

    This week we interview Kevin Kiner whose masterful incarnation of John Williams makes the animated feature, The Clone Wars, very much a part of the Star Wars oeuvre. Kiner, one of the most underrated composers in Hollywood whose 25+ year career has resulted in numerous fine works, discussed his evocation of Williams and why scoring The Clone Wars was so important to him. We also discuss several of Kiner’s other scores including Wing Commander, Leprechaun, and CSI: Miami.



    Full article at:
    http://www.buysoundtrax.com/larsons_soundtrax.html


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    2)
    Steven wrote
    Masterful incarnation? Very much part of the Star Wars oeuvre? Expanding the Star Wars universe??

    I'll have whatever they're smoking please. cool rolleyes


    -------------

    3)
    Southall wrote
    Steven wrote
    Masterful incarnation? Very much part of the Star Wars oeuvre? Expanding the Star Wars universe??

    I'll have whatever they're smoking please. cool rolleyes


    These points and more are addressed at

    http://www.movie-wave.net/titles/clone_wars.html


    -------------

    4)
    Christodoulides wrote
    Southall wrote
    Steven wrote
    Masterful incarnation? Very much part of the Star Wars oeuvre? Expanding the Star Wars universe??

    I'll have whatever they're smoking please. cool rolleyes


    These points and more are addressed at

    http://www.movie-wave.net/titles/clone_wars.html


    Very good review, i agree 100%

    A couple of notices:

    1) i really liked how you included (and expanded upon) all the possible counter-arguments the current wave of trend that defends EVERY SINGLE THING that gets out as long as it's a new release - shot and will continue to repeat each and every-time at the face of a reasonable reviewer each time they dare dispute the said brilliance of each and every new release.

    2) As many of those (read the bsx interview and score description, or the DEATH RACE thingy over at the other site or think of how Tyler Bate's 300 and himself were presented at various large websites / radio shows when the film and score got out) articles are getting out PRAISING and declaring as UNDERRATED / OVERLOOKED film score Gods people that should clearly never be characterized as such, i couldn't help but to feel thrilled by the following fragment:

    " The ethnic (and occasional rock) elements would be unwelcome in any case, but it's the orchestral parts which dominate, and I can't help but think another composer could have done a better job. Take Joel McNeely's Shadows of the Empire - you can instantly tell it's Star Wars music, yet you can also tell it's written by Joel McNeely and not John Williams. I'm surprised McNeely didn't get this gig - I had always assumed he was the heir apparent, having been recommended by Williams for a couple of Lucasfilm projects in the past - and perhaps Kiner was just working under large constraints over what he could and could not do, but I hope this approach is abandoned before the next time the cow gets milked."


    Before anyone of the new army jumps down my throat, consider this; how many TRULY talented and overlooked composers get tossed each day and lost in ignorance just because people who obviously (as proved by the facts showcased by the actual music they compose) DON'T deserve it get the assignments and the ridiculous praise? I can't help but to shiver when i see Haslinger or Bates or Kiner or you and the RC army getting the said praise while people like Cliff Eidelman, McNeely, Broughton, McKenzie and Johnston among dozens others equally gifted remain basically under-or even not employed at all?

    COME ON PEOPLE (radio shows / film music journalists / websites included) have we completely lost the grip here? Unless you want to convince me that you're truly pleased and satisfied by this kind of constantly popping impersonal and soulless computer-generated scores on auto pilot that "just do their job and are simply serviceable" (as even people who defend them will admit about them) with which everyone will eventually stop dealing after a month or so and will gradually forget they even existed, then why the fudge do you condone and actually promote through your actions / writings / articles the spread and growth of such works and policies? Has everyone lost their taste and logic completely or are you all dancing the money / publicity dance? Have we all adjusted to and settle with the mediocrity of "just doing their job and being simply serviceable" scores?


    -----------

    5)
    Erik Woods wrote
    ^ Just read your comment above, Demetris, and I will comment on my part in this in a few hours. Stay tuned... You might not like what you are going read.... portions of it anyway.

    -Erik-


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    6)
    Christodoulides wrote
    Before you reply, bear in mind that i wasn't having you in mind when i wrote nor ACTUALLY playing the score on air 'cause you already made your sentiments clear (and on the on-air piece that was discussed with Ralph before); it's a logical thing to do firstly in order to continue doing what you do and support your professionalism and business and secondly in order to inform the buying public of what's out there.

    It's actually elevating some composers and some works into levels that clearly aren't as the next big thing that bothers me and to which i object.

    Thanks


    -----

    7)
    Erik Woods wrote
    Don't worry... this isn't going to get nasty.

    First of all, I understand that you weren't neccsarily aiming your comments at me but I tink I should respond anyway just so you get my point of view on the matter. Now, I'm probably repeating myself here but what the hell...

    My primary job as a film music radio producer/host is the promote film music. PERIOD! And in order to help promote the art form we love so much I have the co-operation of the record labels to send me albums to play on the show to assist me in my promotion of this art form. So, if a label sends something and if I don't like the score I still have an oblication to play the album. I play the album the labels gets a note from me, they see that I'm playing there music on the show and when that true masterpiece gets released down the road, they send that to me, and I play that on the program. You scratch my back I scratch yours.

    Now, what's so great about being a radio host is that I can speak my mind honestly about the score... love it or hate it... while at the same time letting the audience make up there own mind about the score by playing not just 30 second snippets but full tracks for 15 minutes or so. Sure, there are probably occasions where only my on air rant has influenced the decision of the listener as to what to buy and what not to buy but that ultimately is THERE choice. Most of the time, I'm sure users skip the rant and get on with the music. Whatever... all that I know is that my show has helped listeners with there purchasing options.

    However, there have been the rare occasions where I simply refuse to play a certain score on the show because I personally just can't play it. It would be a waste of my time. Is that fair to the listeners? Not sure. But when something like IRON MAN comes out I just can't for the life of me spend the time recording my voice, editing that speech down, then selecting the BEST TRACKS (if any) from a terrible album and then waste bandwidth and web space on such trash. Now, this hasn't happened much in the past 12 years but the score has to be truly bad for me not to even consider playing it on the program.

    That brings me to Kiner's score to STAR WARS. I don't like it... but I'm sure there are a pile of film score nuts who do. And as you can tell by reading the forums here that that is true. So, as pointed out in a previous thread I gave my two cents about the score (some didn't like my rant wink ) and then I played 15 minutes of the score. That's ususally how things work for me on the program. And trust me, when I like something I also let the listeners know.

    As you can see by going to my site that I am trying my very best to help promote Golden Age scores and the magnificent work of Charles Gerhardt by keeping an almost 3 year old program on line. I truly think it's one of the very best programs I've ever produced and is one of the most import film music radio series on the Internet right now, IMHO. There aren't to many click throughs to that show but I'm sure there are people who do find the page and are being introduced to this magnificent music for the very first time and I'm glad to play a tiny roll in that.

    As for web sites and magazines. I think they also do a great job in helping promote all kinds of film music. Sure, a lot concentrate on the new releases but if you look at a site like James' he reviews 2-3 new releases with 1 classic score as well. Even Christian at Filmtracks is reviewing and re-writing all of his older reviews and presenting daily updates. So, I think there is a variety of options for film music fans out there.

    As for the promotion of stuff like Death Race and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Well, maybe if those two scores sell well... crap or not... maybe it will help those labels release more scores from the Universal vault (Intrada) or maybe help with expanded releases of more Star Wars music like the complete prequel scores.

    Anyway, those are my two cents...

    -Erik-


    ------

    8)
    Christodoulides wrote
    Erik, i agree with you 100%. Thanks for describing the said situation which has to do with you (and i am sure with other people in similar positions to yours) 'cause this is the exact opposite of what i was cauterizing there, i.e. those who open their mouths and talk BS in the altar of more money.

    Your situation - i.e. filtering what you play / say and also make sure that along with something you put out for the people to hear you juxtapose your own view in a direct and ballsy way without indirect hints and pussy-driven behavior is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what i am describing above and i don't want them to be mixed in misunderstanding. So thanks for clearing it up.

    What i am strongly opposed to is articles and persons whose acts have - and continue to, aided hugely - even if they don't acknowledge it, into promoting false scores and false composers as the next big thing, especially since there are SO many new fans tuning in every single day and who are actually clueless about things (naturally and logically since they're just beginning) and look up to "those who know" and who are in position of promoting stuff, to find out about what's supposedly good in the business. These people, with their actions, might indeed fill their pockets with a couple of hundred more dollars but they also assist into creating false impressions that - since we are proven a very small community where composers and other professionals DO log into forums (most of the times under anonymity and for their own good), read reviews, read interviews, hear shows, see promotions etc etc, the industry is affected (even in smaller degree, but still) by this community as a whole and you should be cautious as to what you say.

    Except if some people REALLY want to convince us that Tyler Bates' 300 or Haslinger's noise is the next big thing or Kiner is the new Williams.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  1. several years ago, I would have gone into a discussion here, but I just don't have the energy anymore to do so, so please happy hunting guys smile

    Just this, filmmusic lacks the quality and the originality due to too many composers, too many movies and too many albums that are coming it, we are litterally drowned into a pool of constant releases, recent and older ones so for me the best music will be those that were written in the 70's, 80's and 90's, with the exceptions that come every year

    But the real killing zone is that most of the albums don't use themes anymore as cornerstone to their music, but thematical ideas that never return again or don't give the listener a sense of what their listening too. Wall-E has got perhaps a theme never used more than twice (at least on album) and meanders on, giving you no sense of direction while a theme can litterally keep you connected to the music and movie

    so I stick with themes and scores that present them

    It seems I was going into discussion after all wink
    Now no more tongue
    waaaaaahhhhhhhh!!! Where's my nut? arrrghhhhhhh
    •  
      CommentAuthorThomas
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008
    That's a lot to read....

    My opinion is that nowadays there is as much bad music as 20 or 30 years ago. The only difference is that crap from the 70s or 80s is already forgotten or was never released. Today much more scores get a cd release so it looks like there is actually more crap. Also, if old crap receives a limited release by a soundtrack label it's now considered as a masterpiece... wink
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008
    Thomas wrote
    Also, if old crap receives a limited release by a soundtrack label it's now considered as a masterpiece... wink


    Word.

    Thomas Glorieux wrote
    But the real killing zone is that most of the albums don't use themes anymore as cornerstone to their music, but thematical ideas that never return again or don't give the listener a sense of what their listening too. Wall-E has got perhaps a theme never used more than twice (at least on album) and meanders on, giving you no sense of direction while a theme can litterally keep you connected to the music and movie


    Exactly; that's a very big flaw indeed; how many themes can one whisper out of memory from scores getting released during the past 3 years, especially by those auto-pilot scores by younger composers? There aren't any! 'Cause those composers - either because they're required to write in specific ways, or they are stretched or most probably (imo) they're either bored or don't have what it takes to be a composer of essence as virtually everyone can be a self-proclaimed something nowadays, more than even before.

    Music that just serves (at best) or is virtually unlistenable (at worst) or simply impersonal and uninteresting (most of the cases).
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    •  
      CommentAuthorErik Woods
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008
    Thomas Glorieux wrote
    Wall-E has got perhaps a theme never used more than twice (at least on album) and meanders on, giving you no sense of direction while a theme can litterally keep you connected to the music and movie


    A theme is the glue that holds the rest of the score together. I'm not saying all scores need themes but gosh darn it they are nice to listen to.

    -Erik-
    host and producer of CINEMATIC SOUND RADIO | www.cinematicsound.net | www.facebook.com/cinematicsound | I HAVE TINNITUS!
    •  
      CommentAuthorWilliam
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008
    Erik Woods wrote
    Thomas Glorieux wrote
    Wall-E has got perhaps a theme never used more than twice (at least on album) and meanders on, giving you no sense of direction while a theme can litterally keep you connected to the music and movie


    A theme is the glue that holds the rest of the score together. I'm not saying all scores need themes but gosh darn it they are nice to listen to.

    -Erik-


    I agree! beer
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008 edited
    Yeah but it's true that most of the things that get out today are mostly unmemorable; you'll play them 5-6 times 'till the next hot thing comes out and you won't remember a thing 6 months from now.

    It's not just the lack of proper theme nor that every score should have a bold theme 'cause it won't always serve the film it was made for; it's the lack of proper melodic manipulation and logical musicality in the scores which merely serve as background; tense-up this, mellow-down that, tragic-up this and lighten-up the mood on that, make action, make love scene, make middle-eastern sounding epic drama, make female vocals and moaning (not the erotic type) here for dramatic effect etc etc.

    More importantly:

    Music isn't used as MUSIC in many cases anymore and it's partly due to the computer background of many younger composers: whereas Delerue (just an example) would take months to create a wholly coherent, musically meaningful concert-like score with a beginning, a middle and a climax, driven by principles stemming from classical music, music harmony and musical rules, composers nowadays are finding themselves right from their pro tools and massive awesome sound libraries where they'd have everything on the touch of a button - college bedrooms or gig garages right into the studios where they have this incredible amount of impressively-skilled musicians, top sound engineers and professionals, arrangers, orchestrators, producers, massive orchestras, choirs and soloists and they don't know what to do with them! Used to loop things together in computers, they just start to loop alive human beings and musicians and glue them together in a similar fashion. That won't give you music though, will just give you soulless background filler. That resembles a lot in my head from the past 3 years.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  2. And please keep it respectful, after all we are all a big family who are all in love with and interested in the same field.


    Unfortunately the thought that we are a family just gives me license to mercilessly tease people like I do with my sister. wink
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
    •  
      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008
    I just typed a huge, huge post in this thread, and then accidentally shut down Internet Explorer. Shit.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008 edited
    I know it sucks but please, re-type. I want to hear your thoughts. beer Oh and a hit, 'cause i've done this before; to avoid such mishaps, always write stuff in ms word first and then copy it in here wave
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008
    Try again:

    When I first joined internet messageboards (or newsgroups, as it was at the time) over ten years ago, I remember exactly the same discussions. There was me getting all excited over new scores from Goldsmith, Williams and co and there were all these people who were aghast at how bad everything was, that Miklos Rozsa's death signalled the end of any hope of hearing a good film score ever again, etc. It's certainly a generational thing. I'm sure in ten years, people like Anthony and Nautilus will be posting on these boards that they can't believe how bad things have got since the glory days of Kung Fu Panda.

    I don't want to turn this into another debate about Hans Zimmer, but I just can't avoid him if I talk about something like this. Loads of people love his music which is great for them, but for someone like me it really does get to the heart of the matter - the mechanical way that films are scored has changed so much, and that's the key reason why I can't get so excited by new scores as I used to. There was a time when a film score was the singular creative vision of the composer (and director, of course) - the best scores were clearly mapped-out from start to finish, you could feel yourself being taken on a journey when listening to them, through the inherent drama within them and the emotional responses so provoked - and you just can't get that if a score is by twenty composers, arrangers, orchestrators etc. You could never get a score like Papillon which raises an idea at one point, just drops it in casually and then - wham! - fifteen minutes later develops it, reveals why it was there, makes you think about it - because a different person is writing the music which comes fifteen minutes later than the one who wrote the first bit. You wouldn't find a director brave enough to allow a score like Patton - contemplative, intelligent, intellectual even - but also profoundly emotional. People always say in response to that - ah, but there are no films like that any more. Maybe there aren't films precisely like that - but there are certainly films which could allow such an approach to scoring. Now, you can find these things - to a lesser extent, I think - if you search outside the Hollywood mainstream, but the point is that films like Papillon and Patton were the Hollywood mainstream at one time. Of course I don't think scores should sound precisely like those two (though I wouldn't complain if they did!) but surely it's not beyond the realms of possibility for someone to put the kind of effort into summer blockbusters that the A-grade composers used to.

    Thomas touches on an important point by saying that perhaps one reason things seem worse is that so much more stuff is released today than there used to be - and I think this is true - but it doesn't explain away everything. For my own personal tastes (and I stress this - I know others think completely differently), it's the creme de la creme that has really suffered, rather than the average, run-of-the-mill stuff which is probably much the same now as it ever was. Fifteen years ago you got 25 new scores in a year spread between people like Williams, Goldsmith, Barry, Bernstein and Morricone; and another 25 new scores from the best of the next generation, people like Horner, Kamen, Goldenthal, Thomas Newman, Elfman. They weren't all masterpieces - of course not - but you could pretty much guarantee a dozen new scores a year from these gentlemen (and others) that would be genuine five-star material, stuff that you could listen to time after time after time and never tire of hearing.

    I know that there are people around today writing fine music, including some of the names I have already mentioned, along with exciting new talents like Desplat - but is the real top-drawer stuff quite worthy of being in the same drawer as the finest stuff of 15 years ago?

    Here's a list of scores by the ten composers I mentioned, from 15 years ago, 1993:

    Jurassic Park
    Schindler's List
    Six Degrees of Separation
    Malice
    Rudy
    Dennis the Menace
    The Vanishing
    Matinee
    The Good Son
    Lost in Yonkers
    The Age of Innocence
    Mad Dog and Glory
    The Cemetery Club
    My Life
    Ruby Cairo
    Indecent Proposal
    The Long Silence
    In the Line of Fire
    La Scorta
    Jonah Who Lived in the Whale
    Roma Imago Ubris
    Missus
    Piazza di Spagna
    The Pelican Brief
    We're Back!
    Bopha
    The Man Without a FAce
    Searching for Bobby Fischer
    House of Cards
    Once Upon a Forest
    Jack the Bear
    Swing Kids
    A Far Off Place
    The Three Musketeers
    Wilder Napalm
    Last Action Hero
    Splitting Heirs
    Demolition Man
    Josh and SAM
    Flesh and Bone
    The Nightmare Before Christmas
    Sommersby

    Are these all great scores? Absolutely not! But could you really produce such a long list of such diverse music (another complaint: all big films today are scored in precisely the same way - there's no variety) with such quality? I couldn't - not ones to suit my taste - again I acknowledge that others could do so easily, because everyone's taste is different from everyone else's.

    The moral of the story? Who knows.
  3. James is right. There are many more score releases now than there used to be, so the only way to measure quality now and then is to look at the best stuff coming out now and whenever you think film music was great (which, btw, I think is whenever you really started getting into it + or - 5 years). That list from '93 is enlightening. I was making one for 1998 when I hit the back button and erased my post, so I'll just say there's even a signifant difference in the number of really good scores from just 10 years ago. There are a handful of good (sometimes great) scores every year, but I've had to look harder for them lately.

    So I'm not saying good music isn't being written anymore, or even thematic music (Angel, anyone?), but it's certainly not as plentiful as it was in decades past.

    Part of the problem may also be diminishing returns. Maybe I get less impressed with new scores because I'm familiar with so much more music now than i was in 1995 when I was getting into this and everything seemed wonderful. Because I've heard X number of scores now and so many of them are great, it takes a lot more these days for a score to really impress me. I think that's why there will always be collectors who say the current state of film music is just fine, and why there will always be those who say it was better 10 years ago.

    This can't account for everything, though, because when I compare how impressive my new scores are that were written lately vs. the ones that were written a while back, there's a disparity. The most impressive score I've acquired lately was written 20 years ago (ish).
    •  
      CommentAuthorelenewton
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2008 edited
    In the beginning, Zimmer produces scores with only SIMPLE chord progression, BLAND orchestration. And some people LOVE it. Fine.

    Then Zimmer got connected with Spielberg and Bruckheimer---two of the most powerful guys at Hollywood. Fine.

    Later, on a remote planet of Kamino, Zimmer built a secret CLONE ARMY to do his bidding. Fine.

    Finally Zimmer used his connections to innitiate his CLONE WAR.

    Zimmer's clones get most of blockbuster film assignments---Narnia, Forbidden Kingdom, Iron Man, Transformers... And I hear that DAMN batman chord everywhere.

    Zimmer's clones started to replace talented guys like Marco Beltrami (TMNT, by Klaus Badelt) and Kevin Kiepl ( Gears of War 2, by Steve Jablonsky).

    A lot of non-RC composers are starting to immitate Zimmer---Brian Tyler on Rambo, Harold Kloser on 10000BC.

    And I HATE Zimmer for taking solo credit on CD covers while twenty other guys wrote half of his music and arranged his "theme" on synth or piano into orchestral form.


    But I'm thirty years younger than Zimmer. Guess I'll survive him and live to the day when he's not around any more.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    I think the problem is also due - and to a large extend - to this thing here which i wrote a in the begging of the topic and i am repeating as it may have been buried upon the initial mass of posts:



    More importantly:

    Music isn't used as MUSIC in many cases anymore and it's partly due to the computer background of many younger composers: whereas Delerue (just an example) would take months to create a wholly coherent, musically meaningful concert-like score with a beginning, a middle and a climax, driven by principles stemming from classical music, music harmony and musical rules, composers nowadays are finding themselves right from their pro tools and massive awesome sound libraries where they'd have everything on the touch of a button - college bedrooms or gig garages right into the studios where they have this incredible amount of impressively-skilled musicians, top sound engineers and professionals, arrangers, orchestrators, producers, massive orchestras, choirs and soloists and they don't know what to do with them! Used to loop things together in computers, they just start to loop alive human beings and musicians and glue them together in a similar fashion. That won't give you music though, will just give you soulless background filler. That resembles a lot in my head from the past 3 years.

    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    •  
      CommentAuthorScribe
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    The common theme I see here is one that I have believed in all my life:

    computers are evil.

    *looks around suspiciously* except that, without them, I could not have done anything I have done today in the same way that I have done it.
    I love you all. Never change. Well, unless you want to!
  4. Well it's my opinion that every industry has its up and down periods. While I agree that this one has lasted 2 to 3 years, maybe it will start picking up again. But I do admit that I never considered the amount of releases as a factor. Also where once there was a couple of hundred film composers at Hollywoods disposal, now there are thousands.

    I'm glad this thread was started though. I began to think maybe it was just me who thought about the number of quality scores over the last few years. Nice to read all of your thoughts on this.
    I'm your Piper at the gates of dawn.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMarselus
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    elenewton wrote
    In the beginning, Zimmer produces scores with only SIMPLE chord progression, BLAND orchestration. And some people LOVE it. Fine.

    Then Zimmer got connected with Spielberg and Bruckheimer---two of the most powerful guys at Hollywood. Fine.

    Later, on a remote planet of Kamino, Zimmer built a secret CLONE ARMY to do his bidding. Fine.

    Finally Zimmer used his connections to innitiate his CLONE WAR.

    Zimmer's clones get most of blockbuster film assignments---Narnia, Forbidden Kingdom, Iron Man, Transformers... And I hear that DAMN batman chord everywhere.

    Zimmer's clones started to replace talented guys like Marco Beltrami (TMNT, by Klaus Badelt) and Kevin Kiepl ( Gears of War 2, by Steve Jablonsky).

    Hey I have answer for your problem! Become a producer and choose your composer. Easy, ain´t it?
    Come on, this Zimmer bashing is really boring. You don´t like him? Seek for other composers, which are out there by the way (check some of the topics of the last few days to find some), but it seems you Zimmer haters are too busy (criticising Zimmer) to find them out.

    elenewton wrote
    A lot of non-RC composers are starting to immitate Zimmer---Brian Tyler on Rambo, Harold Kloser on 10000BC.

    I have an answer for that too! Become a producer, choose the composer and tell him not to imitate Zimmer.

    elenewton wrote
    And I HATE Zimmer for taking solo credit on CD covers while twenty other guys wrote half of his music and arranged his "theme" on synth or piano into orchestral form.

    They may not be in the CD cover, but they are always inside. Or in the back cover ("Tears of the Sun", does it ring a bell?).

    elenewton wrote
    Guess I'll survive him and live to the day when he's not around any more.

    You never know my friend, you never know. But, just in case, if you leave us first, I´ll keep you posted about his new scores wink
    Anything with an orchestra or with a choir....at some point will reach you
    •  
      CommentAuthorelenewton
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    Marselus wrote
    elenewton wrote
    In the beginning, Zimmer produces scores with only SIMPLE chord progression, BLAND orchestration. And some people LOVE it. Fine.

    Then Zimmer got connected with Spielberg and Bruckheimer---two of the most powerful guys at Hollywood. Fine.

    Later, on a remote planet of Kamino, Zimmer built a secret CLONE ARMY to do his bidding. Fine.

    Finally Zimmer used his connections to innitiate his CLONE WAR.

    Zimmer's clones get most of blockbuster film assignments---Narnia, Forbidden Kingdom, Iron Man, Transformers... And I hear that DAMN batman chord everywhere.

    Zimmer's clones started to replace talented guys like Marco Beltrami (TMNT, by Klaus Badelt) and Kevin Kiepl ( Gears of War 2, by Steve Jablonsky).

    Hey I have answer for your problem! Become a producer and choose your composer. Easy, ain´t it?
    Come on, this Zimmer bashing is really boring. You don´t like him? Seek for other composers, which are out there by the way (check some of the topics of the last few days to find some), but it seems you Zimmer haters are too busy (criticising Zimmer) to find them out.

    elenewton wrote
    A lot of non-RC composers are starting to immitate Zimmer---Brian Tyler on Rambo, Harold Kloser on 10000BC.

    I have an answer for that too! Become a producer, choose the composer and tell him not to imitate Zimmer.

    elenewton wrote
    And I HATE Zimmer for taking solo credit on CD covers while twenty other guys wrote half of his music and arranged his "theme" on synth or piano into orchestral form.

    They may not be in the CD cover, but they are always inside. Or in the back cover ("Tears of the Sun", does it ring a bell?).

    elenewton wrote
    Guess I'll survive him and live to the day when he's not around any more.

    You never know my friend, you never know. But, just in case, if you leave us first, I´ll keep you posted about his new scores wink


    Thanks but I guess if I leave first, I'd be able to listen to some NEW Goldsmith's scores in HEAVEN, while fans of Zimmer probably have to go down to THE OTHER side to enjoy his "music" after Zimmer passes away.
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    He's probably down the other side; he loves rock music.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    Marselus, you seem to miss the point. There are a few dozen films a year scored by either Zimmer or people associated with him, and they all have precisely the same approach to the music. And these are not small films. Any list of top ten films at the box office in any particular year these days is dominated by his music. These are the films with the biggest music budgets, and the best opportunities for any composer. And those opportunities are not available to the composers I want to hear, they are only available to the ones you do. Saying "become a producer, choose the composer and tell him not to imitate Zimmer" is just asinine. We're talking about how something that used to bring so much joy (to us), no longer can (to us - not to you, and Zimmer fans, and it's great for you guys), because of that man. I know it's hard to understand, just as one day it was hard for me to understand how someone could possibly be upset that Maurice Jarre had been replaced by Jerry Goldsmith on First Knight, but different people have different outlooks, and while all may be well in your world, all is not well in everyone else's. I thought the point of this thread was to offer honest opinions (of whatever nature) in a friendly environment and to leave the hostility aside for a moment, but this always seems a problem for Zimmer fans who seem to take any criticism of him, no matter how reasonably-argued, as a great personal insult and then stoop to cheap name-calling in some bizarre retaliation.
  5. Quality is rare at any point in time, so it should not surprise us that it is rare now. If there was more disproportionate quality in the past, it's because we were fortunate, and at least most of that quality has been documented.

    And why is quality rare? Because quality isn't the goal. Films of perfection, with thought-out skillful manipulations of all craft areas, are not what most film-making is about. Most of it is about getting film X made for price Y in time Z in order to present to audience W.

    And I can't help but think that if things are particularly bad at the moment, it has to do with the film industry behind it. Both technique and content. There will occasionally be things like THE DARK KNIGHT (rare quality film), but for the most part, films that come from the glittering heart really don't deserve to be talked about after they've been seen, let alone before. Most advances in film-making in the last 30 years have been about perfecting the ability to get people to get interested in advance about things that aren't worth watching, and then making them forget that the poor quality of the result in time to get excited about the next one. Forget special effects, this is the moviemaking art that really has advanced in our lifetimes.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    Indeed but in the past, truly great film scores have been produces for horrendous films, lots of them even way worse than the films you talk about above. How do you justify that?
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  6. Like I said, it has to do with the film industry behind it. Technique and content, and technique probably accounts for why the bad films get bad scores. At the moment, the mechanisms to keep musical technique at a relatively high level are not internal to the American film-making machine. It truly is all outsourced. There was a time when it was internal to the studios - when most major musical assignments were controlled by 5-6 classically-literate music directors who were also composers. A certain level of musicianship prevailed, because those studio directors would have been embarrassed by poor technique under their watch.

    Not to beat up on Hans too much, but he serves much the role Alfred Newman used to serve as a musical director of a studio. And as someone who is not as technically competent a composer as he might be, his standards for what makes a good film composer are going to play a part in the proteges he appoints. So Alfred Newman brings Bernard Herrmann and later John Williams into the mainstream, while Zimmer brings us John Powell and Klaus Badelt.

    Now I'm not being all starry-eyed about the old studio system, because it did have a downside. It had the disadvantage of forcing an arbitrary musical idiom onto all films ever made - mostly halfway between pop orchestral music and late Romantic composition. Studios kept orchestras and composers on staff, so films had better use them. It's ironic that the things of the past that people are nostalgic for were as arbitrarily chosen as many of today's scoring choices. Whether its Jack Warner (who thinks films need continuous orchestral accompaniment in a kind of wannabe opera backdrop) or Jerry Bruckheimer (who things films need a rock-synthorchestral accompaniment in a kind of wannabe pop Wagner backdrop), decisions are made arbitrarily because of how a non-musical person feels.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
    • CommentAuthorTimmer
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    Christodoulides wrote
    Indeed but in the past, truly great film scores have been produces for horrendous films, lots of them even way worse than the films you talk about above. How do you justify that?


    Is there anything to justify?

    The best example is Jerry Goldsmith who continually turned lead to gold but then, we are talking about a composer who was truly a genius in the world of film scores. Compare him to James Newton Howard, a great composer who really rises to the occasion when the film is good or it's a director he respects but totally takes his foot off the pedal for projects of a lesser degree.

    I hope I'm making sense because it's late and I've only briefly glanced over the replies here.
    On Friday I ate a lot of dust and appeared orange near the end of the day ~ Bregt
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    Very good points raised there Michael, thanks for the valuable contribution. I wanted to add this too: behind the rotten studio system and politics of which you talk, i'd also add the fact that every idiot who can get to California (not easy, but still lots are doing it) out of nowhere, find a budget and sign a contract instantly calls himself a director and here goes the next crappy film (thousands of them forgettable ones that don't even deserve mentioning in detail). Those completely illiterate (not only musical but also in most relevant fields) will eventually promote a "you can do it yourself too" attitude, the "everybody can make it into Hollywood" fashion that's been indeed bringing in the system more and more of those irrelevant, untalented people who also carry their friend composers with them and further spread the said philosophy into producing junk.

    If anyone ever told me 10 years before than hacks like BT would be making it big in Hollywood and actually call themselves composers, i'd totally not believe it.
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.
  7. Well, there have been BT's before. I can't fully judge his work though, as I've resisted most opportunities to listen to it.

    And I don't think all the blame can come from directors either, as they aren't 'the money', nor do they always have influence on their own films. True, the way their skills are cultivated has gone out the window. Read Kurosawa's autobiography, and you see that he was carefully mentored in directing in much the same way Roger Corman used to mentor directors. The apprenticeship process isn't really there anymore, and so technique is less well understood behind the camera as well. (With many obvious exceptions.)

    Directors who supply their own music have always been such a small minority that they can't account for the general state of film music. And for every Robert Rodriguez, who probably shouldn't score their own film, there's a Mike Figgis, who probably should. (Though that comparison is a bit specious, since Figgis has never exactly been a hack, and used composers on his big budget productions.)

    It is true that the visual and audio equipment required to make a decent low-end budget film are approaching the consumer's affordable price range more and more. And as it does, a 'do it yourself' mentality will grow, and film-making could change as a social phenomenon. But this development doesn't explain what we observe happening on tentpoles like TRANSFORMERS, SUPERMAN RETURNS and many more.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
    •  
      CommentAuthorSouthall
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    franz_conrad wrote
    Not to beat up on Hans too much, but he serves much the role Alfred Newman used to serve as a musical director of a studio. And as someone who is not as technically competent a composer as he might be, his standards for what makes a good film composer are going to play a part in the proteges he appoints. So Alfred Newman brings Bernard Herrmann and later John Williams into the mainstream, while Zimmer brings us John Powell and Klaus Badelt.


    It's that period in between Alfred Newman and Hans Zimmer that got me really excited. You're right - the problems that Zimmer brings were also true when all studios had music heads who performed a similar role to him (though I think the music was better!) - but in between, say from the 60s to the early 90s, is my own personal golden age of film music - much of the time, talented composers simply left alone to do their thing. Seems a distant dream at the moment.
    •  
      CommentAuthorMarselus
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008 edited
    Southall wrote
    Marselus, you seem to miss the point. There are a few dozen films a year scored by either Zimmer or people associated with him, and they all have precisely the same approach to the music. And these are not small films. Any list of top ten films at the box office in any particular year these days is dominated by his music.

    Really? Check this out:

    These are links to the 2000-2008 top 15 list. Check out how many of the films have been scored by Zimmer or one of the so called Zimmer underlings.
    In case you don´t have time, I´ve kept a total after the link. Keep in mind I don´t consider (and no one should, IMO) John Powell, Harry Gregson Williams or Trevor Rabin a Zimmer clone (as you like to call them).

    Year 2000: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (2 films: MI 2 and Gladiator)

    Year 2001: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (3 films: Hannibal and Pearl Harbor)

    Year 2002: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (0 films)

    Year 2003: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (1 film: Pirates 1)

    Year 2004: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (1 film: Shark Tale)

    Year 2005: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (2 films: Batman Begins, Madagascar)

    Year 2006: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (3 films: Pirates 2, The Da Vinci Code, Over the Hedge)

    Year 2007: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (3 films: Pirates 3, Transformers, The Simpsons Movie)

    Year 2008: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/cha … amp;p=.htm (3 films: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Kung Fu Panda).

    So, your "Any list of top ten films at the box office in any particular year these days is dominated by his music" statement of yours is FALSE .After this, you really think Zimmer and Co. are taking over the world of film music? You may like it or not, but in the 2000-2008 period, only 18 films out of 159 (counting the top 15 of each year) have been scored by Zimmer and/or clones.

    What happens? I´ll tell you what: we tend to overrate what we don´t like, that´s what happens. You don´t like Zimmer, ok, that´s perfect, it´d would be so boring if we all liked the same. But the links I provided are FACTS.
    And the argument "Zimmer and Co. take all the blockbusters possible, and all the films I want to see" is plain bullshit. Come on, let´s remember some of the blockbusters / sagas of the last 8 years (present in the top 15 of every year):

    - Star Wars saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Harry Potter saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - The Lord of the Rings saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Rush Hour saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - The Mummy saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Fast and the Furious: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Ocean´s saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Spiderman saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - James Bond saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Matrix saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - X Men saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Bourne saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.
    - Fantastic Four saga: none scored by Zimmer and Co.

    And this referred to sagas / trilogies / whatever. If you wanna talk about individual blockbusters (or popular movies), those that you are so anxious to watch them scored by any other composer but Zimmer the list is endless: The Grinch, Perfect Storm, A Beautiful Mind, Jurassic Park 3, Tomb Rider, Monsters, signs, Ice Age, Finding Nemo, Terminator 3, Hulk, Passion of the Christ, Polar Express, and this is only until 2004, but I could continue til 2008.

    So, again, what happens?
    You don´t like Ramin Djawadi´s Iron Man / Mr. Brooks / Beat the Drum?
    You don´t like Atli Orvarsson´s Vantage Point?
    You don´t like Geoff Zanelli´s Hitman?

    Ok, I don´t like them neither, and I think any other composer would have done it better.

    Southall wrote
    These are the films with the biggest music budgets, and the best opportunities for any composer. And those opportunities are not available to the composers I want to hear, they are only available to the ones you do.

    Check the lists again and tell me that nobody but Zimmer protegés had opportunities. Come on....

    Southall wrote
    Saying "become a producer, choose the composer and tell him not to imitate Zimmer" is just asinine.

    I was being sarcastic, of course saying "become a producer, choose the composer and tell him not to imitate Zimmer" is as absurd as futile.

    Southall wrote
    I thought the point of this thread was to offer honest opinions (of whatever nature) in a friendly environment and to leave the hostility aside for a moment

    Of course this is a friendly environment, but it was not me who said "But I'm thirty years younger than Zimmer. Guess I'll survive him and live to the day when he's not around any more". Neither was you, sorry to type this quoting you, but you know what I mean.
    Anything with an orchestra or with a choir....at some point will reach you
  8. Marselus, I think you almost proved Southall's point for him!

    James, in response to the period you love the most... It's interesting that that WAS a period of outsourcing, dominated by the proteges mentored by Newman and others. You had the benefit of the stamp of approval that came with old studio-level technique, plus the ability of composers to get onto projects that were at rival studios. A fairly unique period, as you say.
    A butterfly thinks therefore I am
    •  
      CommentAuthorDemetris
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2008
    plus there are other Zimmer clones apart Badelt, Powell, HGW, Jablonsky, Djawadi

    MAny others, there's a list over at hans-zimmer.com...add them to the list as well wink
    Love Maintitles. It's full of Wanders.