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Old 06-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #1
Mike Marino
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Scoring the Cosmos: A Conversation with Alan Silvestri and Seth MacFarlane

A bit of a long read but certainly worth it!


Quote from the article:
"It was also an extremely rare scenario where the composer wasn’t asked to spend a lot of time creating elaborate synth mockups to audition each cue before moving on—and the outcome speaks for itself. “There were no demos,” says MacFarlane. “Part of it was schedule, but part of it was: the more I do this, the more I realize that’s just a better way to do it. The technology has pushed composers into this corner where they have to demo absolutely everything, and send synth tracks so everybody can give notes on everything. It’s a bad trend that just needs to go away. When you deal with a guy like John Williams, he plays you some themes on the piano and then he goes and writes his score, and you hear it when you get to the scoring stage. The more I do this, the more I realize that’s how it should be done. Because there’s an enormous amount of time and expenditure of effort to make these mockups so a director and producer can hear the music. It’s time that is taken away from orchestration, time that the composer could be using to actually make the score better.

“If you hire a composer and you trust that composer, he or she should be treated like an actor. This is the person you hired, this is the performance they’re going to give—and you can give bits of direction, but to go in and nitpick every little piece will drive a composer nuts, just as it will drive an actor nuts. We found that it worked great. When the scores came back, we had a composer who knew how to handle an orchestra, who was a serious musician, and we got wonderfully legit music. This was all Alan.”


- Mike
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:41 AM   #2
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Indeed! Good speech. The score is something that needs to come to birth in a careful process, and the best thing the director can do is to convey what the film is about in depth, since music works at deep-brain level.
This is related to one of my favorite topics. As a composer, I use to stress the importance of getting the right music for the right images and story. When pictures have the right music, something happens, 1+1=3. It's also important for everyone involved to remember that music for films differs from "ordinary" music, music for films needs to stay on the right side of intensity, and either carry an emotion or not be too intrusive.
I think I notice a trend towards more and more bombastic music now, that numbs the senses, even though I like bombastic music, but it should have it's place, without nuances it dies.
(While I'm at this topic, if someone's interested, I made a post under promotion, http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=54196, it is about what music can do to images, it's very simple and plain in this context though, but the point is that music can do all the work or a lot of it, or destroy.)
Anyway, director and composer should come to a mutual understanding of the story, and have mutual respect for each others work, and be aware of where music should carry and where it should back off or play the supporting role. In the article he mentions he thinks about the music from the script stage, and I think it's a good thing to bring in the composer early in the process.

Last edited by NickAtMixxus; 06-15-2014 at 05:44 AM.
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