Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable: Composers stay calm and score on!

Thomas Newman, Composer Saving Mr. Banks
One of the many things I loved about Saving Mr. Banks - (I'm still working on my take on the movie, thinking about it anyway) was the music. Full of the Sherman brothers songs for Mary Poppins, how could the familiar refrains from my childhood not deliver the predictable warm cushy response? Those Disney folks know what they're doing, they've got the buttons down and know just when to push them, just like Walt Disney himself did, back when he came into my family's living room every week when I was growing up. But how to marry those Mary Poppins moments with the meat of Travers' own childhood story which figures prominently in the film? 

BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman play Mary Poppins music men the Sherman brothers

Thomas Newman (Skyfall,The Help, American Beauty) the many times nominated composer behind Saving Mr. Banks joined composers behind several of the year's most memorable film scores to talk about the processes and challenges for this week's featured Hollywood Reporters video roundtable. It's a very distinguished panel - Hans Zimmer (12 Years a Slave, Rush), Christophe Beck (Frozen), Henry Jackman(Captain Phillips), Steven Price (Gravity) and Allan Silvestri (The Croods) - who share some of their inner fears and frustrations. I was struck by how often their work falls short of their own expectations or the director's intention and means going back to the drawing board and beginning again! Composers have to stay calm and score on! The only disappointment in the panel is the absence of the magnificent Monsieur Alexander Desplat who I neglected to mention was the composer for Philomena in my take on Philomena yesterday.

If you don't have time to watch the full 45 minute panel, here's the THR link so you can skim through the text. I really would like to know what you think; are you finding the background glimpses interesting? So many people stop and visit but I wonder why more of you don't share a thought or too. I always worry that you ended up here accidentally and were deeply disappointed to find my little mish mosh of movie junk, instead of what you were searching for. But what were you searching for anyway? Clearly, I can't worry about that, I'll keep posting what piques my interest in the world of bookish movie news and hope other readers curious about the book to movie process find their way here.




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