I’m finally meeting my composer next week.  In this wonderfully wired world we live in, I haven’t even spoken to him on the phone – just e-mailed, and pretty briefly at that.  He’s going to be watching the latest version of the film to get some ideas for scoring, which I’ll be very curious to hear.

I went to a lecture on film scoring…last week?  The week before? (It’s a little scary, how the weeks seem to blend together).  It was very interesting.  Two different composers each gave a talk on a “classic” film score and then showed clips of their own work.  The first composer, Peter Calandra, gave a short lecture on “Vertigo” which was scored by the late, great Bernard Herrmann (who was supposedly a crankypants supreme as well as a brilliant composer).   It was a lecture (and a score)  that contrasted nicely with the second talk, by Andrew Markus, who spoke about the score to “American Beauty” by Thomas Newman (cousin to Randy and from a dynasty of movie composers – I believe he referred to them as “the Kennedys of film score composition” or something to that effect).   With “Vertigo,” it’s such a beautiful score – there’s *no* way, in my opinion, that you can’t notice it – it’s a part of the picture.

With “American Beauty,” the score was also lovely, but it seemed to me to function more like a beautiful frame to a beautiful piece of art – it enhanced the picture, but you didn’t notice it *first* (I once worked as a custom-framer, hence the analogy.  You never framed a picture so that someone looking at it would go “Wow, look at that frame!”  The purpose of the frame (and the mat) was always to serve the art best). 

In fact, with the ”American Beauty” score,  you sometimes didn’t notice it at all, which sounds like a negative thing, but it wasn’t, it just *worked*.

The composers also showed clips of their own work and narrated some of their process, which was fascinating.  It was an evening well-spent, and yet another glimpse into my brave new world of filmmaking.

“O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world
That has such people in’t.”

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