Reviewed byPat ThomasVote: 9/10/10
Fair disclosure: I'm a Kickstarter backer and I know one of thefilmmakers. Having said that, I love movies and I've always been intothe music that makes them tick, and this gets into the nitty gritty ofhow movie scores came to be and how they have evolved over the years.The interviews with many big-name composers are fascinating in that welearn about how they do what they do, how they work with directors andorchestras, and in many cases, how they went from what they used to doto scoring movies. It's a quick and breezy and uber-interesting 90minutes that includes people and scores you'd expect and some youprobably wouldn't, but are happy to see. There are one or two placeswhere the music is a bit louder than the spoken word, and there are acouple instances where it would be really great to see the scores,while they're being orchestrated, in context of the movies they becomepart of. But I quibble. Everything here is right up my alley and Ithoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewed byjjlacaVote: 9/10/10
Interesting look at how music has been created for film and how it haschanged over time. The film features interviews with many of the greatcomposers and an insight into the music making process to create filmscores.
Enjoy this look into arguably the biggest contributor to the mood ofmany of the films we have enjoyed over the years!
Reviewed byDavid Ferguson (email@example.com)Vote: 9/10/10
Greetings again from the darkness. Some people remember movies byrecalling the story others by picturing the actors still others bycrediting the writer and director. Surprisingly, it's the film's musicthat we subconsciously carry with us. Even years later a theme song cantrigger an emotional tie to our favorite movies. The magic of moviesand their scores are so inter-connected that you often can't think ofone without the other: Jaws, Star Wars, The Magnificent Seven, TheGood, The Bad, and The Ugly, Psycho, Gone with the Wind, James Bond,Batman, Titanic, Chariots of Fire, and Jurassic Park (to name a few).Chances are, just reading that list caused you to hear the themes!
Director Matt Schrader, in his directorial debut, takes us back to thebeginning by explaining that silent films were never really silent.There was invariably live or recorded musical accompaniment to helpmuffle the sound of the projector. But it was Max Steiner's score forKing Kong in 1933 that really changed the game. His music transformedthat film from a schlocky special effects B-movie into a tense,thrilling cinematic experience.
This is so much more than a history of important and beautifullywritten scores. Director Schrader interviews most of the well-knownfilm composers working today. He gains insight into their writingprocess, commentary on the ground-breakers who came before them, anduncovers how technology, new instruments, new styles, and a differentapproach are always in the works.
Some of those interviewed include Rachel Portman (the only femalecomposer included here), Randy Newman, Danny Elfman, Atticus Ross andTrent Reznor, and Thomas Newman (son of Alfred). There is also awell-deserved segment reserved entirely for the great John Williams,and we get reminded of the revolutionary composers like Jerry Goldsmith(Planet of the Apes, Chinatown) and Bernard Hermann (Psycho), as wellas Henry Mancini (The Pink Panther), Monty Norman (James Bond), andEnnio Morricone (classic westerns). A quick segment that proves quiteentertaining focuses on Mark Mothersbaugh (formerly of Devo) tellingthe story of how he used a toy piano for the score of Rugrats, butregrettably no longer has possession of the little piano anymore.
Oscar winning composer Hans Zimmer is a recurring voice throughout andprovides some structure to the numerous interviews and segments. It'squite humorous to see this highly accomplished, world-renowned composerin his early days as a keyboardist for The Buggles' "Video Killed theRadio Star" (the first video played on MTV). More importantly, Mr.Zimmer discusses the insecurities and pressures that go along with thejob, and how change (such as his aggressive sounds) isn't alwayswelcomed openly.
The technical aspects of creating the score are certainly not ignored.We get a glimpse inside Abbey Road Studios, and how thrilling it is fora composer to hear the live orchestra bring his or her music to lifethat first time. It also serves as a reminder that film composingemploys a significant number of the live orchestral musicians workingtoday, and that we all hope technology doesn't replace that imperfectbeauty of the real thing.
Adding a scientific perspective was a nice touch. Learning that ourbrains respond to movie music in a similar manner to chocolate and sexmade a great deal of sense, as I've often wondered if film scores aremore manipulative or complementary in nature. If there is adisappointment in the film, it's that the recently deceased JamesHorner seems woefully short-changed, with only a brief post-creditssegment featuring director James Cameron who, as usual, spends the timetalking more about himself than the impact of Horner. This documentaryis a must for movie lovers and music lovers, and on a personal note,made me miss my friend Adam very much. He would have certainly enjoyedthis one and had a great deal to say about it.
This documentary brings Hollywood's premier composers together to give viewers a privileged look inside the musical challenges and creative secrecy of the world's most widely known music genre: the film score.