This week, Variety published its first “Contenders” section designed to inform award voters (and watchers) about worthy work in 2018 releases. It may be a record for the earliest one yet (it’s still only October!); there’ll be another at the end of November. We started with three really interesting stories: Michel Legrand scoring Orson Welles’ final film, The Other Side of the Wind; British classical composer Thomas Ades doing his first film, Colette; and perennial favorite Alexandre Desplat, who has three scores in contention (most likely to gain attention: Isle of Dogs). Also in this issue: a preview of my composer panel at the inaugural Variety Music for Screens Summit, which was Tuesday, Oct. 30 in Hollywood.
Monday was an especially fun day, as I got to break a story I’ve been working on for weeks — that the Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand was scoring his second Orson Welles film, The Other Side of the Wind — some 44 years after their collaboration on F for Fake, the legendary filmmaker’s final completed film. Welles shot this between 1970 and 1976 and had hoped for another Legrand score when it was finished — which, like so many Welles projects, never was. The producers who are completing Wind reached out to the composer last year and received an enthusiastic “yes.” I was lucky enough to get quotes from both producer Frank Marshall and Legrand for the story, which Variety published to a surprising and immediate global response.