For Variety‘s annual Music for Screens summit, online again this year, I interviewed five leading practitioners of the craft of film scoring: Terence Blanchard (The Woman King), Rob Simonsen (The Whale), Chanda Dancy (Devotion), Nicholas Britell (She Said) and Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch (Living), all of whom are being talked about for 2022 awards. The event was sponsored by BMI and the video is here.
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.
This week’s “Music for Screens” issue of Variety features two stories by me. The main story concerns Vienna’s new Synchron scoring stage, where Hans Zimmer has already recorded Inferno and Rupert Gregson-Williams has recorded music for the Netflix series The Crown. The backstory of the building is fascinating: Built in 1939-40 as a recording facility for films, it was home to many great classical artists in the 1950s and ’60s but eventually fell into disuse. An $11-million upgrade later, it’s now a “world-class” stage, according to composers and engineers who’ve worked there. Its operators hope it will get some of the spillover film-recording business that an overbooked London can’t currently accommodate. (A second story in the issue deals with Umlaut Audio, which creates custom sounds for busy composers in L.A.)