Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

The day was young once...

I have been made aware of new software from Sony called Cinescore that automatically generates a music scores. Mark Northam contends that this will be a greater threat to music libraries than to composers.

I disagree.

The erosion of film music as an art form has been happening for a very long time, but this particularly ominous development - which as I commented to hadara, effectively takes the composer out of the picture - is the logical conclusion of the effect that Media Ventures/Remote Control has had on film music. The generic "one score fits all" approach that Hans Zimmer and his crew have instituted have taken the concept of film music and turned it more into a type of sound effect. They push specific buttons but rarely do more.

A film score can be written as an artistic statement unto itself - I have spent most of this very journal discussing that very topic - and while I agree that a score's first and most important role is to serve the film, I feel that a score that only works on the surface - which is all these "Noble Death = Insert Obligitory Solo Trumpet Line Here" are doing more often than not - isn't fulfilling the potential that a score is capable of. I'm not saying that every film score needs to have the minute detail that Howard Shore's Lord of the Rings scores do (such an in-depth approach requires a project of sufficient scope to support it), but having the same effect appear endlessly for similar scenes in film after film cheapens its effect until it becomes rote.

Unfortunately, it seems that rote is mostly what filmmakers want these days. In a strange way, it is a testament to the power of music that filmmakers are so frightened of it. Music is a mystery to many of them and is often one of the few areas over the course of making a film that often feels like they have no control over, and so they lean on their composers to emulate their temp tracks (sometimes even retaining the temp track in the final cut, as Ridley Scott is notorious for doing) and often toss out perfectly good scores in favor of something more familiar, and, unfortunately more generic (Alan Silvestri's Pirates of the Carribean, Gabriel Yared's Troy, etc.). This usually has a detrimental effect on the films in question, as they usually fail to establish a musical identity of their own, and Media Ventures/Remote Control with their easy, prepackaged sound used indiscriminately has only exacerbated the problem.

I believe that this software will be embraced by filmmakers who now will have complete control over the scores heard in their films, and the result is going to be that hiring a composer will be seen as more of a luxury than a necessity to obtain a score. What is being generated by this software will no doubt work on the most basic level a film score can. But there will be - can be - no subtext, no complexity. No identity.

No art.

* * *

The situation with the classist asshole of a few days ago came to a head today. Word of the incident reached my manager and he had to go to find out what happened. As I suspected, the asshole's boss backed me up and that's the end of it. What I didn't expect was that Frank said that he was surprised to hear about an altercation between a customer and myself not so much because he had never heard of me being involved in such a thing before but because he had in fact been getting a relatively steady stream of positive notices about me from my customer contacts.

I had no idea.
Tags: film music, work
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