Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt



  • A few weeks ago, Dan got in touch with me about a prospective Brooklyn film festival. Entries are due May 1. I was reasonably confident that we could get the film finished editing by then, but wasn't sure if we would be able to record the score in time. It then became apparent that we wouldn't be able to record the score in time for the deadline, but Dan contacted the festival admissions people and got from them an agreement that if the film is accepted in its unscored state, then we can show the scored version in the festival. As of Thursday, the final cut of The Early Mixes has been achieved, the DVDs for our entry have been burned and now the only thing left to do now is to score the film.

    Sandy's daughter Bella gets a "special thanks" credit in the film because this is essentially a film about angry people yelling at each other, so it was nice when taking a break to be able to play with a happy, gurgling baby. She definitely added a new spin to the post-production process.


  • A few years ago, I came across a bootleg copy of Elmer Bernstein's amazing Slipstream score. The official release that I was pining for in that entry has finally arrived courtesy of Perseverance Records and they knocked it out of the park. The sound is clean and precise, the artwork is well-done and the notes are informative. The score is now freed of the weight of both a horrid movie and godawful sonics, and it truly soars in more ways than one.

    This score makes an interesting companion piece to Saturn 3, Heavy Metal and Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone because their shared genre elements evoked a similar response in Bernstein (there are many elements that wouldn't be so out of place in one of his famed Westerns either). The music was assembled into album form by Bernstein himself, but the dire financial returns on the film caused the planned soundtrack album to have been scrapped; this is what Perseverance has released, and while the album follows the film, the cues are presented in a less fragmented form than many Bernstein scores end up on disc.

    The wide array of themes developed throughout score give it quite a bit of variety; some of them enter pretty late in the score, keeping it fresh from beginning to end. It has some of his best uses of the Ondes Martenot, and there are many intimate moments through the score to balance out its larger scale material. For all of its numerous dramatic faults, Slipstream was a thematically more ambitious film than any science fiction themed score Bernstein had previously done, and so while the score has its adventurous qualities, it also delves much deeper into the emotions of its characters, and as a result, this score fills the promise hinted at by those others.

    As fellow Bernstein enthusiast mortimusmonk offered, "This is essential Bernstein, as opposed to 'nice to have' Bernstein."

    EDIT: It has been revealed that this CD is, in fact, a bootleg. Robin Esterhammer didn't license the music properly from the film company. A cease and desist order has been issued and has been removed from all legal sellers. Per Lukas Kendall at Film Score Monthly:

    Hi Folks,

    Let me tell you the story of the new Slipstream CD...which is now a collector's item.

    As some of you know, but not Robin Esterhammer, apparently, there is more than one permission needed in order to release a soundtrack CD. You need the soundtrack album rights (typically from the film company), the master rights (the right to the recording that was made of the music, typically from the film company) and the publishing rights (the right to the written compositions of music that were recorded, typically published by a company affiliated with the film company). Usually, you get all these rights from the film company.

    Slipstream was an atypical case in that the rights to the publishing were given to Elmer Bernstein as part of his deal in scoring the film. Thus Bernstein's estate owns the publishing -- but the soundtrack album rights and master rights (the recording with the London Symphony Orchestra) belong to the film company, Entertainment Film (I think).

    Having been one of several labels who inquired with the film company for the Slipstream album rights over the years, I knew that their standard answer was "no."

    I have also known for a long time that Perseverance plays fast and loose with licensing. So when the Slipstream CD was announced, then released, my assumption was that Robin probably discovered that the compositions were owned by Bernstein's estate, licensed that right (and only that right) from the estate and used Elmer's master tapes (now at USC) to make a CD...blithely ignoring the fact that Bernstein's estate did not own the master or soundtrack album rights. Because that's how Robin works (or doesn't work).

    In recent weeks Robin asked me to help him get some licenses from a studio I've done some work with...and I said no. I said no because I had a sneaking suspicion that Slipstream was not properly licensed, and I could not in good faith recommend that anyone do business with Robin.

    Robin insisted, blah blah blah, that he had all the Slipstream rights fair and square from the Bernstein estate, I was just bitter (as if I didn't get my Elmer sci-fi fix doing Heavy Metal: The Score). When I finally got the Slipstream CD, and saw the inane way in which he did the copyright notice, I knew that my hunch must be correct—I laid all of this out for Robin like I was talking to a child—and warned him that if he pestered me one more time, I would call the Bernstein estate and without question, they would agree with my assessment that Slipstream was not properly licensed, and they would recall the product. But out of respect, I would not do this if he would just go away.

    But Robin did not go away. He went over my head to the studio (where I would not help him), who bounced it back to me in "WTF" fashion, and I said I've had enough of this.

    I called the Bernstein estate, they were apoplectic to discover that Perseverance did not properly license Slipstream, and sent a cease and desist.

    So if you got one, it's a collector's item.

    I hope Perseverance packs it in because they give all of us a bad name.



    I had my two left wisdom teeth removed last Wednesday. I had planned everything out so that I could take the LIRR and get my prescriptions quickly filled on my way home, but that week was when the LIRR changed their schedules. I missed my train and ended up having to take the subway to the bus home, which took much, much longer (especially as it wasn't rush hour) and so by the time I got to the drug store to fill my prescription for the pain medication, it felt like somebody had just yanked two of my teeth out.

    I have to take the other two out eventually. I'm going to have to come up with a better solution.


  • Here is a video on how to make a lion cub go to sleep, which may or may not be useful at some point in your life. I just think it's cute.


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Tags: elmer bernstein, film music, filmmaking, science fiction, the early mixes
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