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Podcast: Rian Johnson On How John Williams Works

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1 hour ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

Have you read Emilio Audissino's book? I haven't yet - can't take him seriously when he writes John Williams's in the title. ;)

 

I haven't, no. I'm thankful that no one has written a straight-up biography/filmography walktrough book about him yet, as it leaves the market open a bit longer. Everything that has been written so far are adaptations of theses in some form or another, including Audissino's book. But the longer I wait, the more likely it is someone will do just that.

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14 minutes ago, fommes said:

What's wrong with correct English? Williams is not Aristoteles you know!

 

It's more a matter of personal preference. Quoted from the Chicago Manual of Style: "How to form the possessive of polysyllabic personal names ending with the sound of "s" or "z" probably occasions more dissension among writers and editors than any other orthographic matter open to disagreement." (6.30)

 

If the first SW films you saw were the prequel trilogy, you likely have been taught to write 's after a word ending with s. Old schools are often happy with just the apostrophe.

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23 minutes ago, Rick said:

He saw it on the main page article, I don't know if he read this thread.

 

Long time lurker here and Joe is a good friend of mine. He's read this thread. FTR that Bill Ross story is total BS. You guys may not want to believe me, I don't care either way. Just thought those of you that are also huge JW fans would want to know the truth.  

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Are you talking about this post on the first page?

 

On 12/17/2017 at 3:09 AM, crumbs said:

They hate each other's guts.

 

Insiders told me Williams yelled out expletive-laden abusive rants from the podium, regularly storming off the stage and screaming at Bill Ross, "you handle this fucking cue."

 

 

That post was a joke, not a serious post!

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We may critizice our Johnny from time to time but we love him, TLJ is really warming up to me! So many good passages -so far I have a more personal attachment with TFA (the score, the movie I dig but not as much as the music) -but we'll see what happens when I see TLJ in a couple of days....

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16 hours ago, Jay said:

You think Disney execs give a crap which TAKE of the main titles is used?  Come on.

 

Actually no, I don't - it was more a general comment to the notion that the director has "final say" - that is rarely the case. The producers are highest in the hierarchy.

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10 hours ago, FranchisedYouth said:

Long time lurker here and Joe is a good friend of mine. He's read this thread. FTR that Bill Ross story is total BS. You guys may not want to believe me, I don't care either way. Just thought those of you that are also huge JW fans would want to know the truth.  

 

I need to make my jokes more obvious next time! :P

 

If you get the chance, could you please ask Joe if he knows why they re-used the TFA recording of Main Title when the director himself was under the impression they were using the newly recorded TLJ version (which is MIA)? Is this a music editing mistake that slipped through the cracks?

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4 hours ago, Simon R. said:

 

Actually no, I don't - it was more a general comment to the notion that the director has "final say" - that is rarely the case. The producers are highest in the hierarchy.

 

It depends on how "big" the director is.

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The first time I heard any of the cues was when a 100 piece orchestra was playing them on the Sony stage and it was incredible. Every time a new scene would come up I'd be leaning forward like "What's this gonna be?!" and of course it's John Williams and Star WarsThere were only, I think, maybe two things where he laid down a cue, we put it in, went with it for awhile, and I had to go back to him and say "It does this, but here's the reason why I think it should do this." Maybe like two cues out of the entire thing. Everything else, it's John Williams, man.

 

That's interesting to know. In several ways, the score truly sounds like Williams' first pass at every scene. The music also sounds pretty untampered in terms of editing/tracking, etc. It's safe to assume he's very confident to know exactly from the get-go what these movies need in terms of scoring. I'm sure he proposed Johnson alternate cues for some scenes, though.

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Meh, I could do without the usual 'of course John Williams is the greatest composer ever and of course as a result the score is going to be perfect' which is basically what he knows every SW/JW fan in the world wants to hear.

 

I also don't think I can get behind the idea of hearing the score for the first time at the sessions. It's an indication of taking for granted that the composer's last couple of months have aligned more or less exactly with what you wanted in your film. Not even JW should be given that privilege.

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5 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

True.

 

But hey, both have a track called "Old Friends.";)

 

The TLJ one is better, though.

 

2 minutes ago, mstrox said:

I'd think the greatest sign of respect for a composer would be trusting them and giving them free reign.

 

Doing a movie is supposed to be a collaborative effort. It's not really: "Oh, well, do your own thing in your corner and then we'll simply add it at the end!"

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6 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

The TLJ one is better, though.

Well, its not a good comparison in terms of how both albums were constructed, but I like Shore's one better.

 

8 minutes ago, mstrox said:

I'd think the greatest sign of respect for a composer would be trusting them and giving them free reign.

Everyone in a creative process occasionally need to be reined-in or pushed-forward.

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2 minutes ago, BloodBoal said:

Doing a movie is supposed to be a collaborative effort. It's not really: "Oh, well, do your own thing in your corner and then we'll simply add it at the end!"

 

But that's not what happened.  They gave him the shape they expected (yes, via temp versus traditional spotting session), AND asked for a handful of revisions.

 

2 minutes ago, Loert said:

 

So without a temp track.

 

Spielberg uses temp tracks; almost everyone uses temp tracks.  The filmmakers say that in this case they used the temp track just to show Williams the shape of the score, and that they didn't expect him to follow the temp.

 

 

Sometimes when I'm reading JWFan I feel like I'm in a Twilight Zone episode or something.  I've transported to the dimension of the doomsayers!

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If Johnson did give Williams free reign over the music, without much discussion or pushing, then I'd say TLJ is a good example how giving a composer free reign can work to a score's detriment.

Because no matter how skilled you are or how hard you work, it will always be a one-perspective effort, and satisfaction is coming sooner than with a collaborating director who gives you maybe another perspective, and pushes you to write something else.

The comparison to Jackson and Shore is really a good example because had Jackson said to Shore "just write your Lord of the Rings music and do your thing", I guarantee it wouldn't have been as good.

 

I can't warm up to this score because 90% of it feels like I've heard this a billion times before in better quality.

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I thought the prevailing thinking behind Shore's departure from Kong was that PJ had done exactly that - left him to it - and realised too late that it was the wrong approach. Of course, we don't know if the score was any good.

 

I haven't really gotten into TLJ outside of a few cues. It definitely feels underwhelming.

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