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Oscar Orchestra Question


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When the winners are announced, the Oscar Orchestra starts to play the theme of the winner nearly immediately. Since I doubt they have every theme memorized, how can they do this?

Possibly they don't have real sheet music, but instead a computerized screen which shows the theme they need to play? But in the few shots they showed of the orchestra I didn't see that. (Also, how would they have done that before computers were around?)

Ideas? Does anyone have a definitive answer?

Thanks,

Scott

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They do indeed learn the music from every single film nominated (the non-theatrical and/or documentry films are the exceptions- generally the same music is used for the category every year). For every category, they have a set of sheet of music from all the nominees. It's not all that much, really, it's only 2-3 bars of music from each film, and there's so much overlap in the categories.

Morlock- who learned as much in a behind the scene special of the Oscars, where Conti described the process (this was at least true a decade ago, and seems to be a logical system)

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When the winners are announced, the Oscar Orchestra starts to play the theme of the winner nearly immediately. Since I doubt they have every theme memorized, how can they do this?

Possibly they don't have real sheet music, but instead a computerized screen which shows the theme they need to play? But in the few shots they showed of the orchestra I didn't see that. (Also, how would they have done that before computers were around?)

Ideas? Does anyone have a definitive answer?

Thanks,

Scott

Yeah I posted this very thought last night in the Oscars thread. Sort of makes you go hmmmmm...

My guess is they have one sheet of paper with all the nominations for each category, and on that one sheet fits all 4 or 5 themes (they don't really play more than 8-12 bars), so they all fit on one sheet and they don't have to go searching frantically for the right page. Maybe the conductor knows the results ahead of time.

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They have 1/2 pages of music in front of them on the stand, and as many nominees as there are there are 5-8 bar loops of music. A few seconds before the annoucement The conductor gets a whisper in his headset and holds up his fingers so the orchestra knows which loop to play, and that way everything is kept secret. The group must be on their toes.

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I would tend to agree with pi, but I do not believe the conductor knows beforehand. Only the accountants who tallied the votes know before the envelope is opened.

The show's director doesn't know. The producer doesn't know. The host doesn't know. No. One. Knows.

The orchestra and the conductor is just quick on their feet, sp to speak. They do rehearse the pieces beforehand, and for the most part, there are only 15 film cues to rehearse. As with last night, they played most of them (11 different feature films won Oscars last night).

I have to give them props for being able to play after hearing "Shakespeare in Love" and "Crash" win Best Picture.

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I would tend to agree with pi, but I do not believe the conductor knows beforehand. Only the accountants who tallied the votes know before the envelope is opened.

The show's director doesn't know. The producer doesn't know. The host doesn't know. No. One. Knows.

The orchestra and the conductor is just quick on their feet, sp to speak. They do rehearse the pieces beforehand, and for the most part, there are only 15 film cues to rehearse. As with last night, they played most of them (11 different feature films won Oscars last night).

I have to give them props for being able to play after hearing "Shakespeare in Love" and "Crash" win Best Picture.

Indeed the conductor doesn't know beforehand. No one knows. It would actually be much easier if the conductor and the orchestra knew, but they don't.

They are about 25-30 pieces of music to rehearse and to know, one for each film - the only categories where a generic piece of music is used are documentary (short and feature), best animated short and foreign film. This year though, both An Inconvenient Truth and Pan's Labyrinth had a specific play-on.

The conductor and the orchestra learn the winner as it is announced by the presenter, quickly find the piece of music on their 3-page sheet and they play it. It's that simple...

Hellgi

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And yet Cruz was there to give an award to Santaolalla (even more obvious when Hayek presented last year), and Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg were all on stage to give Scorsese his Oscar. Coincidence? I think not.

And Harrison Ford came out to presumably give the Best Picture Oscar to "Saving Private Ryan," one of many years where that trick didn't work out.

Though it is interesting to note that Ford announced Roman Polanski won the directing Oscar. You might remember that Polanski directed Ford in "Frantic." So maybe there was some premonition then.

Oh well.

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The orchestra can't know the winners ahead of time because occasionally they make a mistake. They played the wrong music when (I think) Black Hawk Down won an upset in a category a few years back. It was probably hard for them to hear over all the screaming as soon as the first name was announced.

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Yes it's a total coincidence that the 4 most successfull directors of the 70's New Wave were on the stage that night.

Dream on Numbnuts!

Did you even read what T said? I said it was not a coincidence at all. But it doesn't take a rocket scientest to have been able to predict that Scorsese would win.

And Harrison Ford came out to presumably give the Best Picture Oscar to "Saving Private Ryan," one of many years where that trick didn't work out.

Indeed....he looked quites phazed when he saw what was in the envelope.

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That coming from a being who's motto was "Never tell the truth when a lie will do", and of whom it has been said that he "has a rare gift for obfuscation." Hardly a reliable source.

Morlock- who found out who Garak is through wikipedia.

Morlock 2- who loved the quote "The truth is usually just an excuse for a lack of imagination."

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Bashir: Do you know the story of the boy who cried wolf?

Garak: No.

Bashir: It's a children's story about a young shepherd boy who gets lonely while tending his flock. So he cries out to the villagers that a wolf is attacking the sheep. The people come running, but of course, there's no wolf. He claims that it's run away, and the villagers praise him for his vigilance.

Garak: Clever lad! A charming story.

Bashir: I'm not finished. The next day the boy does it again, and the next day, too. On the fourth day, a wolf really comes. The boy cries out at the top of his lungs, but the villagers ignore him... and the boy and his flock are gobbled up.

Garak: That's a little graphic for children, don't you think?

Bashir: But the point is that if you lie all the time, no one will believe you even if you're telling the truth.

Garak: Are you sure that's the point, Doctor?

Bashir: Of course, what else would it be?

Garak: That you should never tell the same lie twice.

(I quite like this guy....)

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sigh....I guess I'll have to say something like 1982 was the worst year ever for movies, just to keep things on an even keel. Or that Ferris Bueler's Day Off is the worst film in the terrible decade of the 80's. Or that Alfonso Cuaron is the greatest director in the history of the world.

Morlock- who believes in balance.

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There's a difference between being naive and judging by the elements you have. I was in the orchestra's pit last night and I can tell you there's no such thing as the conductor or anyone else knowing who's going to win.

If the producers knew ahead of time, after all these years the so-called "secret" would have transpired. If the production knew, believe me that would make everything much, much easier. You wouldn't need 12 different cameras in the audience, or to rehearse with 50 stant-ins. You would only need to rehearse and record the music for the winners. You can't imagine how much money would be saved if the production knew.

Plus, what's the point of knowing in advance? That kills all the fun.

Truth is, the producers do make up a list of who's most likely to win. People talk and it's not too hard to get an idea of who's more likely to win. On the orchestra sheet, that's the way the winner's play-ons are sorted (the most likely to the most unlikely). That doesn't change the fact that many, many times, someone else than the predicted winner will win. It happened on many occasion last night.

Hellgi

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http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=hellgi

The first result makes sense, and it should also lend credibility to his posts, about this and about CoS...

that's cool. Nice job last night! What do you play?

~JW

I play the piano... but I certainly wasn't there as an instrumentalist.. let's say I have a good connection :|

Hellgi = William Ross!!!!

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