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Skelly

Harry Potter - Unused Music Restored

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Interesting info Skelly! Thanks for sharing that bit about POA. What an awful suprise it must have been to discover you had scored the wrong cut of the film. Williams came out of that calamity in flying colours though. The score is ample testimony of that. :)

 

The term used is "striping", recording different orchestral sections separately. I guess it all stems from the desire to have greater (if not full) control of the music/sound aspects of the post production during the mixing.

 

E.g. many sections of the finale of Howard Shore's The Desolation of Smaug were striped when Peter Jackson wished for more control over the music elements when that part of the film was still in raw state up to the last minute of the final mix.

 

We actually have had a discussion of the practice before.

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On ‎18‎/‎10‎/‎2016 at 6:26 PM, Skelly said:

It's astonishing to me to think that some - maybe even most - composers intend for their work to all be recorded separately: first the violins take their turn, then the next day it's horns, then it's woodwinds the next, etc. I guess reliance on the click track is pretty heavy these days.

 

Given the current landscape and methods of post-production, it's somewhat inevitable to prefer recording with striping. Sound mixing of a movie can become so layered and complex nowadays that the more control you have over all the single elements, the better is for sound mixers comply to the director's requests. The flipside of the coin is that nowadays some directors can become so control-freak over such small tiny details (like a harp glissando or a 15-seconds musical transition) that they're not able to trust anyone.

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On 18/10/2016 at 5:26 PM, Skelly said:

It's astonishing to me to think that some - maybe even most - composers intend for their work to all be recorded separately: first the violins take their turn, then the next day it's horns, then it's woodwinds the next, etc. I guess reliance on the click track is pretty heavy these days.

 

I would absolutely hate this as a musician 

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22 hours ago, TownerFan said:

 

Given the current landscape and methods of post-production, it's somewhat inevitable to prefer recording with striping. Sound mixing of a movie can become so layered and complex nowadays that the more control you have over all the single elements, the better is for sound mixers comply to the director's requests. The flipside of the coin is that nowadays some directors can become so control-freak over such small tiny details (like a harp glissando or a 15-seconds musical transition) that they're not able to trust anyone.

But on the other hand, we find it normal that directors are able to control small tiny details of script-writing, acting, editing, production design... Music is one of the only things in cinema that directors don't have absolute control: it is virtually given to them, and the directors don't have the ability to request specific changes, since they don't know the music language.

So, if you thing from the director's point of view (and not like a music fan), you should want more direct control over the music, including the ability to change things at your own will.

After all, music fans view film music as an art by itself,created by an artist (compmoser), but actually, it's an art that serves another art, created by another artist (the filmmaker)

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Very true, but film is also a collaborative art and my favorite directors tend to be ones who trust their collaborators.  A director is also a manager and a good manager knows that you shouldn't micromanage employees if you want them to give you their best work.

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On the one hand you think that a compromise should be reached between a director and his composer as to what can and should be stripped from any given cue; but at the same time, if I were a composer I'd have a hard time being able to agree which instruments or elements of a cue are "expendable".

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9 hours ago, Skelly said:

On the one hand you think that a compromise should be reached between a director and his composer as to what can and should be stripped from any given cue; but at the same time, if I were a composer I'd have a hard time being able to agree which instruments or elements of a cue are "expendable".

 

And if you were the writer of a screenplay, would you be OK with the director deciding to change or cut lines without consulting you?

 

I think Williams and most composer are much more used to their music being altered in different ways than music fans are.

Just one of many examples: Williams asking Lucas if he wants to record a version of Duel of the Fates without the chorus (which would give Lucas the oportunity to remove entirely the most unique element of the cue!)

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And since this is a Harry Potter thread, I'd like to point out that the "Three-Note Loop" cue you can find on the sessions was almost certainly for the purpose of being cut up by the editors. I guess Williams's experience on The Phantom Menace taught him a lesson, and he wanted to be one step ahead this time!

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3 minutes ago, bollemanneke said:

Interesting discussion here, never knew about Williams receiving the wrong cut! Since we've gone wildly off-topic anyway, has JW/Cuaron ever discussed the change of style direction from HP1 and 2 to the medieval-like 3?

 

I'm 99% sure that the "wrong cut" thing is just an exaggeration. Most probably, a scene was edited after the spotting session and the edits were not comunicated to Willliams.

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5 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Interesting discussion here, never knew about Williams receiving the wrong cut! Since we've gone wildly off-topic anyway, has JW/Cuaron ever discussed the change of style direction from HP1 and 2 to the medieval-like 3?

 

Unfortunately JW rarely seems to talk about Harry Potter for some reason. Either that or Im rubbish at finding interviews

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Here are all the interviews I've been able to find concerning Williams's work on Potter:

 

Williams adds musical magic to 'Harry Potter'

By Andy Seiler, USA TODAY

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/movies/2001-11-13-john-williams.htm

 

Williams casts spell for 'Potter' score

By Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2001-11-15/features/0111150136_1_harry-potter-hogwarts-library-hogwarts-school

 

The Wizard of Film Scoring Tackles 'Harry Potter'

By Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1916&dat=20010526&id=r_pIAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oAUNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1290,3753985&hl=en

 

John Williams: Making ‘Harry Potter’s’ music magic

By Matt Wolf, CNN [according to my notes]

http://kwing.christiansonnet.org/news-scrap/culture_Harry-Potter.htm#_Toc183922012

 

William Ross on Adapting 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'

By Ford Thaxton, Soundtrack Magazine

http://www.runmovies.eu/william-ross-on-adapting-harry-potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets/

 

There seems to be an elusive interview he gave with the Chicago Sun-Times in 2003, in which he spent a part of it talking about 'Prisoner of Azkaban'. I swear I've seen the whole thing before, but I saved the bit in which he speaks about Potter.

Quote

Before arriving in Chicago, Williams was in London catching an early glimpse of the third Harry Potter film, which he is scoring for scheduled release next summer. "The principal photography is ending about now," he said "I'll record the music in March, so that leaves about two-and-one-half months to write almost a two-hour score. It's colossally tight. And after mid-March, there's another month or six week for mixing and dubbing. So I would say for a picture like that -- fairly long, with special effects -- we're talking about four or five months.''

 

I think he spent the rest of the article saying how he doesn't like shrinking post-production timetables.

 

As you can see, when the world was bursting with Potter fever in 2001, everyone wanted to have a chat with Williams (I think one article contradicts with another in saying where spotting took place). He was extremely busy during 2002 (and had a smaller role in that film's score) so didn't have much to say about that film. I have no idea why I can't find anything about 'Azkaban' though! Maybe the novelty of it all had worn off by then and no one thought to interview him.

If anyone knows of any interviews he gave for newspapers or magazines, those would be fun to read as well.

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In the HP music documentary, a precious few minutes are spent on the music of POA (with sound bites from Williams, Cuarón, and even William Ross). I can transcribe the interesting bits sometime soon.

 

I felt like most of the feature is unfortunately focused on OotP and HBP.

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The pacing of GoF always throws me for a loop. It starts off with that dream of the old guy, then it cuts to Harry at the Burrow. As you're filling in the blanks in your mind ('okay, I guess Harry was able to spend the summer with the Weasleys this year') it suddenly cuts to them in the woods for some reason. Harry and co. touch a boot and are transported somewhere. Eventually you figure out that they're here to watch a Quidditch game, but before you know it the game's over and they're in a tent.

 

The whole film feels like this, where you're constantly playing catch-up and trying to process everything that's being thrown at you. I'm no fan of Yates but at least his films are (slightly) easier to follow.

 

Visually, GoF is a beautiful film though.

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Just now, Skelly said:

The pacing of GoF always throws me for a loop. It starts off with that dream of the old guy, then it cuts to Harry at the Burrow. As you're filling in the blanks in your mind ('okay, I guess Harry was able to spend the summer with the Weasleys this year') it suddenly cuts to them in the woods for some reason. Harry and co. touch a boot and are transported somewhere. Eventually you figure out that they're here to watch a Quidditch game, but before you know it the game's over and they're in a tent.

 

The whole film feels like this, where you're constantly playing catch-up and trying to process everything that's being thrown at you. I'm no fan of Yates's but at least they're (slightly) easier to follow.

 

Yes!

 

GOF feels like a lengthy trailer for the actual film that was never released.

 

Just now, Skelly said:

Visually, GoF is a beautiful film though.

 

No!

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I think that the part just following the completion of the 1st task offers a good stopping point. Harry and Ron have repaired their friendship, so it ends on a happy note in that respect; at the same time Harry has two more challenges to surpass, which adds anticipation for part 2.

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3 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

GOF is indeed a great film and a fantastic score. It's the score that made me appreciate film music.

 

It was my first Potter score on cd! It probably is my favourite Non-Williams' score but I am also very partial to DH1. 

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17 hours ago, alextrombone94 said:

Always thought they should have split GOF

 

I agree. More than deathly hallows, goblet needed to be split. It has the most elaborate plot of the 7 books,  and would have been allowed to properly develop in 2 parts.

 

Deathly hallows they split not for plot reasons but for action scenes. 

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The most confusing Death Hallows moment for me is in the graveyard scene, when they devote a moment to Hermione looking at one of the Peverell graves. I will never understand why they did that; the three brothers in the tale are never identified as having that name, nor, as bollemanneke said, are the Deathly Hallows even brought up again until Harry somehow finds himself holding the Resurrection Stone. The editing was incredibly uncouth for those two films.

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3 hours ago, Skelly said:

The most confusing Death Hallows moment for me is in the graveyard scene, when they devote a moment to Hermione looking at one of the Peverell graves. I will never understand why they did that; the three brothers in the tale are never identified as having that name, nor, as bollemanneke said, are the Deathly Hallows even brought up again until Harry somehow finds himself holding the Resurrection Stone. The editing was incredibly uncouth for those two films.

 

In the Lovegood house Hermione mentions the mark being on a grave in GH. She asks Lovegood if the Peverell name means anything and he says the three names of the brothers and says they're the inspiration behind the tale.

Its in the film! 

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8 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

But the plot of GOF was executed way better than both DH1 and 2. For heaven's sake, they don't even stress why those stupid Hallows are important. They're totally sidelined.

 

Even the book does a very poor job with the hallows and sidelines them too. It's like she suddenly came up with them and tried to hastily shove it in.

 

The 7th book is extremely poorly written, feels more like a rough first draft. And the movie kinda mirrors that.

 

I think the movies fail in one major way that is that if you haven't read the book, they don't make head or tale. I have some friends who tried to watch DH 1 directly and it made no sense whatsoever.

 

I think for obvious reasons, the most stand-alone film is probably the first.

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24 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

In my ever so humble opinion, it was pretty much downhill for the books after Goblet of Fire, which is my favorite of the books.

 

This exactly. She blew her load, so to say, with Goblet, the books never were really the same after that. 5th is terrible, 6th recovers a bit and then 7th is terrible again. It's like her genius for plotting completely departed her. 

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