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Joe Kraemer: “I haven’t scored a single mainstream Hollywood movie since ‘Rogue Nation’”


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1 hour ago, Quintus said:

I'll be more specific: when JW passes, great film scoring in the neo-romantic style will be dead. 

 

Maybe. But there are other interesting things being done in other styles of music to look out for. And no, I'm not talking about Gia at all.

 

I will agree that mainstream films are no longer the place for great music, at least for me. That whole side of the industry has more or less become giant machines for producing sound support for noisy blockbusters.

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Interesting thread on Twitter by Joe Kramer explaining the state of film scoring right now.     "This is a sad truth for everyone trying to make it in show business - it is virtual

Let's see if I understand the current state of film scoring:   Film producers don't give a shit about the craft of film scoring. Kraemer hasn't had a mainstream gig in 9 years. Elf

That lady is like an industry Snowden

1 hour ago, Fabulin said:

"Great"? Please name 2 examples from each of the past 5 years, Williams and Powell excluded.

 

2016 - Star Trek Beyond, Alice Through the Looking Glass

2017 - Spider-man: Homecoming, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets (outside of film - Xenoblade 2, Hollow Knight, Breath of the Wild)

2018 - Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ocean's 8, Ant-Man and The Wasp (outside of film - God of War, Celeste)

2019 - Spider-man: Far From Home, Jojo Rabbit (outside of film - The Mandalorian Season 1, Mr Robot Season 4)

2020 - Soul, Wonder Woman 1984 (outside of film - The Mandalorian Season 2, Medal of Honor Above and Beyond, Final Fantasy VII Remake)

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2020 would have been a much more interesting year on the film front if covid hadn't pushed a lot of films that have good composers attached into 2021.  At least the tv and video game front was really strong in 2020

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15 minutes ago, Jay said:

At least the tv and video game front was really strong in 2020

Yes, there were very strong scores in the TV and especially the video game worlds BUT there were PLENTY of strong film scores in 2020.  I had a very difficult time trimming down my Top 10 scores of 2020 list. Lots of great stuff, unfortunately,  left on the cutting room floor.

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7 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Romão's was not even a creme de la creme list and it still utterly smashes all new music in movies. 

 

It really was a different time. Pretty much the bulk of the highest grossing movies from those years had great scores by really talented composers. You really have to dig much deeper these days

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The nice thing about these days, on the other hand, is that if you are curious about a score you don't have to drive to a store and buy it and hope you end up liking it, you can just subscribe to an online music service and listen to all new film music coming out for free to decide what you want to buy

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2 minutes ago, Jay said:

The nice thing about these days, on the other hand, is that if you are curious about a score you don't have to drive to a store and buy it and hope you end up liking it, you can just subscribe to an online music service and listen to all new film music coming out for free to decide what you want to buy

 

Yes, that's true and it evens out things a bit. But it's still a shame that the larger canvas for musical expression and larger orchestral budgets are not being given to more talented composers. People like Elliot Goldenthal should be in their creative prime, but instead write a score every 5 years or so

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I know he was sick in some way. I'm sure @Thor knows the details!

 

1 hour ago, Erik Woods said:

True. That is some evil shit right there.

 

One has to wonder whether Balfe lobbied to get the gig before Kraemer was out of the picture, or if McQuarrie took the initiative.

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31 minutes ago, Jay said:

The nice thing about these days, on the other hand, is that if you are curious about a score you don't have to drive to a store and buy it and hope you end up liking it, you can just subscribe to an online music service and listen to all new film music coming out for free to decide what you want to buy

 

I actually lament the passing of the days when that sort of effort was part and parcel of getting into a score. 

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40 minutes ago, Jay said:

I thought he had a head injury that almost completely halted his writing?

 

Yes, and the Titus/300 debacle might have soured him off working with major studios

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20 hours ago, Quintus said:

 

I actually lament the passing of the days when that sort of effort was part and parcel of getting into a score. 

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I like investing my money in things I already know I like, more so than gambles, personally.

 

The Spotify stream is the (free) gamble.  Obtaining the physical CD once you know you like it is the reward!

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19 minutes ago, SilverTrumpet said:

But when you used to have to go out to the store to buy a score, you usually had to talk to so many mediocre people.


Not the same thing. Back in the day, the average big movie you went to see in the theatres had some great score you came out humming in your head (re: everything on @Romão’s list). Then you go out of your way to get your hands on that music.

 

I would say that argument still held water in the 00s, which is when I got exposed to folk music. 

 

That is a much rarer occurrence now. I think post-2010, you’d be more hard pressed to find scores that inspire new generations of fans. And it doesn’t help that you have to get through an hour of meandering underscore to find 5 minutes of good stuff on the average album.

 

Thank God for Spotify algorithms, which have pointed me to artists I would never have discovered if I was just swimming around the usual Hollywood guys. Otherwise, keeping up with modern film music would truly be unbearable.

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2 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I know he was sick in some way. I'm sure @Thor knows the details!

 

Goldenthal fell off a chair and smashed his head in the floor about 10 years ago. He's almost back to form now, but it took him a long time to recover, especially his speech. But his reluctance to do more high profile stuff in that period isn't really related to that. It's a self-imposed restriction. Back in the early 2010s, he told me he wanted to do less Hollywood action movies and more small stuff.

 

As for the age-old "Everything sucks these days! Everything used to be so much better back in the golden days of yonder" attitude, I've just learned to ignore that over the years. It's basically people stuck in Plato's cave. Sometimes, it doesn't even work to give them some names and titles to explore. You'll have to physically drag them out of the cave and show them the real world.

 

There's a LOT of great stuff being produced today, and although my taste doesn't always correspond with that of Erik and Jon Broxton (since they were previously cited), I still managed to find a long list of superb scores just last year - as I mention in my 2020 podcast, or available to view in the awards thread.

 

You just have to make an effort and explore. It's very easy, especially in this day and age, with countless podcasts and review sites and what-have-you. And you obviously need an open attitude. If you ignore all suggestions, because you've already made up your mind that everything sucks these days, and nobody will be able to convince you otherwise, you'll remain in Plato's cave for the rest of your life. Which, to some, is a comfort, I guess.

 

None of this has anything to do with Joe Kraemer and his tirade, but I can see why the discussion veered that way.

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2 minutes ago, Thor said:

There's a LOT of great stuff being produced today, and although my taste doesn't always correspond with that of Erik and Jon Broxton (since they were previously cited), I still managed to find a long list of superb stuff just last year - as I mention in my 2020 podcast, or available to view in the awards thread.

 

I listen to your yearly webcast of highlights, and I'm sorry to say I usually don't hear much that interests me. That's of course partially due to differences in taste, but I do think scores have become more generic and musically less interesting in recent years.

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Well, how many new scores did you listen to in 2020? If your taste doesn't correspond to mine, it will probably correspond better to others. You should also check out some of the runner-ups I mentioned, or other podcasts and review sites. Erik and Jon, for example, lean more towards the classically symphonic style, which might be more up your alley. But I appreciate you taking a listen!

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2 minutes ago, Thor said:

Erik and Jon, for example, lean more towards the classically symphonic style, which might be more up your alley.

 

It definitely is, and I found a few things on Jon's list I'll check out.

 

3 minutes ago, Thor said:

But I appreciate you taking a listen!

 

Gotta hear that ASMR voice!

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Kraemer's comments are refreshing to hear in what is such a hush industry, and reflective of the state of the entertainment industry at large. Crunch, deadlines and streaming culture have made the business of filmmaking, music making, game making more hurried than usual. I remember when film productions were years long and there was time to make things on a creative impulse and not to meet schedules (granted technology has streamlined things).

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57 minutes ago, Ricard said:

As long as people think that "life is unfair", they're never gonna get what they want.

 

Ehh sure, but when the field is disproportionately stacked against you and the goalposts are haphazardly changed on a whim by decision makers far more powerful and influential than you, all it does is discourage you from playing. Even if you keep telling yourself that life is actually "fair", you might still not get what you want, all because you're actively blocked from benefitting.

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