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


Alex
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On 1/28/2021 at 8:26 PM, Fabulin said:

That lady is like an industry Snowden

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Wow... Where is this from? Need context haha. Is this from the Hans-Zimmer.com facebook group?

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No, a "perspectives" Facebook group, whatever that is, and apparently the post has since been deleted

 

If you go to Nadia's tweeter and start scrolling downward you can see the discussion around the first time she posted it

 

https://twitter.com/nadiaudio/with_replies

 

This is what started it:

 

 

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This is the internet we’re talking about, and cancel-culture 2021. Trust but verify. I’ll believe it when it’s independently verified.

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22 hours ago, Jay said:

No, a "perspectives" Facebook group, whatever that is, and apparently the post has since been deleted

 

If you go to Nadia's tweeter and start scrolling downward you can see the discussion around the first time she posted it

 

https://twitter.com/nadiaudio/with_replies

 

This is what started it:

 

 

 

 

Thanks!!

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/29/2021 at 8:21 AM, Docteur Qui said:


Care to elaborate?

Life is stacked against most of us from the outset. Only a very few privileged number “get what they want”. For every success story in Hollywood there are tens of thousands, if not more, that never even got a chance, largely due to economic and social inequality. In this industry, hell, in this world, if you weren’t lucky enough to be born in the right place at the right time to the right parents your dreams are worth jack shit. 
 

There’s nothing wrong with having lofty goals in life, but true wisdom is knowing when your dreams are impossible and focusing on building what you can with what you already have. 

 

That's sheer and utter bullshit. 

Most people fail in life because they set the goals for themselves too high to start with, and then set themselves up for frustration because they always see what they don't have, instead of what they could have. 

If people focused on making the most out of their situation at any given time, they'd have the feeling of success, and the motivation to move further.

But the truth is that people are being trained to receive instant satisfaction, and collapse at the prospect of having to work really hard for a goal, and dealing with failure. If your goal is for example to be great with attracting women, and getting your perfect wife, you need to go out constantly, talk, socialize, get rejected a few hundred times, learn social skills, how to talk etc. But it's just easier to download an app and swipe right. Bam, I'm awesome! 

Society in 2021 and real life don't match. 

 

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  • 8 months later...
On 28/01/2021 at 12:45 PM, Alex said:

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 virtually impossible for people who are neither born into money or born into the business.  And it IS a business - money is the bottom line.  As one very successful producer recently told me "Joe, no one gives a shit about your art".  I can count the number of mainstream Hollywood composers that I KNOW write all their music themselves on one hand, John Williams being the most famous example.  Everyone else is a team leader, a figurehead for a team of composers who are getting no credit, very little money, and no job security.  None of us have any job security anyway.  One of my closest friends made a deal behind my back that swindled me out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and then dumped me for a Zimling and this was after assuring me that working for him/her was the same as having a "savings bond". So I was in dire need of money. It is very good that then I stumbled upon https://fitmymoney.com/personal-loan-pre-approval-prequalify/ that helped me deal with this situation, find out what are pre-approved loans and how to qualify to get a loan without problems. In 2010, having scored "The Way of The Gun" and close to 40 TV movies for the Hallmark Channel, I was so broke I had to sell my CDs and DVDs to feed my son. This is not a pity-party for me.  This is just a reality check for people who dream of scoring movies in Hollywood: It is a cutthroat community of people who are in the business to get rich and famous.  Writing music of any quality is secondary to that ultimate goal. And keep in mind, being an artist is not a civil right - no one owes me anything, even the ex-friend who swindled me.  Making art is a hobby, and if we can manage to make some money from it, so much the better. I promise to always do my best to write all the music in anything I score myself, and if I don't, to properly credit the people who co-write with me (i.e. to the film in a meaningful way.  These promises have definitely impeded progress in my career - I haven't scored a single mainstream Hollywood movie since 'Rogue Nation'.  But I also haven't ripped anyone off, or swindled my friends, or presented a false impression. I promise not to hire an 'assistant' who is really a ghost-writer.  I promise to do my best not to just copy the temp, but to contribute of myself to directors, producers, or studio execs.  To the OP, Nadia, thank you for sharing your story.  There are a lot of hard truths that need to be shown to those who hope to join this business.  I think often of a quote once heard, spoken by one of the cinema's greatest composers:  "I got into this business to make a living.  Now people get into it to make a killing."  In closing, let me reiterate, this is not whining - this is a tough business, and it's not for the faint of heart to undertake. It can be wonderfully rewarding, but it is also impossibly challenging.  I hope it can evolve to a community that helps each other rather than competes with each other”.

This made me angry

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone know what actually went down between them? Cuz he is definitely talking about Mission Impossible Fallout.

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I do not remember the details greatly (and this is very likely based on an earlier understanding of the situation rather than what actually went down, so take it with a grain of salt), but I recall that McQ initially had Kraemer make a far more minimalist score for the film. However, either thanks to test screenings and/or Cruise really disliking what he heard, Joe was allowed to start from scratch and basically got instructed to sound a lot more like the original TV show. This infuriates McQuarrie, and he had him dropped from Fallout to get a guy who could closer achieve his ideal sound without any chance of studio interference (especially now that he has greater creative control).

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I don’t think that is true. He said the first thing Cruise said to him when he was hired that he wanted retro

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While I feel sorry for him, if you only have one director collaboration and no fallback plan, that is on him. 

 

 McQuarrie dumped him for Balfe. Fine. Go make music with your second, third, forth frequent collaborating director. 

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McQuarrie didn’t just let go of Kraemer. He ghosted him. Completely unprofessional and unethical to do to someone who had been his collaborator since the beginning. McQ told Kraemer that working with him would pay off like a savings bond. Then McQ broke that promise with a snap of the finger.

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Also, it's not like Elfman with Burton and Raimi, where the squabbles they had were either fairly early on in their working relationships or to a level where things were eventually reparable. McQ and Kraemer knew each other personally for so long that this level of getting the shaft wouldn't have been thought of as possible until the former was given the amount of creative control he got post RN (with the alleged spite associated with not getting the score he really wanted the first time).

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1 minute ago, Koray Savas said:

Spielberg has done several films without Williams. 

 

2 out of the 3 williams couldn't do and ending up going to the scoring sessions

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53 minutes ago, Gibster said:

Williams and Zimmer

I'd surely watch a movie directed by John Williams and scored by Hans Zimmer. Or one directed by Zimmer and scored by Williams.

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1 hour ago, Mephariel said:

While I feel sorry for him, if you only have one director collaboration and no fallback plan, that is on him. 

 

 McQuarrie dumped him for Balfe. Fine. Go make music with your second, third, forth frequent collaborating director. 

Easier said than done - what if those other collaborators weren't making films at the time, or had already hired other composers? Film studios often invest time and money in people, booking them for a certain timeline ahead of productions, and then when projects get pulled or cancelled that's all those people out of work and all the commitments made meant other productions have already sourced the work out.

 

It's not about a fallback plan, it's about contracts and agreements between creators and keeping them - it's all on McQuarrie for dropping Kraemer.

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On 28/1/2021 at 2:34 PM, Quintus said:

I mostly just stick to video game soundtracks these days, mostly. Prefer what I hear there. 

Could you list some of your favorite video game soundtracks?

4 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

I can't believe McQuarrie preferred LB's mediocre score instead of Kraemer's. It's like he woke up one day and thought: "You know, it'd be great if the score for Fallout sounded like rejected demos from The Dark Knight and Inception. That's exactly what the movie needs: generic, souless music that could've been written for literally every action movie of the last ten years".

Agreed. But Balfe might’ve been a bigger name in the business, or his RCP connection/background meant that the studio wanted him instead of Kraemer who clearly was more talented, but didn’t have as good connections and as many big scores under his belt. I’m positive he would’ve delivered another great inventive M:I score that could’ve led to more high profile jobs. But as Kraemer put it, he was swindled. That shows that talent is secondary, what truly matters is being well connected. Zimmer is like a Godfather in the film music industry. Alas his Oscar has only cemented his status. 

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13 minutes ago, JTW said:

That shows that talent is secondary, what truly matters is being well connected

Precisely. This explains why people like Balfe and Jackman keep getting big movies and TV shows to score while more talented composers like Kraemer, Don Davis and Christopher Young are left fighting for scraps.

 

Hollywood does not want creative, intelligent scores like Rogue Nation, they prefer the same generic shit for every blockbuster.

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1 hour ago, Koray Savas said:

Spielberg has done several films without Williams. 

 

Yeah but Williams was invariably the first choice for those movies he was absent on....Spielberg/Williams remains one of the great enviable and loyal collabs. 

 

It is crazy impressive that Silvestri has yet to miss a single one with Zemeckis since they started, though. 

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According to rumorville, Bad Robot was really hesitant to hire Kraemer per his relative obscurity, and were keen on continuing having Giacchino score the franchise. It took McQ really pushing for him (plus Joe's role in coordinating the opera scene) for JK to get the gig.

 

So based on that, there is the large possibility that as a result of the live action Ghost in the Shell making a splash with the public in terms of the music, Paramount could've pushed Balfe as a result of Fallout changing gears tone wise (which is "officially" the reason McQ said he replaced Kraemer). Lorne is the new hot name in the film score business, so they would want to capitalize on him in whichever ways they can. However, given the nature of how this information has come about, it's really difficult to say for sure (especially when Kraemer very likely has been cut off from McQ to fully get his side of the story).

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41 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

Precisely. This explains why people like Balfe and Jackman keep getting big movies and TV shows to score while more talented composers like Kraemer, Don Davis and Christopher Young are left fighting for scraps.

 

Hollywood does not want creative, intelligent scores like Rogue Nation, they prefer the same generic shit for every blockbuster.

You can add Hans Zimmer to that list. He is almost solely responsible for the decline of Hollywood Film Music. 

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1 hour ago, Edmilson said:

Precisely. This explains why people like Balfe and Jackman keep getting big movies and TV shows to score while more talented composers like Kraemer, Don Davis and Christopher Young are left fighting for scraps.

 

Hollywood does not want creative, intelligent scores like Rogue Nation, they prefer the same generic shit for every blockbuster.

 

I for one, didn't like Kraemer's Mission Impossible score that much and I am glad he didn't return. Outside of the opening and closing cues, the score wasn't all that great or innovative. Balfe's score wasn't great either. In fact, the only two scores with any sort of personality in the entire series were Elfman's score (noir) and Zimmer's score (rock n roll). I am not going to even mention Giacchino's scores and how bland those were. 

 

I also don't buy for second that Hollywood doesn't want creative, intelligent scores, there are plenty of those on the market. I think maybe Kraemer and Yong, and to a lesser extent, Davis, needed to write scores that people gives a shit about and they never cross that threshold.

25 minutes ago, JTW said:

You can add Hans Zimmer to that list. He is almost solely responsible for the decline of Hollywood Film Music. 

 

You mean responsible for the rise of Hollywood Film Music. Zimmer, along with Williams, and Horner did more to popularized film music in the past 30 years than anyone else. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, Mephariel said:

also don't buy for second that Hollywood doesn't want creative, intelligent scores, there are plenty of those on the market. I think maybe Kraemer and Yong, and to a lesser extent, Davis, needed to write scores that people gives a shit about and they never cross that threshold

The Hollywood you say that have plenty of intelligent and creative scores is the same that keeps giving big movies to mediocre composers like Balfe and Tyler. Aside from the occasional decent score from older composers like Silvestri, Elfman, Powell, JNH and yeah, even Giacchino, the music for most blockbusters is as insipid as it comes.

 

It's not Kraemer's fault if producers and studio execs don't want what he is selling, preferring instead the same "EpIk ScOrE" that sounds like hundreds of others action scores from this century.

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1 hour ago, Mephariel said:

I also don't buy for second that Hollywood doesn't want creative, intelligent scores, there are plenty of those on the market. I think maybe Kraemer and Yong, and to a lesser extent, Davis, needed to write scores that people gives a shit about and they never cross that threshold.

Hollywood isn't run by a group of sensitive artists but by business men. So, maybe they don't care about musical quality of scores which become in a mass market less and less important. I think, it is more and more reduced to a checkbox on the production plan. As it isn't even included into the official oscar ceremony anymore. And as Kramer says, they even don't want to spend money on it anymore.

 

At one point in time in the future probably Hans Zimmer's RCP or another film music production company will sell their score library to a studio and from that on the scores will no longer be done by composers but plugged together by sound editors from existing sound libraries. At least half of the scores sound like that already anyway. 

No "composition" required anymore.

 

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1 hour ago, Edmilson said:

The Hollywood you say that have plenty of intelligent and creative scores is the same that keeps giving big movies to mediocre composers like Balfe and Tyler. Aside from the occasional decent score from older composers like Silvestri, Elfman, Powell, JNH and yeah, even Giacchino, the music for most blockbusters is as insipid as it comes.

 

It's not Kraemer's fault if producers and studio execs don't want what he is selling, preferring instead the same "EpIk ScOrE" that sounds like hundreds of others action scores from this century.

 

Kraemer is as insipid as it comes. If he is not, he will still be here. Honestly, outside of this board and maybe 2 other boards, who the heck remembers a Kraemer score? He wants a job, write like he deserve one. And yes, that is his fault. James Newton Howard, Bear McCreary, John Powell, Pinar Toprak, and even Joel P. West have no problem getting gigs. Daniel Pemberton has no problem getting a job. Those are not your typical RCP composers. That is like saying it is not your fault that fortune 500 companies are not biting on your resume. You are not entitled to a job. If you writes scores that nobody care about, you won't have one. There are plenty of non-RCP composers writing their asses off now. Kraemer rather sit around. That is on him.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Mephariel said:

 

 James Newton Howard, Bear McCreary, John Powell, Pinar Toprak, and even Joel P. West have no problem getting gigs. Daniel Pemberton has no problem getting a job. Those are not your typical RCP composers. That is like saying it is not your fault that fortune 500 companies are not biting on your resume. You are not entitled to a job. If you writes scores that nobody care about, you won't have one. There are plenty of non-RCP composers writing their asses off now. Kraemer rather sit around. That is on him.

 

 

James Newton Howard is one of the last great ones, of course he gets jobs.

McCreary has been around a long time and he has proven himself over and over again.

Powell is a former Zimmer protégé AND he's way more talented than Zimmer, naturally he gets work. Pinar Toprak is a woman that's why she gets work in woke Hollywood FOR NOW.

Pemberton is a fancy name in the last few years, but I don't think he'll be around for long unless he has good connections. 

Joe Kraemer writes as good or better than most of whom you listed, with the exception of Howard and Powell. It's a shame he doesn't get hired anymore just because he doesn't have Hans Zimmer behind him like Lorne Balfe.

 

 

2 hours ago, Mephariel said:

You mean responsible for the rise of Hollywood Film Music. Zimmer, along with Williams, and Horner did more to popularized film music in the past 30 years than anyone else. 

Zimmer made generic, repetitive, minimalistic film music popular among normies who know nothing about film music. 

Williams, along with Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Conti, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Dave Grusin, Elliot Goldenthal, Randy Newman, Thomas Newman etc. made classic symphonic, thematic Film Music popular. 

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13 minutes ago, Mephariel said:

Kraemer is as insipid as it comes. If he is not, he will still be here. Honestly, outside of this board and maybe 2 other boards, who the heck remembers a Kraemer score? He wants a job, write like he deserve one. And yes, that is his fault. James Newton Howard, Bear McCreary, John Powell, Pinar Toprak, and even Joel P. West have no problem getting gigs. Daniel Pemberton has no problem getting a job. Those are not your typical RCP composers. That is like saying it is not your fault that fortune 500 companies are not biting on your resume. You are not entitled to a job. If you writes scores that nobody care about, you won't have one. There are plenty of non-RCP composers writing their asses off now. Kraemer rather sit around. That is on him.

 

Except how the hell is he going to get gigs if McQ isn't there to recommend him to several peers? That's exactly how MV/RCP got running: Zimmer was too busy to do a particular score, so here's an associate of his to take care of the job. Hell, that's how even some midtier composers managed to have relatively decent careers despite not being too big. James Horner wasn't able to fully do Hocus Pocus, but was able to convince Disney to take John Debney in his place.

 

It's all about the connections you form in this incredibly tight industry, which McQ had certainly promised to help Kraemer with before he got way too over his head with what happened on RN. How else are you supposed to be hired otherwise? Because chances are, smaller gigs (which JK absolutely has plenty of) aren't exactly a guarantee for someone to upgrade to the big leagues (McCreary being the most successful recent case in this regard, and even then he's only now doing bigger pictures after so many years on television).

 

It's a cutthroat industry, and in this current climate, studios just want what's incredibly marketable and familiar, without much of a care over what it is they're selling. It's really as simple as that.

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11 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

I don't think the thinly veiled sexism about Pinar Toprak is at all necessary. You can like or dislike her music, but that's totally uncalled for.

Let's not get personal and insult each other, shall we? Thanks.

I believe Pinar Toprak gets hired because she's a woman. Have you seen her? She looks like a model. We live in an age of wokeness and feminism where female artists are pushed whether they qualify for the job or not. Rachel Portman got an Oscar because she was a woman. Hildur Guðnadóttir got all the awards because she was a woman. And Pinar Toprak is hired because she's a woman. How is it that 99% of female composers-conductors working today are very pretty? This is indeed sexism, only not the way you're implying. This is the discrimination of all the male composers who don't get hired because a woman "has to" get the job. 

I myself don't care if it's a male or a female composer, if it's white, black, asian or hispanic. All I care about is TALENT and the MUSIC. Is the composer qualified for the job by their talent or not? Nothing else matters and nothing should matter. In today's woke world unfortunately female composers and people of color are hired because of their sex and race. not their talent. And all that hurts is the art form of Film Music.

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39 minutes ago, JTW said:

James Newton Howard is one of the last great ones, of course he gets jobs.

McCreary has been around a long time and he has proven himself over and over again.

Powell is a former Zimmer protégé AND he's way more talented than Zimmer, naturally he gets work. Pinar Toprak is a woman that's why she gets work in woke Hollywood FOR NOW.

Pemberton is a fancy name in the last few years, but I don't think he'll be around for long unless he has good connections. 

Joe Kraemer writes as good or better than most of whom you listed, with the exception of Howard and Powell. It's a shame he doesn't get hired anymore just because he doesn't have Hans Zimmer behind him like Lorne Balfe.

 

 

Zimmer made generic, repetitive, minimalistic film music popular among normies who know nothing about film music. 

Williams, along with Jerry Goldsmith, Bill Conti, Alan Silvestri, Danny Elfman, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Dave Grusin, Elliot Goldenthal, Randy Newman, Thomas Newman etc. made classic symphonic, thematic Film Music popular. 

 

The fact that you mentioned Toprak being a woman as a reason for her getting a gig is ridiculous already. Like for your age, you shouldn't be this immature. And what about Nathan Johnson, Alexandre Desplat, Patrick Doyle, Natalie Holt, Thomas Newman? How are they getting work? What about Christophe Beck, Mark Mothersbaugh, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Martin Phipps? How are they getting work. I can keep going and going. Those guys and gals are not RCP. If Kraemer can't find a job, that is on him. Everyone else has no issue finding a job.

 

As for your comment about Zimmer. I guess Ron Howard, Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott, Gore Verbinski, Terrence Malick, and Denis Villeneuve know nothing about film music. Spielberg, who gushed over Crimson Tide and wanted Zimmer to lead Dreamworks knows nothing about film music either. James Cameron, who has enough musical sensibility to pick James Horner as a frequent collaborator said Zimmer was one of the three modern day masters, along with Horner and Williams. He knows nothing about film music either. Apparently since Dune was ranked 7th on Filmtracks community awards, even the film music community knows nothing about film music. IFMCA, a film music award committee so in love with melodic music that they nominated Giacchino 44 times, just nominated Dune as one of the scores of the year and voted Wonder Woman 84 as the best fantasy score of last year. They also know nothing about film music.

 

Only you know about film music huh? And you think Zimmer is egotistic. That is rich. 

 

BTW, have you seen Zimmer's concerts. Over 1 million people flocked to stadiums and areans to listen to...thematic and melodic music. So yeah, Zimmer did everything he could to prop up orchestra, electronic, and film music. Nobody else did more.  

 

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25 minutes ago, Holko said:

Aren't you the one assuming she doesn't have the talent or didn't get hired because of it?

One can only assume that because if you listen to scores by e.g. Toprak (whose first name is hilarious in our language btw.), you don't get why else was she hired if not because she was female. I mean have you heard Captain Marvel? Totally generic, boring score. Joker's score as well. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION of course, before I get attacked. Female composers are pushed, and if you say it out loud, you immediately get called names. On the contrary: wokeness and feminism hurt film music and take away the chance from more talented composers who happen to be male and/or white. 

 

If you were a director, who would you hire to write the score to your film, John Williams or Pinar Toprak? I would choose John Williams. Why? Because he's male or white? No. Because he's the Best COMPOSER. If Toprak was the best, I would hire her in a heartbeat. All that matters is Talent. Not gender, not race. 

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