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James Newton Howard & Xander Rodzinski - WILLOW (2022)


Edmilson
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7 minutes ago, Brónach said:

also, give a name to the band. you know? that's always cool.

 

I do wonder if this might catch on in the future for film composing teams.  There's certainly many pop bands that always credit all their songs to the whole group, even though any particular song will probably have more input from one or two members than others.  The indie band Grizzly Bear came to my mind first as an example.  However, those bands are generally very egalitarian/democratic, whereas in film composition teams the main credited composer is probably more of a benign (or not) dictator.

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only The Seatbelts comes to mind

 

sorry about the thread derailing. i'm actually interested in what JNH does.

On 10/11/2021 at 8:13 PM, Yavar Moradi said:


I don’t want the Schumann action theme reprised in this new series… I was never a big fan of that and I think it was mostly for Val Kilmer’s character anyway. But the gorgeous Elora Danan theme (based on an Eastern European folk melody) would make a ton of sense to reference I suspect… assuming she is an adult character in this.

 

Yavar

 

And would you, by any chance, know which eastern european tune this is supposed to be?

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So over the past few months after that Vanity Fair story, two things happened in the film music world in Hollywood: Nami Melumad was credited as co-composer alongside Giacchino on Thor 4 and now Xander Rodzinski has been given full credited on the later episodes of Willow. 

 

As I was on the road today, it occurred me: maybe those events are linked? I mean, after the VF exposé, Gia and JNH felt it would be fair to give more credit to their helpers? But if they did that because of the report, did this mean that they always had used additional composers without giving them their due credit? 

 

It's a horrible possibility for two (and maybe more?) of the most successful and beloved composers in Hollywood. I would hate to know that the music credited to JNH was actually written by underpaid, overworked composers while he collected all the glories and fame.

 

OTOH, maybe the truth is a little bit simpler? Both MG and JNH got a lot of projects recently that would demand a lot of music, so they needed to use a team to help them get those scores in time? 

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40 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

OTOH, maybe the truth is a little bit simpler? Both MG and JNH got a lot of projects recently that would demand a lot of music, so they needed to use a team to help them get those scores in time? 

 

Bingo. Also, Melumad has already been credited as a main artist on key Gia projects prior to the article publishing, so it really couldn't have been influenced by that. 

 

JHN is a trickier one, since he did go for the RCP tactic of simply crediting the additional crew on the cuesheets for their key tracks and nothing more. But given I believe he already has had a history of only being partially involved with composing television series (the Netflix Series of Unfortunate Events), I think he tends to only be transparent with those particular projects.

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4 hours ago, Edmilson said:

So over the past few months after that Vanity Fair story, two things happened in the film music world in Hollywood: Nami Melumad was credited as co-composer alongside Giacchino on Thor 4 and now Xander Rodzinski has been given full credited on the later episodes of Willow. 

 

As I was on the road today, it occurred me: maybe those events are linked? I mean, after the VF exposé, Gia and JNH felt it would be fair to give more credit to their helpers? But if they did that because of the report, did this mean that they always had used additional composers without giving them their due credit? 

 

It's a horrible possibility for two (and maybe more?) of the most successful and beloved composers in Hollywood. I would hate to know that the music credited to JNH was actually written by underpaid, overworked composers while he collected all the glories and fame.

 

OTOH, maybe the truth is a little bit simpler? Both MG and JNH got a lot of projects recently that would demand a lot of music, so they needed to use a team to help them get those scores in time? 

 

LOL at "possibility." It is not just a possibility, it is reality. Here is what Jonathan Broxton of UK Movie Music said about Xander Rozinski's involvement:

 

"Rodzinski has been working with/for JNH for years, on multiple scores. This will be his mainstream credited debut - he's done some shorts but nothing I've heard. He has done some uncredited 'additional music' on Jungle Cruise, Raya and the Last Dragon, Crimes of Grindelwald, and some others, though. I don't know which cues are specifically his, but we've definitely heard his stuff before."

 

People are still in the dark about this? I can't remember who the poster was, but he challenged me to name assistants that other Oscar winners besides Zimmer used on Oscar winning score or something like that. So I gave him a list. But I was incredulous the whole time. People really think all the Oscar winners besides Zimmer wrote every note of music themselves? 

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That is so weird though, since JNH has fully credited others in the way RCP tends to do with most of their work. I can specifically recall finding the various cues others co-wrote for Bourne Legacy on ASCAP. So for him to not do it with what seems like his proper protégé feels rather suspicious (if unfortunately oddly common for mainly orchestral composers like Bear McCreary and Brian Tyler).


That being said: apparently being the uncredited score producer for Crimes of Grindelwald effectively does make him the Balfe to JNH. How much does it suck when Xander can't even be in the front cover with that credit like Lorne does?

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In the film music community, there are two different and conflicting interpretations of what an additional composer actually does.

 

The first one is nicer. The additional composer or score producer helps on tasks like adapting cues already written by the main composer to fit the new, changing cuts of a movie (which unfortunately is very common in Hollywood with its clueless producers and directors). The protegees may also write smaller cues that the main composer may not have the time to write while he is focused on the bigger, more important scenes. 

 

In short, the protegee helps the composer to finish the score on time, but still a large part of the music as heard in the film is the vision of the person with the "Music By" credit. 

 

The other interpretation, however, is much more depressing. The additional composer (or composers, in plural) are responsible for writing a huge part of the music for the movie (and look how I used the verb "write", not "adapt"). It may be based on "themes and ideas" the main composer wrote, but still he wasn't the one who did the majority of the work. The additional composers receive a tiny, well hidden credit who doesn't cover how important they were for the score - neither compensates them financially. 

 

Which one is true? Will we ever get to know? I hate to think that the scores that I loved from composers I admire (specially the guy on my avatar) were actually the product of they exploiting and abusing their team, who remain unknown despite being the responsibles for the cues I like. Honestly, if I find out that JNH was an abusive boss who doesn't deserve the "Music By" credit on his movies... I guess it'll be a while before I hear a score again.

 

But I guess we may never know. That is the problem with these Hollywood big shots, they're too full of themselves to admit any wrongdoings.

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21 hours ago, Roll the Bones said:

Didn't Zimmer credit some people as the Sinister Six for Spider-Man?

That was the six guests if I remember correctly, though I also remember Junkie and Mazarro there, so I would have to check, though hans-zimmer.com list 11 composers for the score.

 

16 hours ago, HunterTech said:

Also, Melumad has already been credited as a main artist on key Gia projects prior to the article publishing, so it really couldn't have been influenced by that. 

She was the main composer on Star Trek Prodigy, right? With a theme from Giacchino, same with that Seth Rogen movie... But have they shared the main composer credit together before Love and Thunder?

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1 hour ago, Gabriel Bezerra said:

That was the six guests if I remember correctly, though I also remember Junkie and Mazarro there, so I would have to check, though hans-zimmer.com list 11 composers for the score.

 

She was the main composer on Star Trek Prodigy, right? With a theme from Giacchino, same with that Seth Rogen movie... But have they shared the main composer credit together before Love and Thunder?

 

Yes they shared credit before. For An American Pickle, and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond.

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I'm pretty sure An American Pickle (the Seth Rogan movie) was more of a collaboration between the two of them. For Medal of Honor Giacchino contributed just four compositions, some more fleshed out than others (his Juliette's Theme is the best thing he's done in YEARS IMO!) and then Melumad did the entire rest of that incredible score.

 

Yavar

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i listened to that score yesterday, and it is sooo good. The new themes, the implementation of previous material is fresh and not just cut an paste, the new material variations and the mix of old an new...

 

One of the best MOH scores

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

I was just thinking about this show this morning.  It's 2 weeks away and we don't even know how many episodes it is

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The number of woodwind solos alone give me hope for the future of film music. Thank god they didn't include an action scene, because then i'd have immediately lost it again.

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8 hours ago, Jaaaackified said:

 8 episodes I think, JNH scores Ep 1-3 and Xander does Ep 4-8. 


I thought we also heard JNH was doing the last episode or two as well…Xander doing the middle three I think?

 

Yavar

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Wow. I can't remember the last time a mere one minute clip of score sounded so promising.

 

I always thought JNH was a good choice for this so I hope it lives up to these increasingly growing expectations.

 

Also... I hope that this Xander guy proves himself with this. Aside from that recent Light & Magic doc, this is the first time Howard has an assistant officially credited on a score. I'd really like to see a Powell/Sener situation where the apprentice proves competent in mimicking their master's style almost flawlessly.

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2 minutes ago, Gibster said:

So Willow has Davis back. It has Whalley back. Kilmer is back, in spirit at least, and Howard is back producing. What’s missing from that original DNA? James Horner’s unforgettable score, of course. Sadly, Horner passed away in 2015, but in his place, Willow has James Newton Howard, himself a legend, who specifically asked to work on the show. “James Newton Howard ... threw his hat in saying ‘I want to step into this,’” Kasdan said. “And one of the reasons he said it is because he and Horner had a history together.”

As for the use of the theme, Kasdan and Howard agreed it needed to be used in the right way. “When we had our first conversation, I said, ‘You know, the movie is synonymous with this theme. People love it.’ And he said, ‘I want to use it, but I want the moments when it comes back to be impactful. I don’t want it to feel like we’ve cut together the score from the original movie and repurposed it every time we get into a sort of emotional jam,’” Kasdan recalled. “So you’ll find as you go through the [series], we use it very sparingly as an accent. And what James said to me is that as a friend of Horner’s, he’s confident that he handled it in exactly the way Horner would have handled a score that he had started out on. So I felt pretty good about that.”

Source?

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One of my headcanons is that JNH chose to incorporate the Newton to his stage name because he thought people might confuse him with Horner if he was just called James Howard.

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6 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

One of my headcanons is that JNH chose to incorporate the Newton to his stage name because he thought people might confuse him with Horner if he was just called James Howard.

 

I'm pretty confident he was going by James Newton Howard long before he entered the film world.

 

edit - Missed the 'headcanon' bit haha :blush:

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35 minutes ago, Yavar Moradi said:

I didn’t say same last name. JH and J(N)H.

 

Yavar

You said initials.

 

Horner's initials are J(R)H, Howard's are JNH.

9 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

One of my headcanons is that JNH chose to incorporate the Newton to his stage name because he thought people might confuse him with Horner and/or Howard Shore if he was just called James Howard.

Fixed. ;)

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34 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

One of my headcanons is that JNH chose to incorporate the Newton to his stage name because he thought people might confuse him with Horner if he was just called James Howard.


Like he just took one look at Leonard Rosenman (A Man Called Horse) and Laurence Rosenthal (Return of a Man Called Horse) and thought, “I’ll stick my middle name in there…” :) 

 

Yavar

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