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2023 IFMCA Awards


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I'm sad to see Migration only getting one nomination, it should've been in Score of the Year as well.

 

Paesano's Marvel's Spider-Man 2 deserved a nom for best video-game score. I've been playing the game recently and I'm really enjoying the score.

 

But the most glaring omission is: why the hell The Sound of Music wasn't nominated for Best Archival? I was sure it was going to win this easily!

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Yeah, there's some stuff missing.

 

I'm also surprised that Karpman's The Marvels isn't anywhere. It was the best score for a superhero film.

 

I would've swapped it with either Supercell or Poor Things

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Supercell was a classic example of critics going wild for a score just because it's traditional and orchestral. The bits I sampled weren't overly interesting.

 

Wild Isles should be a shoe-in for best documentary score. 

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I already had my eye on the "Laurence Rosenthal" (from Film Fest Gent), so I'm not surprised it's among the nominees. I'm a little surprised that no "James Horner" expansions made the nomination list, but it suits me, as I can't decide for myself if I really need any of them.

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53 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

Supercell was a classic example of critics going wild for a score just because it's traditional and orchestral. The bits I sampled weren't overly interesting.

 

Yep. The album starts decently but then it quickly becomes rather uninteresting and generic. Critics really dug it because it's "old-fashioned".

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3 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Critics really dug it because it's "old-fashioned".

 

One might think that if they didn't read any reviews of the score.

 

-Erik-

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I read Broxton's review ages ago - didn't change my view either. There are a handful of nice moments here and there but I gave up fairly quickly playing the whole album... it was just a tad generic. Ironically, one of the highlights he points out sounds to me exactly like the sort of Williams temp track he preaches that the score isn't. It's a perfectly competent, functional score, but nothing special. I also think that this sort of full orchestra, twinkly approach is wrong for this sort of film. Mancina demonstrated perfectly how to do it.

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Well, I did read Jon Broxton's review, which was what compelled me to listen the score on Spotify. I was eager to check it after reading the review... But in the end, I wasn't a fan. It has a pretty decent first cue, but after that the album is mostly generic suspense music that doesn't go anywhere.

 

I wish I could share JB's excitment for it, since the composer clearly knows how to write orchestral music. But in the end, I felt that this was a score that I, as a fan of old school orchestral scores Williams-style, SHOULD like but it didn't do anything for me.

 

I felt the same thing with Christophe Beck's Shazam! 2 btw.

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That's fair, @Edmilson. Honestly, the "old-fashioned" style of the score was what first drew me in, and any score written in that style will get my attention immediately, but after listening to it, I found that it was more than just an "old-fashioned" film score. I think a short album could have benefited the listening experience, and getting a real orchestra to perform it would really have brought out it's greatness. But for the most part, I really enjoyed the score... a lot!

 

-Erik-

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23 hours ago, Edmilson said:

I'm sad to see Migration only getting one nomination, it should've been in Score of the Year as well.

 

I agree. It was my second favorite score of the year, actually!

 

23 hours ago, Edmilson said:

But the most glaring omission is: why the hell The Sound of Music wasn't nominated for Best Archival? I was sure it was going to win this easily!

 

Well, you're right... but musicals aren't really the passion of most of the IFMCA, I don't think. I wonder how close it was to getting on the top 10, but I'm not at all surprised that Williams/Goldsmith/Barry/Hisaishi/Herrmann/JNH/etc. titles took precedence. Honestly I was pleasantly surprised Laurence Rosenthal made it, and kinda shocked that not one of the eight fine Horner releases did! (If I had to guess I'd say votes were probably split between Zorro/Sneakers/Battle Beyond the Stars.)

 

If I was going to bump something to include The Sound of Music, for my taste it would be The Rock, but Zimmer/Media Ventures fans are legion. And it was a very well produced album so it deserves kudos IMO... it's just not my favorite kind of film music, personally.

 

Yavar

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  • 2 weeks later...

True. Archival and re-recording are in no way analogous.

 

8 minutes ago, Holko said:

The one where a third of the tracks phase. Fucking beautiful.

 

Do not get me started on this one!

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Technically in many cases a looot of archival work has to be done for rerecordings, finding and organising the written material, reconstructing or reorchestrating missing or illegible stuff... but yeah

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There is a reason we group them together. We have to have a minimum number of albums to choose from to make a category separate. There just aren't enough re-recordings to warrant a separate category AT THE MOMENT. Having said that, we always discuss these matters after the awards, and there is a possibility of changes being made for next year!

 

-Erik-

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How much do you wanna bet that instead of "good rerecording of insignificant scores with technical issues vs 7 year long passion project gathering, organising and reworking materials on a massive scale to present a score in a completely new complete context", the thought process for voting was "ooh Herrmann, innovative, niche vs ew Williams, sappy mainstream"?

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12 minutes ago, Jim Ware said:

Do not get me started on this one!


Well, I talked to Mike Ross-Trevor about this issue when it was brought up on the Intrada forum, and he said there was no phasing. I'd actually find it interesting to read your take. 

 

-Erik-

Just now, Holko said:

How much do you wanna bet that instead of "good rerecording of insignificant scores with technical issues vs 7 year long passion project gathering, organising and reworking materials on a massive scale to present a score in a completely new complete context", the thought process for voting was "ooh Herrmann, innovative, niche vs ew Williams, sappy mainstream"?


You think you know the process, but you don't.

 

-Erik-

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4 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

And there goes the fragile reputation of the IMFCA.

 

If you think so. :sarcasm:

BTW, John Williams won two awards including SCORE OF THE FRIGGIN' YEAR! yay! But, hey, let's bitch some more about what didn't win! 

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25 minutes ago, Erik Woods said:

Well, I talked to Mike Ross-Trevor about this issue when it was brought up on the Intrada forum, and he said there was no phasing. I'd actually find it interesting to read your take. 

 

It's an excellent performance let down by technical issues that mar a few tracks. I can live with the artefacts, but they really shouldn't be there. 

 

I'll defer to @thx99 for a more detailed explanation:

 

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50 minutes ago, Erik Woods said:

 

If you think so. :sarcasm:

BTW, John Williams won two awards including SCORE OF THE FRIGGIN' YEAR! yay! But, hey, let's bitch some more about what didn't win! 

 

From the way you're speaking, it seems Hook wasn't chosen because John Williams has already won twice.

Speaking of this, I don't really see the point of awarding two 'best score' awards to the same score.

 

If Indy is chosen for the best score of the year, why not give the best adventure prize to another score?

 

I'm having trouble understanding the way you proceeded. And on Twitter, Jon Broxton seems to imply that Herrmann's re-recording was chosen because its production required a lot of talent and money. So, was making Hook easy and cheap? What are your selection criteria exactly?

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37 minutes ago, Jim Ware said:

 

It's an excellent performance let down by technical issues that mar a few tracks. I can live with the artefacts, but they really shouldn't be there. 

 

I'll defer to @thx99 for a more detailed explanation:

 


Interesting. I'm usually REALLY good at hearing anomonies, but I'm not 100% sure what I should be on the lookout for when it comes to aural artifacts caused by a notch filter. 

 

21 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

From the way you're speaking, it seems Hook wasn't chosen because John Williams has already won twice.

I don't really see the point of awarding two 'best score' awards to the same score.

 

If Indy is chosen for the best score of the year, why not give the best adventure prize to another score?

 

I'm having trouble understanding the way you proceeded. And on Twitter, Jon Broxton seems to imply that Herrmann's re-recording was chosen because its production required a lot of talent and money. So, was making Hook easy and cheap? What are your selection criteria exactly?


That's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is that NO ONE on a John Williams forum is talking about the fact that John Williams won two awards including the main prize, SCORE OF THE YEAR! Instead, all you guys are doing is complaining about what didn't win. BTW, complain away, but man, at least acknowledge the victories as well! And there is no mention of it on the front page on this website. Yeesh!

The point of the two awards is that one is an award for a specific genre, and the other is an award to the best score written from Film, TV and Video Games. 

And just because Indy gets an award for score of the year doesn't mean we hand the award to someone else in the genre categories. That's not how this works. We don't sit around a table and discuss our choices. It's a democratic vote. The score with the most votes wins. Pretty simple. 

When it comes down to voting, we have over 70 members who all vote for who they consider to be the best in each category. We all evaluate music differently. Someone likes Hook, awesome, they vote for it; if someone likes the Herrmann recording, they vote for it. The one with the most votes wins. And who knows, maybe Herrmann won by one vote over Hook. And I'm sure the other titles received votes as well. I'm not part of the voting committee, so I don't know the results. But that's how things go.

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I remember the discussions here around the IFMCA Awards last year. And the more than justified complains about the handling of movie scores at the academy awards. Still, as an award celebrating the art of film scoring in the name of us fans of the medium the IFMCA award I would still consider the best there is out there.

Apart from Thor's yearly top 100 list of course. :)

 

To be honest, I don't care, who wins the IFMCA awards. I just enjoy it as a celebration of the art form.

And this year, as it seems, they recognize a best score of the year, when the hear it. ;)

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I'd certainly put in a voice of support for archival expansions and re-recordings being in different categories. One is very specific to a recording process, interpreting and conducting the music, and getting the overall performance and sound right. The other has nothing to do with any of that - it's restoration and curation of material, where any shortcomings in the original recording are baked in.

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1 hour ago, Richard Penna said:

I'd certainly put in a voice of support for archival expansions and re-recordings being in different categories. One is very specific to a recording process, interpreting and conducting the music, and getting the overall performance and sound right. The other has nothing to do with any of that - it's restoration and curation of material, where any shortcomings in the original recording are baked in.

I quite agree... it's a bit like when music shops (used to) put soundtracks and musicals together.

 

Surely you only need 3 or 4 choices for each category which I appreciate could be difficult if it's just new recordings of full scores, but given that it also includes re-recorded compilation albums (like the Rosenthal one), I'm sure there's more than enough to have a decent number to choose from. I'd potentially argue that a suites and themes type album is a fairly different proposition from a full score recording and should be another category, but them being considered together is a reasonable compromise.

 

Of course if this were the 80s and 90s every year would be... "and the winner is, John Williams and Boston Pops for whatever they released this year" and if JW had a year off, it would be "...and the winner is, Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops (except for the effing sound effects)."

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17 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

I remember the discussions here around the IFMCA Awards last year. And the more than justified complains about the handling of movie scores at the academy awards. Still, as an award celebrating the art of film scoring in the name of us fans of the medium the IFMCA award I would still consider the best there is out there.

 

These are certainly more relevant and obviously more appropriate choices than the tone-deaf and completely politics-driven oscars, and they do a great job of recognising fine scores from popcorn and other less prestigious films.

 

Although I think that gives fans more room to argue with the voters as we see here, because said voters are more aware musically, and that creates an expectation certainly here, that Williams should be winning whatever he's nominated for. In this case I disagree because Oppenheimer is a rare case where I think the popularly-hyped film's score is actually good. I also still think that huge parts of DoD being direct lifts is a problem when we consider it as an original work.

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On the other hand, in a way I think, it is not bad that re-recordings are competing here about the archival release category. Because in many cases the restoration and re-recording might be a real alternative. Imagine if instead of the remastered and minimally extended re-release of Williams' Jane Eyre we would have gotten a proper re-recording.

This might be more relevant for such old scores than for scores from the 80s upwards.

But in a way, I think, that competition makes sense, and I see why the re-recording won this year (despite the sound issues in "On Dangerous Ground").

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Another way to see it is expansion and re-recording. Both are archival but two different processes and sets of talents are involved. Hence you might want to recognise one person's amazing job of handling deteriorating elements, engineering the sound and getting round legal issues, while also recognising another person's talent of recording and mixing an orchestra and their overall interpretation of the source music.

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32 minutes ago, Richard Penna said:

These are certainly more relevant and obviously more appropriate choices than the tone-deaf and completely politics-driven oscars.

 

Although I think that gives fans more room to argue with the voters as we see here, because said voters are more aware musically, and that creates an expectation certainly here, that Williams should be winning whatever he's nominated for. I this case I disagree because Oppenheimer is a rare case where I think the popularly-hyped film's score is actually good. And I still think that huge parts of DoD being direct copies is a problem when we consider it as an original work.

Critics might overall have more knowledge on the subject. On the other hand, almost always they are not less driven by their personal ideology and preferences than any other common fan. Therefore, in general I don't value critic's top-10 choices not more than any other fans'. Between the positions 40 and 100 of their top hundred (and below) their view on things are becoming paticularly interesting and their competence starts to shine. But concerning the top 10 I would say, their vote is as good as any other fan's vote.

 

But that applies to almost every top-something list.

 

By the way, at almost any price given to someone by an organization like nobel prize or anything, there is always kind of laudatio or substantiation why the winner was chosen. Ok, The IFMCA is just chosing by vote. And there is no discussing commitee thar discusses and then comes to a conclusion. 

But at a critics award one added value could be, that there might be some kind of laudatio explaining the reasons for the choices and the characteristics, the value and the impact of the winning work. Imagine the feuilleton in the newspaper no longer providing reviews of movies or theater plays but just every week the journalist's personal top 10 lists of movies, music albums and plays. Actually not much of a help.

Of course, there are always pleasant exceptions. 

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You do get that discussion and analysis of why the winner won with some awards over here - some literary awards come to mind.

 

And that's actually something I'd welcome in this case - I'm all for whomever winning best score if there is a solid and objective-as-possible discussion of why a score is regarded as the best. And by the way, that does not include 'Williams is widely regarded as the best composer in the world and therefore he wins yet again'. You have to consider each individual score on its merits and downsides in order to do it properly.

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Yeah, I think it was a weird choice pairing, for example, JW's Hook expansion with the Herrmann re-recording with JNH's Night After Night on the same category. These are three completely different albums, especially the JNH one, which is a reinterpretation of his Shyamalan scores, unlike the Herrmann album which sought to recreate his actual film cues. 

 

I'm not saying these albums are un-worthy of awards, just that it's odd to see them on the same category. But I guess albums like the JNH and the Herrmann are much rarer than "regular" expansions and the IFMCA felt the need to acknowledge all of these albums.

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On 22/02/2024 at 6:20 PM, Jim Ware said:

True. Archival and re-recording are in no way analogous.

Indeed. I also suspect there should be enough re-recordings (and concert albums) each year to spotlight them in their own category.

 

16 hours ago, Jon Broxton said:

So, at that point, it simply comes down to the personal taste of the voters. And more people liked the Herrmann set than Hook. That's really all there is to it.

Although personally I believe it maybe shouldn't have won due to the technical issues, it's a great album!

 

By the way, that's twice a Herrmann album wins this category in the last three years:

 

BEST NEW ARCHIVAL RELEASE 2021 – COMPILATION

  • The Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann, music by Bernard Herrmann; album produced by Tony d’Amato, Gavin Barratt, Raymond Few, and Tim McDonald; liner notes by Tom Schneller; album art direction by Matt Read (Phase 4/Deutsche Grammophon)
  • Gabriel Yared: Music For Film, music by Gabriel Yared; the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra and Vlaams Radiokoor, conducted by Dirk Brossé; album produced by Thomas Van Parys and Marijke Vandeburie; liner notes by Thomas Van Parys; album art direction by Stuart Ford (Silva Screen/Film Fest Gent)
  • Pedro Almodóvar & Alberto Iglesias Film Music Collection, music by Alberto Iglesias; album produced by José M. Benitez and Alberto Iglesias; liner notes by Pedro Almodóvar, Alberto Iglesias, and Manuel J. Lombardo; album art direction by Nacho B. Govantes and Luca Barcellona (Quartet)
  • The Pink Panther Final Chapters Collection (Trail of the Pink Panther/Curse of the Pink Panther/Son of the Pink Panther), music by Henry Mancini; album produced by Chris Malone; liner notes by John Takis; album art direction by Nacho B. Govantes (Quartet)
  • Spotlight On John Williams, music by John Williams; the City Light Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kevin Griffiths; album produced by Pirmin Zängerle and Martin Korn; liner notes by Basil Böhni; album art direction by Roger Krütli (Prospero Classical)
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