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AV Club Review
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Thursday, December 16, 2021
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT ON THE USE OF TEMP TRACKS
AND WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HEAR ONE'S OWN COMPOSITION TRACKED ONTO A DIFFERENT FILM
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/psychosoundtrackcover.jpg

In a "Composer Series" interview at Below The Line, composer Alexandre Desplat is asked by Edward Douglas about the use of temp tracks:
BTL: You work with a lot of other directors and filmmakers as well, a lot of people multiple times as you mentioned. Do any of the other directors you work with use temp music, either your own or someone else’s that they cut to, or do you generally get a dry edit with no music?

Desplat: Well, directors like Wes Anderson, like Roman Polanski, they don’t use temp. They never use temp, they don’t need it, because they have their own idea of what the music should be, and what the editing should be without using temp. Some others, they mix existing scores of mine or other composers. It’s a bit of a battle each time for the director to forget this temp that is heard again and again and again and again and again and again. And again. And again. And again. It’s always difficult to convince him that you can look for another sound, another pace, that the bass is not right, or the sound is not right, or the placement is not right, which is another story all along. I have to deal with it, and I try to convince the director that my choice is best. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.

BTL: I’ve spoken to quite a few composers about hearing your own past music over new images, and the composers I’ve spoken to know right away that it’s not the right music for those images. I’m not sure if that’s just a natural knack one has a composer or the instinct of not wanting to lose scoring work to his or her past self. How do you feel about temp music even if it’s your own?

Desplat: There’s this famous scene between Brian de Palma and Bernard Herrmann coming to a screening where he used his previous cues, previous music from Hitchcock, and Bernard Herrmann just stormed out, saying it was impossible to use that music in this film, because it was wrong. And I understand. When you see a film, and you hear the music that you’ve written for something else, it’s disconnected. It’s just not right. You know that there’s something else that can be cooked by the chef.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post

Friday, December 17, 2021 - 10:39 AM CST

Name: "Raven Mockery"

It's a very simplistic point of view. You can use pre-existing music to give a spirit, a rhythm to follow and at the same time have an original idea and a very precise sense of what you want as a composition on a sequence. Obviously, composers hate to hear the music they've composed on other images! Sometimes I imagine the reaction of Giuseppe Verdi or Mozart back from the dead and discovering excerpts from their music to sell tampons (that's one of the visionary aspects of "Phantom of the Paradise"). It would astonish me a lot that Polanski is very much in the music of "Frantic" or "Chinatown" or even De Palma for "The Untouchables". When you have a maestro like Morricone or Herrmann, you give directions and listen silently, because usually the magic is such that you are very satisfied! If De Palma called upon great composers, it is because he knows that the result will go in his direction. For Pino Donaggio (even I'm a very big fan of his music), you may not appreciate his variation on a composition of Tangerine Dream in "Body Double" which existed in the music of "Risky Business" (maybe De Palma places it as temp) or regret his silly composition for the embrace sequence with Gloria (with the Marnie's theme or Vertigo on this sequence, it works as hell! Laughing). I am personally a little disturbed by the "North By Northwest" accents of the "Domino" soundtrack. The process that makes me mad is to use music from another great movie on a film, especially if it's a legendary soundtrack - see Tarantino and Scorsese (how can we use the theme of "Contempt" by Delerue for few seconds in "Casino"? Or "Blow Out"?! It's a vulgar luxury). I tried to watch the "Ratched" series, but the use of Herrmann's music (Cape Fear, Psycho ...) discouraged me from seeing beyond the first two episodes. It's just like to drown the film under 58 legendary rock, pop or soul standards by placing just a few seconds of the track? Latest example: "Last Night in Soho". The film didn't convince me despite a few good sequences, but I haven't stopped humming Sandie Shaw and Dusty Springfield for a month! However, from a business point of view, it is very profitable.

Monday, December 20, 2021 - 12:49 AM CST

Name: "Tex"

Nightmare Alley with inspiration from DePalma and Hitchcock is one of the biggest bombs of all time. Was by myself in the cinema watching this masterpiece. Everyone else was watching Spider-Man. Pity.

Thursday, December 23, 2021 - 8:34 PM CST

Name: "Tex"

Francis Ford Coppola starts filming his self funded $100 million funded Ayn Rand type Megalopolis in January. Fincher, Cronenberg and Coppola on the horizon with substantial auteur films.

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