Back in early 2015, and along with 1,239 other souls, I backed Score: A Film Music Documentary on Kickstarter because of my fond adoration for film scores and film-music composers. There’s nothing quite like a soaring piece of orchestral movie music, or even a subtle soft-touch of emotive musical interaction, to really complete the experience. Ever since John Williams’ Jurassic Park score elevated that already stunning moment in movie history, I’ve had a strong respect for the creativity and talent that brings something special to the screen, and while you may not always be able to put it into words, an inspiring score can be felt through the body and mind.
Score is, in itself, an ambitious festival of film music and director Matt Schrader has compiled and made a documentary that is long, long overdue and – when thinking about it – a bit of a shock it hasn’t been done before. For me, and even though I disappointingly can’t do it, the process of film-scoring is quite incredible, and the right score can take a film and push it to unexpected places both emotionally and visually, beyond what you can see. I’ve been in the studio with friends over the years as they’ve either re-scored movies with their take or created new works from nothing, and it’s always a wonderful, if tough, process.
The documentary has pulled together many of the finest in the business right now and doesn’t leave anyone behind as it highlights the mutual respect felt across the industry. In the words of Hans Zimmer, who frequently appears in Score, the right music can elevate a film and after Score has opened with a reminder of Rocky, and eventually King Kong, you see how the modern era of music has changed how we perceive film forever.
To name a few, and forgive me if I’ve missed anyone, the likes of John Newman, Alexandre Desplat, Marco Beltrami, Randy Newman, David Arnold, Bear McCreary, Tom Holkenberg, Tyler Bates, Christophe Beck, John Debney, Howard Shore, David Arnold, Danny Elfman (who I saw conduct his amazing Tim Burton scores at the Royal Albert Hall), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and Rachel Portman are interviewed plus they all talk about the influence and inspiration of John Williams, John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Bernard Herrman, Jerry Goldsmith, and James Horner. Quite the impressive list isn’t it?
Having recently been lucky enough to see Michael Giacchino conduct and perform on his 50th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall, and in particular his UP score and track ‘Married Life’, the doc also delves into the Science of music and the psychological impact. It’s a difficult one to study but they’ve found out that a great, emotive score has the same effect on the brain as eating chocolate or having sex because the brain reacts to the emotion of the moment you’re experiencing.
While Score is fascinating, if you’re of a less technical mind there’s a slight dip in focus near the final third but, like an incredible film score, it pulls you back in with a catchy motif and more insightful storytelling from composers. There’s also a lovely credit-roll dedication to James Horner, from James Cameron, plus a little mention of Herrmann’s Psycho score – And I’d recommend the Hitchcock doc 78/52 for an in-depth look at that moment.
Score: A Film Music Documentary is impressively moulded into just 92 minutes and you’ve also got another 50 minutes of extensive extras that includes director’s commentary, alongside more interviews with the likes of Tyler Bates, Zimmer and others. It’s a true celebration of the passion and talent of film-music composers and utterly inspiring.
Score: A Film Music Documentary is available on VOD and DVD now from Dogwoof
Order it here https://amzn.to/2Gs8FJR