The Making Of A Great Film Score

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In any movie, there is a character that appears in every scene. It speaks throughout the film. It is the most important voice whose words are notes and lines.

The score for Wes Anderson's "The Grand Budapest Hotel," written by French composer Alexandre Desplat won the Academy Award this year. It was up against some beautiful original music, including the soundtrack to Morten Tyldum's "The Imitation Game," which was also written by Desplat. The three other nominees were: Hans Zimmer's score for Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar," Jóhann Jóhannsson's score for James Marsh's "The Theory of Everything" and Gary Yershon's score for Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner."

This conversation originally aired on February 20, 2015.


George S. Clinton, film scoring department chair for the Berklee College of Music. He was also elected to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He tweets @GeorgeSClinton.

Radio Boston's Favorite Film Scores Of All Time

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jon Brion — Emma-Jean Weinstein, producer and Amory Sivertson, producer

About A Boy, Badly Drawn Boy — Emma-Jean Weinstein, producer

Chocolat, Rachel Portman — Emma-Jean Weinstein, producer

Field of Dreams, James Horner — Alex Kingsbury, senior associate producer

Fog of War, Philip Glass — Alex Kingsbury, senior associate producer

Jaws, John Williams — Alex Kingsbury, senior associate producer

Star Wars, John Williams — Alex Kingsbury, senior associate producer

Home Alone, John Williams — Jamie Bologna, producer

The Godfather, Nino Rota — Jamie Bologna, producer

The Motorcycle Diaries, Gustavo Santaolalla — Meghna Chakrabarti, host

Bend it Like Beckham, Graig Pruess and Bally Sagoo — Meghna Chakrabarti, host

Lagaan, A.R. Rahman — Meghna Chakrabarti, host

Drive, Cliff Martinez — Amory Sivertson, producer

Interstellar, Hans Zimmer — Jake Lucas, intern

Into the Wild, Eddie Vedder — Emma-Jean Weinstein, producer

Kill Bill, RZA — Amory Sivertson, producer

(500) Days of Summer, Mychael Danna and Rob Simonsen — Amory Sivertson, producer

The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross — Emma-Jean Weinstein, producer

Inglourious Basterds, Ennio Morricone — Amory Sivertson, producer

Shaft, Isaac Hayes — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

Sleep Hollow, Danny Elfman — Amory Sivertson, producer

Jurassic Park, John Williams — Amory Sivertson, producer

Love Actually, Craig Armstrong — Amory Sivertson, producer

High Noon, Dimiri Tiomkin — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

A Fistful of Dollars, Ennio Morricone — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Ennio Morricone — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

Alexander Nevsky, Sergei Prokofiev — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

The Lost Thumris of Pakeezah, Ghulam Mohamed — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

Pather Panchali, Ravi Shankar — Hitesh Hathi, executive producer

Moonrise Kingdom, Alexandre Desplat — Amory Sivertson, producer

The Ninth Configuration, Barry De Vorzon — Tim Skoog, technical director


Variety: Alexandre Desplat On His Double Oscar Nominations

  • "His score for 'Imitation' is trademark Desplat, with a wide range of emotions that connects everything in the film. Still, Oscar voters may give him an edge for 'Budapest,' because it’s so distinct: If you listen to 30 seconds of the score, it could only be Desplat, and it could only be from this film."

Indiewire: Hans Zimmer On His Creative Marriage To Chris Nolan: "I Don't Think The World Understands Our Business"

  • "We sit down with the Oscar nominee in his Santa Monica studio to talk Nolan, 'Interstellar,' his love for rock 'n roll, and why he misses listening to music."

The Guardian: Birdman Score Ineligible For Oscars

  • "The innovative jazz drummer-led score for awards season favourite Birdman has been banned from competing at the Oscars due to a technicality, reports Deadline.Composer Antonio Sanchez’s score largely uses unaccompanied drum solos which have been praised for musically glueing together the continuous-shot effect employed by director Alejandro González Iñárritu and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki to high praise from critics."

This segment aired on December 10, 2015.


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