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SCORE: A FILM MUSIC DOCUMENTARY – Film Review

June 30, 2017 2 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

I haven’t written and published a film review, as opposed to a film score review, for more than 20 years, ever since I put some of my first, faltering attempts at entertainment journalism on the University of Sheffield’s website around 1995. However, considering the focus of this site, I thought I should make an exception here.

Score: A Film Music Documentary is, as far as I can tell, the first theatrically released film about the art of film scoring. The brainchild of writer-director Matt Schrader, who is himself a long-time film music aficionado, the film was first conceived many years ago, and was largely financed by online fundraising; it was subsequently filmed over several years, prior to finally being completed this year. I was fortunate to see the film at its European premiere during the 10th Krakow Film Music Festival in Poland in May, with composers Brian Tyler and Howard Shore, among others, in attendance.

One thing that needs to be made clear from the start is that this film is for the layman. Virtually everyone reading this will be more well-versed in film music history, the concepts that govern film music, the personalities of the composers included, and the scores mentioned, than the target audience for this film; so, if you want a film that is a more in-depth, detailed, possibly even critical analysis of soundtrack history, then this is absolutely not the film for you. Schrader aims it squarely at the general public, people who maybe like a bit of film music, and who know who John Williams and Hans Zimmer are, but couldn’t tell you any of the names of the Newman family, and have no clue what happens at a spotting session, or even how a score is recorded. Read more…

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