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91. Academy Awards Best Original Score

jtnyc

Senior Member
The Oscars are worse and worse. The Score for BP was not worthy of winning at all, I have to listen to it again today, and nope, this is absolutely forgettable material.
I agree. So generic. Much of it sounds like sample library demos and drum loops. Maybe it's real, but the overall sound and feel is typical, modern, cookie cutter action music. Maybe it served the movie just fine, I didn't see it, but man... best soundtrack? I don't know...
 

JohnG

Senior Member
I agree. So generic. Much of it sounds like sample library demos and drum loops. Maybe it's real, but the overall sound and feel is typical, modern, cookie cutter action music. Maybe it served the movie just fine, I didn't see it, but man... best soundtrack? I don't know...
I flatly disagree. I thought the score went way out of its way to avoid -- as far as possible -- the tropes that have become monotonous.

There is a certain degree of obviousness (for lack of a better word) with any action score, especially for a movie that aims at large scale and a mass audience. I've written a lot of action music and it's really hard not to sound just like someone else.

I'm not saying this broke the mould for all time but, if those drum parts sound like loops to you, I'd like to know where you get them.
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
I agree. So generic. Much of it sounds like sample library demos and drum loops. Maybe it's real, but the overall sound and feel is typical, modern, cookie cutter action music. Maybe it served the movie just fine, I didn't see it, but man... best soundtrack? I don't know...
I mean, good for the composer. He seemed like a good guy, and is obviously having a better career than I am (which is really not saying much :cool:), but yeah, overall I thought it was pretty generic. But well suited for the film. I thought If Beale Street Could talk should've won.
 

sIR dORT

Active Member
Aside from the politics discussion (I'm very political, but lets keep that to the political forum, shall we? ;)), I think that the only unique part of the score was the drums, like in the beginning of the movie when they go into Wakanda through the portal thing. Otherwise, I agree that it's generic, but I also agree that all action films have some degree of that genericness. I do and don't like that, but I don't think the score was unique enough from other action scores (and in general frankly).

It's subjective though. One guy may say "that did a great job of being original yet telling the story properly," while the other might say "that was unoriginal, and although it told the story decently, it wasn't very compelling from a music perspective." Whatya gonna do?
 

mikefrommontreal

Active Member
Gravity won 5 years ago so it's not like the Oscars are super biased to traditional scoring.
The Academy tries to hard to be cool when it comes to Best Song and Best Score. The problem is these people are far from cool. Did you see them all dancing to Queen at the beginning? Do you want those people choosing Best Score?
That's why Gravity won (over Newman and Williams no less). That's why The Social Network won. And that's why Black Panther won. They're trying to make up for the fact that they always pick the Best Picture winner as if it was chosen by ninety year olds. So they go with what they think the 'kids are into these days' with the music categories.
 

Eric G

Member
Ludwig Göransson showed respect for African culture by imbuing the work with performances from African artists like Baaba Maal. This video showed some of his composition/production process for those who care.
 

brek

Active Member
It's a great score, deserving of being called "Best." But as has been pointed out, most voters have little idea what makes a great score. So they are swayed by things that are peripheral to the score itself. In this case (and many others over the years), there was a great story that went along with the score. To the voters, it's almost incidental that Goransson came out of his Africa trip with some authentic and phenomenal music.
Anecdotally, this is the only score I saw getting talked about outside of "film music" circles.

The voters are immersed in Hollywood culture and a good plot is more compelling than a good score - and that has nothing to do with politics.

One other thing. I don't know if this is unique to music, but there does seem to be a tendency to reward scores for being unique or authentic rather than virtuostic. Does someone get rewarded for reinventing the way acting or VFX is done? The art and craft are both important, but interesting how much the Academy has favored "art" in picking score winners and nominees. Maybe it's because giving it to John Williams every year isn't a very compelling storyline.
 

jonathanparham

Active Member
The talking drums were cool. :)
even before I saw a 'behind the score' interview, I was like, 'I think the drums are trying to say the hero's name T'challa'. Sure enough, Goransson in an interview asked the drummers what that sound would be; And that's what it was.
 

jonathanparham

Active Member
Gravity won 5 years ago so it's not like the Oscars are super biased to traditional scoring.
I'm glad you mentioned that film. I saw that film in the theaters, enjoyed it, but at first, completely forgot about the score. I thought to myself, 'I don't remember the music, I remember lots of sound design.' BUT then I took time, especially after its Oscar win, to go back and listen to the album. I didn't study it but I put in my regular rotation of listened tracks. From the Soundtrack, 'ISS' and Aningaaq became two of my favorite relaxation tracks. The music wasn't my style, but it was a reminder to not only appreciate different compositional styles and learn just how does this kind of soundtrack get put together.
 

Drundfunk

Active Member
@Drundfunk Given that you "can't even remember the score" and "don't think I've watched one movie or listened to any of the other scores nominated," perhaps insinuating that it won solely for political, racial reasons is a weak gambit? With what you admit is nearly zero information, you leap to that?
First of all, memorability is a good indicator. Also it is more of a phrase than an actual statement which common sense should dictate. Also it doesn't mean that you only remember melody or harmony in particular, there are many things one can remember about music. I definitely know my own opinion I formed while watching this movie. Second, it is not a secret that the academy is extremely afraid not to cater to minorities since the backlash they received two years ago. Alone that Black Panther was nominated for Best Movie is an utter joke (I'm a Marvel fan btw. I watch all of those movies, but I'm also not delusional). In fact the whole "cult" following this film is just ridiculous. Third, I never said my statement is factual. In fact I left open the possibility that I am wrong with my assumption, but just by assessing all facts there are I will stand by this statement. It's not necessarily essential to know all the other scores, since there is a whole history of nominees and winners for Best Score (since 1935 or something like that) which one can use to assess if this score is worthy of being called "Best Score" or not. And no, I don't think that it is a weak gambit. Common sense tells me that's exactly what happened.
 
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bachader

New Member
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Dialog from Green Book. To what extent should the unusual be favored? I think art, which is too subjective by nature, should be not be favored against the craft of film scoring. I am not even sure the sound design should be considered a part of the scoring process. Traditional instrumentation has proved to be successful in different historical periods, geographies. Star Wars didn't need a fully synth sound to be compatible with the space nor did the score of Lawrence of Arabia need fully ethnic sounds.
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
What qualifies Brad Pitt to decide which film had the best costumes? What qualifies Hans Zimmer to decide who the best actor was?
I can't answer the Brad Pitt part of the question, but I'm quite sure that HZ is extremely competent when it comes to judge the quality of an actor.
Because the acting has a crucial impact on the music you would write for that person in that movie.
(e.g. take a look at "As good as it gets"/J. Nicholson)
Multiply it with decades of experience...
(Same goes for developing a sense for the editing, locations etc.... as a composer for film you're permanently confronted with these aspects because they influence your work.)

The talking drums were cool. :)
That was my impression too.
They remained in my memory weeks and months after having seen the film.
In fact, they were an essential part of that surrealistic-magical atmosphere of BP.
 

patrick76

Senior Member
The art and craft are both important, but interesting how much the Academy has favored "art" in picking score winners and nominees. Maybe it's because giving it to John Williams every year isn't a very compelling storyline.
Hi. What do you mean by this? I keep looking at it and am not sure I am really getting it. Are you saying that John Williams in general creates something of less "artistic" value than some/most of the winners? That Black Panther's "art" quality is above say, the score to Vice or Red Sparrow (both of which were not nominated - and thanks to this thread I recently checked out, so, thanks for this thread everyone)? If so, agree to disagree I suppose.
 

Akarin

pragsound.com
Horner won two Academy Awards.

@Drundfunk Given that you "can't even remember the score" and "don't think I've watched one movie or listened to any of the other scores nominated," perhaps insinuating that it won solely for political, racial reasons is a weak gambit? With what you admit is nearly zero information, you leap to that?

It was a very unusual movie that caught the imagination of millions of people. The score also is very unusual, especially for an action score; there's a certain amount of "generic" that goes along with much action music and I think he avoided a lot of that. Why shouldn't it deserve a win?
Thank you.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
it is not a secret that the academy is extremely afraid not to cater to minorities since the backlash they received two years ago.
So you adopt the laziest possible approach and, without even listening to the other nominees, reflexively attribute the win to racial apology. Congratulations.

....that Black Panther was nominated for Best Movie is an utter joke (I'm a Marvel fan btw. I watch all of those movies, but I'm also not delusional). In fact the whole "cult" following this film is just ridiculous.
More ridiculous than, say, Avengers, or Ant-Man and the Wasp? Or Hulk or Guardians or Thor? And what's "ridiculous" about Black Panther? Thought Dr. Strange was more "realistic" or hewed closer to your idea of what's correct and what's not in a Marvel movie? Didn't care for the costumes or the gizmos? Found even more plot holes than usual?

It's not necessarily essential to know all the other scores,
Nice you feel absolved from actually comparing the score to others before pronouncing it unworthy.

Common sense tells me that's exactly what happened.
"Common sense" -- and utter carelessness about actually making an effort to compare the score to others. I find it telling that your initial "link" was a playlist that was replete with incorrect cues.

Before I publicly denigrate the work of someone else, I try to make a little bit of effort. Besides, with projects like this it's pretty much impossible to know whether the stuff you didn't like -- or did -- arose primarily from the composer, the director, some producer, or somebody's girlfriend/boyfriend.

I'm not saying it's the best or it's not. Why? Because I haven't listened to all of the scores. I did listen to this one and found more to like than not, and more than a little effort was obviously put in to make it different from the other scores we hear all the time.

Most of those could be transferred from any one Marvel movie to any other without the audience noticing a single thing. Not so with Black Panther's score.

I'm not holding it out to be the best, but I detest lazy attacks.
 
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