Spitfire Westworld - Winner Announced!

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Levon

Active Member
I have to admit that I had a big smile on my face when Paul announced the winner. One of our own winning out of 11,000 folk. Something that should be celebrated! Personally I thought it fitted the visuals perfectly. It was a highly entertaining piece of music that enhanced the scene for me. Congratulations again David! Enjoy your success!
 

Rasoul Morteza

Universal Scoring
But where did this happen? On YouTube? I feel that the conversation here has been very respectful so I think it’s important to make a distinction from the usual garbage that is the YouTube comments section, and a healthy discussion among adults here.
The usual garbage posted by many if not hundreds of the "participants" themselves who somehow dreamed they're going to win and break into the industry, become best buddies with JJ and be praised as musical geniuses because they discovered the timpani and know how to spell Ostinato, musical greatness at its peak.

I'll have to leave it here though, good luck and cheers.
 

Hired Goon

New Member
Congratulations, but I didn't like it one bit. I would have been rather annoyed and distracted had I paid money to watch this movie in a theatre.

I don't like having my expectations subverted and I truly feel sorry for all of the other artists who participated in this nonsense.
 

Bruhelius

Composer | Musician | Scientist
Hi, I am an old fart. But I haven’t lost the passion of writing scores or inventing new sounds and bits of technology for my music. But I so agree with everything I’ve read in your post above. The road of rejection teaches you nothing. It makes you hard and cynical - the antithesis to music. Nor does too much applause. I’ve got my Oscar. It didn’t make me a better composer, or change my career. Just for one night I could be insane and giddy and think it was all relevant. it was fun, but that’s it. ...who can even remember who won for what last year or the year before?

I know everyone involved with the competition - not the composers, but I’m old enough to have worked for J.J.‘s father, and actually done a film with him. And we’re both synth geeks. Ramin really got his start with me, and met the Nolan’s through our working together - which - through his enormous talent - led directly to “Westworld”. The “Spitfire” guys I consider as personal friends and more than once have we helped each other out. ...so, why am I writing this? Just to name -drop? No, actually I secretly stayed away from listening to anything that was being submitted. I thought - once the dust settles, there will be an amazing amount of music and talent that should be recognized and given an opportunity at furthering their careers. I’ve done that a lot. I don’t think that Harry G-H, or John Powell, Lorne Balfe or JunkieXL and Ben Wallfisch - as just a few examples, will think of me holding them back in forging their careers. Our whole ”Blue Planet” and all the other things ‘Bleeding Fingers’ does comes from the idea that there is an unbelievable pool of talent out there that should be given a chance.

But then I started to read the comments and the bitterness and bitchyness in most of the responses to the winner (whom I’ve never met or heard off). And I thought, why even bother with this lot. They’ve already lost. They think music is a business when it’s a passion, they forget that putting hours or days in, is a luxury you’ll never have again when you’re on a deadline on a ‘proper’ job...
but, mostly, it’s the lack of respect for someone’s moment of joy - where they should be celebrated - that got me.

so - carry on with your uninformed small minded criticism. it’s all here now in black and white for ever. The beauty of the internet. And as a reference of how i wouldn’t ever want to work with a single one of you. Nor you with me. Bad fit. It doesn’t even ever matter how good your music is or how smart you are... And since music and film-making are inherently collaborative, I can’t really see how any director will want to deal with that amount of entitlement and hubris.
hz
I used to have a Croatian friend who still lives on a small island to this day... his mantra was one word. I keep coming back to it after decades. It's this: "ENJOY".
Sounds like something out of an advert? Maybe. But this is the philosophy of a winner on this planet. Someone who can enjoy anything. If you couldn't enjoy the announcement of the winners, and enjoy what that is bringing to your life, then probably you are living your life for the wrong reasons. Don't just produce music. Enjoy music and the process it entails with your peers. If you perceive a moment to be "bad" you can always find a way to enjoy what new things this bad moment can bring to your life...there are over 11000 of us. Now enjoy that. Enjoy the few years you have left to live. Enjoy your make-believe composer hut on a lake. Enjoy bringing music to the foot of someone's death bed. Enjoy how it connects people. Enjoy that you were not chosen as a so-called winner this time. Enjoy what good things may come to David Kudell. And enjoy your personal growth as a human with limited time left.
 

Eptesicus

Senior Member
This notion that all David did was to add some 8 bit stuff is what bugs me the most with some of the comments I'm reading. Watch that score carefully and you'll see that what he did was waaayyy deeper than just his 8 bit idea. In fact, I'll bet there were other entires that attempted an 8 bit direction, but were dismissed by the judges because they didn't work.

David's score went way beyond "adding some 8 bit sounds." My hat's off to the craft that went into it. Craft on all levels, not just the 8 bit elements. If I had a time machine and go back and submit an entry like David's, knowing the judges would be impressed by it, I would still lose, simply because he did it so damn well. I still keep finding, "Whoa, I didn't notice that before!" moments in there.
I simply disagree with this. These points you have made could be ascribed to countless other submissions. But that's fine, we all have our opinions.

So I guess you're more of a People's Choice guy than a Grammys guy? :grin:
I think the massive unprecedented backlash is a sign that the wining entry was a divisive choice, and this was further compounded by the runner's up choices.

Seems to me a whole lot of people liked David's submission. I sure did. I could see going either way on whether the winner should have been this or something more traditional, and lo and behold, that's reflected in the runners up. (The complaint on why the runners up were not also quirky is silly, as if the judges have only one dimension.)
You liked it, that's great. I liked it too. The argument that picking all pieces that pay service to the genre change would have made the judges one dimensional doesn't pass the smell test. Either being different and writing something to track the genre change is what they were looking for or it wasn't. The more generic runner up selections were not remarkable in comparison to countless other similar entries so i honestly have no idea how or why they were picked and neither does anyone else. There were, objectively, loads of entries that serviced the genre change AND were just as good as the more generic runner's up in aspects like conveying emotion, scoring to the picture, production etc. By the judges own scoring criteria, that is who the runner's up should be.

Are you seriously telling me that you didn't see any other genre change/creative ideas that were as good as the runner's up in other aspects?

This brings me back to the point i made earlier as to why this is the crux of the issue Spitfire have and why they have received such a backlash. People keep saying "learn from it and move on". But what is there to learn when the judging decision and metrics have been so unclear? Why are people so dismissive of criticism?

This quite obviously was not just a group of sore losers making a nuisance of themselves. I think it would be far more intelligent to debate and discuss (and this goes for Spitfire staff as well) WHY the result got the reaction that it did.
 

David Kudell

Active Member
Hi, I am an old fart. But I haven’t lost the passion of writing scores or inventing new sounds and bits of technology for my music. But I so agree with everything I’ve read in your post above. The road of rejection teaches you nothing. It makes you hard and cynical - the antithesis to music. Nor does too much applause. I’ve got my Oscar. It didn’t make me a better composer, or change my career. Just for one night I could be insane and giddy and think it was all relevant. it was fun, but that’s it. ...who can even remember who won for what last year or the year before?

I know everyone involved with the competition - not the composers, but I’m old enough to have worked for J.J.‘s father, and actually done a film with him. And we’re both synth geeks. Ramin really got his start with me, and met the Nolan’s through our working together - which - through his enormous talent - led directly to “Westworld”. The “Spitfire” guys I consider as personal friends and more than once have we helped each other out. ...so, why am I writing this? Just to name -drop? No, actually I secretly stayed away from listening to anything that was being submitted. I thought - once the dust settles, there will be an amazing amount of music and talent that should be recognized and given an opportunity at furthering their careers. I’ve done that a lot. I don’t think that Harry G-H, or John Powell, Lorne Balfe or JunkieXL and Ben Wallfisch - as just a few examples, will think of me holding them back in forging their careers. Our whole ”Blue Planet” and all the other things ‘Bleeding Fingers’ does comes from the idea that there is an unbelievable pool of talent out there that should be given a chance.

But then I started to read the comments and the bitterness and bitchyness in most of the responses to the winner (whom I’ve never met or heard off). And I thought, why even bother with this lot. They’ve already lost. They think music is a business when it’s a passion, they forget that putting hours or days in, is a luxury you’ll never have again when you’re on a deadline on a ‘proper’ job...
but, mostly, it’s the lack of respect for someone’s moment of joy - where they should be celebrated - that got me.

so - carry on with your uninformed small minded criticism. it’s all here now in black and white for ever. The beauty of the internet. And as a reference of how i wouldn’t ever want to work with a single one of you. Nor you with me. Bad fit. It doesn’t even ever matter how good your music is or how smart you are... And since music and film-making are inherently collaborative, I can’t really see how any director will want to deal with that amount of entitlement and hubris.
hz
@Rctec thank you for your wisdom and perspective. When they announced me as the winner and then I saw the feedback start coming in, I told myself that this is going to be an incredible opportunity to develop thick skin. And to act with class no matter what people say. Because if I am going to be a successful composer, dealing with criticism from directors who have trusted me with their project, then sucking it up and getting back to work, it is going to be a LOT tougher than what some people on the internet say.

Here's a photo of me today, back at my day job but so wanting to be on my computer composing music. You might notice the shirt that I bought on your tour in LA. A tour that my wife, not a film music fan, said was the best concert she's ever been to. That's because your music connects to so many people on an emotional level and appeals to not just musicians. What better thing to aspire to?

My whole life I've been afraid to take risks with my music. Avoiding putting my music out there for fear it's not good enough. At 43 years old, I kick myself that I didn't follow through with music when I was scoring a student film 25 years ago. Ironic then that I won this contest by what else: Taking a risk with a take on this scene that was different. As much as I would love to try doing a version of Dark Knight, guess what - you've already done that, you invented it and it's time for us to try something new.

As a longtime fan who, I'm not ashamed to admit, gets a little teary-eyed every time he listens to Beyond Rangoon, just reading your comment here is one of the greatest things that's ever happened to me. Thank you HZ.

David

28-06-2020-11-37-48.jpeg
 
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Eptesicus

Senior Member
But where did this happen? On YouTube? I feel that the conversation here has been very respectful so I think it’s important to make a distinction from the usual garbage that is the YouTube comments section, and a healthy discussion among adults here.

And nothing was said that was any worse than Christian’s own remarks here. And even then, who’s offended? At this point, the dust is settling, everyone has gone home, and there’s just us stragglers here talking about this. And why not? It IS after all, a discussion forum. It makes sense for us to discuss the contest results. So long as it’s kept in a respectful manner, go for it.
I have found that discussion and any attempt at analysis or critiquing anything often gets shot down unfortunately. I don't understand the people who come in here and comment things like "it's done, move on, get over it" etc. There might be some people who still are genuinely interested in discussing this. If someone doesn't, no one is forcing them to read or contribute.

This place, and the whole world would be a monumentally boring if everyone was just positive about everything all the time, no matter what.

Nice, yes. But ***** boring!
 

ka00

Senior Member
Why are people so dismissive of criticism?
Because David is "one of us", so it feels rude to discuss this in public when we should focus on the positive.

Remember when just the other day in the CSS woodwinds thread, David posted a funny gif of a baseball player striking out, and then you replied with a funny gif of Monk endlessly tweaking the position of salt and pepper shakers? That's what this forum is about: commiserating over legato delays and congratulating each other on massive accomplishments.
 

Bruhelius

Composer | Musician | Scientist
@Rctec thank you for your wisdom and perspective. When they announced me as the winner and then I saw the feedback start coming in, I told myself that this is going to be an incredible opportunity to develop thick skin. And to act with class act no matter what people say. Because if I am going to be a successful composer, dealing with criticism from directors who have trusted me with their project, then sucking it up and getting back to work, it is going to be a LOT tougher than what some people on the internet say.

Here's a photo of me today, back at my day job but so wanting to be on my computer composing music. You might notice the shirt that I bought on your tour in LA. A tour that my wife, not a film music fan, said was the best concert she's ever been to. That's because your music connects to so many people on an emotional level and appeals to not just musicians. What better thing to aspire to?

My whole life I've been afraid to take risks with my music. Avoiding putting my music out there for fear it's not good enough. At 43 years old, I kick myself that I didn't follow through with music when I was scoring a student film 25 years ago. Ironic then that I won this contest by what else: Taking a risk with a take on this scene that was different. As much as I would love to try doing a version of Dark Knight, guess what - you've already done that, you invented it and it's time for us to try something new.

As a longtime fan who, I'm not ashamed to admit, gets a little teary-eyed every time he listens to Beyond Rangoon, just reading your comment here is one of the greatest things that's ever happened to me. Thank you HZ.

David

View attachment 32425
Keep it up! Congrats and I hope you can spend more time composing for those you love and I hope it opens some doors for you and your family. You decide your life, be the boss :)
 

Eptesicus

Senior Member
Because David is "one of us", so it feels rude to discuss this in public when we should focus on the positive.

Remember when just the other day in the CSS woodwinds thread, David posted a funny gif of a baseball player striking out, and then you replied with a funny gif of Monk endlessly tweaking the position of salt and pepper shakers? That's what this forum is about: commiserating over legato delays and congratulating each other on massive accomplishments.
I have congratulated him. I did so in my very first post in this thread about my thoughts.

I don't think that means we can't discuss the judging process or work out why there is such a backlash.

I think the rude and stupid comments on his Youtube etc are uncalled for, but i honestly don't see a problem with a grown up discussion about the big backlash and why the judges decision appeared to surprise so many people.

I hope David himself doesn't mind? He knows that not everyone agrees with the judges and any good composer (which he undoubtedly is) should be open to constructive criticism. If we cant discuss this sort of thing on here. Where can we discuss it? Suppression of debate is not a helpful thing. Ever.
 
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FinGael

I Re Member
If only I had used N in the track I submitted, I'm 110% sure i would have won this competition!

Just play'n. I didn't submit anything, but congrats to the winner!!! Now go celebrate! :)
With N you can only win. Every time.
I used to have a Croatian friend who still lives on a small island to this day... his mantra was one word. I keep coming back to it after decades. It's this: "ENJOY".
Sounds like something out of an advert? Maybe. But this is the philosophy of a winner on this planet. Someone who can enjoy anything. If you couldn't enjoy the announcement of the winners, and enjoy what that is bringing to your life, then probably you are living your life for the wrong reasons. Don't just produce music. Enjoy music and the process it entails with your peers. If you perceive a moment to be "bad" you can always find a way to enjoy what new things this bad moment can bring to your life...there are over 11000 of us. Now enjoy that. Enjoy the few years you have left to live. Enjoy your make-believe composer hut on a lake. Enjoy bringing music to the foot of someone's death bed. Enjoy how it connects people. Enjoy that you were not chosen as a so-called winner this time. Enjoy what good things may come to David Kudell. And enjoy your personal growth as a human with limited time left.
My wife has taught me a different way to deal with disappointments; when something unpleasant happens, just stay calm and think that something better is already on the way. The best part is that it seems to work.
 

NYC Composer

Senior Member
Hi, I am an old fart. But I haven’t lost the passion of writing scores or inventing new sounds and bits of technology for my music. But I so agree with everything I’ve read in your post above. The road of rejection teaches you nothing. It makes you hard and cynical - the antithesis to music. Nor does too much applause. I’ve got my Oscar. It didn’t make me a better composer, or change my career. Just for one night I could be insane and giddy and think it was all relevant. it was fun, but that’s it. ...who can even remember who won for what last year or the year before?

I know everyone involved with the competition - not the composers, but I’m old enough to have worked for J.J.‘s father, and actually done a film with him. And we’re both synth geeks. Ramin really got his start with me, and met the Nolan’s through our working together - which - through his enormous talent - led directly to “Westworld”. The “Spitfire” guys I consider as personal friends and more than once have we helped each other out. ...so, why am I writing this? Just to name -drop? No, actually I secretly stayed away from listening to anything that was being submitted. I thought - once the dust settles, there will be an amazing amount of music and talent that should be recognized and given an opportunity at furthering their careers. I’ve done that a lot. I don’t think that Harry G-H, or John Powell, Lorne Balfe or JunkieXL and Ben Wallfisch - as just a few examples, will think of me holding them back in forging their careers. Our whole ”Blue Planet” and all the other things ‘Bleeding Fingers’ does comes from the idea that there is an unbelievable pool of talent out there that should be given a chance.

But then I started to read the comments and the bitterness and bitchyness in most of the responses to the winner (whom I’ve never met or heard off). And I thought, why even bother with this lot. They’ve already lost. They think music is a business when it’s a passion, they forget that putting hours or days in, is a luxury you’ll never have again when you’re on a deadline on a ‘proper’ job...
but, mostly, it’s the lack of respect for someone’s moment of joy - where they should be celebrated - that got me.

so - carry on with your uninformed small minded criticism. it’s all here now in black and white for ever. The beauty of the internet. And as a reference of how i wouldn’t ever want to work with a single one of you. Nor you with me. Bad fit. It doesn’t even ever matter how good your music is or how smart you are... And since music and film-making are inherently collaborative, I can’t really see how any director will want to deal with that amount of entitlement and hubris.
hz
There goes my aspiration to become the world’s first 66 year old tea boy (sigh.)
 
It would be interesting if the more harsh comments would come accompanied by their own submission to the contest. Just saying.

Spitfire does a contest, 11k compete, 1 emerges winner and 5 runner ups, some gain Youtube exposure and 10500 Tonya Hardings are created in the world.

Maybe the entitlement comes from being a Spitfire client? "I own Spitfire products and used them, I am a loyal client and deserved to win it". What if it was an Apple contest? Spitfire by no means is a smallish company but no would dare think like that if it was Apple...

Perhaps the outcome of the contest shows that somehow film music got a bit commoditized and saturated? In Covid-19 times I for one can't stand some of the cues I listen on movies, just sound standard and too normal. Maybe the tools we have at our disposal today like one finger orchestras and some sample libraries are cooperating to that?

I was booted to the Drama section so that's me leaving here, just had to post some remarks on the updates.
 

Marsen

Active Member
I think it´s really time to stop it right here.
Calm down, it´s over! What´s the point?

This wasn´t supposed to be played in theatres.
It was a competition, not a pitch and for sure not a witch hunt.

I was happy, the jury chose something special/outstanding.

So , a professional discussion is, to end this discussion. No?
Really?

Go On?

Please thank the winners and keep on making great music.
 

pawelmorytko

Active Member
The rest of us don’t need an explanation of how they decided the winner. Paul and Christian already said they won’t share any more details and said their final thoughts on this. Why keep beating a dead horse? There’s really nothing more that’s going to happen, no matter how many times you keep asking for “but why did this one win”.

When the competition was first announced, i remember the whole bloody thread where some people thought it was a scam and questioning Spitfire/HBO’s ulterior motives. Literally sucking the fun out of the competition. And now that the competition has ended, all the fun and good spirits of the competition have again been sucked dry.

This is why we can’t have nice things, and frankly we don’t deserve them.
 

NoamL

Winter <3
I used to have a Croatian friend who still lives on a small island to this day... his mantra was one word. I keep coming back to it after decades. It's this: "ENJOY".
Sounds like something out of an advert? Maybe. But this is the philosophy of a winner on this planet. Someone who can enjoy anything. If you couldn't enjoy the announcement of the winners, and enjoy what that is bringing to your life, then probably you are living your life for the wrong reasons. Don't just produce music. Enjoy music and the process it entails with your peers. If you perceive a moment to be "bad" you can always find a way to enjoy what new things this bad moment can bring to your life...there are over 11000 of us. Now enjoy that. Enjoy the few years you have left to live. Enjoy your make-believe composer hut on a lake. Enjoy bringing music to the foot of someone's death bed. Enjoy how it connects people. Enjoy that you were not chosen as a so-called winner this time. Enjoy what good things may come to David Kudell. And enjoy your personal growth as a human with limited time left.
:thumbsup: Enjoyed this post!
 
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