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Thomas Newman to score 'Skyfall'


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#331 The Shark

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Posted 03 August 2012 - 10:45 PM

Just some no-name composer doing a bad impression of Thomas Newman.

#332 AgenttiNollaNollaSeitsemän

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:05 AM

I smell cattle droppings. I'd guess that they're recording the score at the moment.

#333 MattofSteel

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 12:44 AM

Newman mentioned he was heading to London in June to focus on the score. Does anyone know offhand the general timeline Arnold's used for the last few films? I got the impression June was an awfully late start, unless he's been doing a bunch of preliminary writing ahead of time.

#334 The Shark

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 01:32 AM

Newman mentioned he was heading to London in June to focus on the score. Does anyone know offhand the general timeline Arnold's used for the last few films? I got the impression June was an awfully late start, unless he's been doing a bunch of preliminary writing ahead of time.


On CASINO ROYALE:

"We started recording music only 8 weeks after completion of principal photography. I had been working on the song for a little while before hand, so the whole thing this time around was around 10 - 11 weeks."

#335 MattofSteel

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 02:44 AM

Is he implying he wrote the CR score in that time? Considerably shorter than I would have expected, if so.

#336 AMC Hornet

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:27 AM

John Barry wrote TMWTGG in less than six, so it can be done, and Newman's had more notice than that.

#337 Leon

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:51 PM

I can see Newman's style working well even in a classic/John Barry sense. The style of great bits of composition and orchestration such as this piece from Thunderball would be right up Newman's street. I imagine he will have studied some classic Bond scores in preparation also.



#338 Nicolas Suszczyk

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 07:57 PM

I can almost see it...

Posted Image

#339 Mr_Wint

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:11 PM

I can see Newman's style working well even in a classic/John Barry sense. The style of great bits of composition and orchestration such as this piece from Thunderball would be right up Newman's street. I imagine he will have studied some classic Bond scores in preparation also.

http://youtu.be/0KQo9DA67Es

Newman has never - in his whole career - produced anything close to the level of Barry's Thunderball soundtrack. Sure, it possible that Newman's Bond music will sound like that, but it is probably more likely that the moon will fall down tomorrow.

#340 MattofSteel

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:38 PM

I've entered quite an anxiety-ridden phase re: the Skyfall OST. Much as I admire Newman's work and had myself convinced months ago that we're in safe hands, I just can't shake the worry that we're going to get a distinctly "Thomas Newman" score for Bond's 50th anniversary instead of a distinctly "James Bond" score.

Say what you will about David Arnold: but he was a hardcore fan first, and he understood both the sound, and the inherent...I guess...theatricality that a Bond score needs to convey. Newman writes phenomenal ambient music or 'supportive' score, IE, beautiful music that adds dimension and depth to the images onscreen, but his scores are rarely the marquee element of the piece.

A Bond film simply has requisite moments where the score needs to carry the audience. Almost like it's leading them. The ambient idea has worked extraordinarily well in samples - Barry himself was a master of this, Thunderball being a prime example - but they're always offset by melodically driven action themes that are prominent and memorable. The best Bond music never hides behind the film in front of it. The best Bond music is as listen-able on an OST CD driving in the car as it is while watching the movie it's attached to.

Again, I'm not saying ambient is bad. And I'm certainly not saying Newman isn't a phenomenally talented and successful composer - he is, and we're probably lucky to have his pedigree. I just worry that his musical *style* may be fundamentally incompatible with what I'd consider the cinematic brand's fundamental musical identity.

Then again, I'm pragmatic enough to realize that's exactly what the uptight fan might say. I'm sure we aren't in for 2 hours of ambient strings backing a soft piano solo.

Look at Mendes. Nothing he's done suggested any competency for a large scale studio Bond film, either. And from the looks of what we've seen, he may have turned in one of the best ones yet.

I'm not sure why that rant needed to happen. But I feel better.

#341 00Twelve

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:11 PM

A Bond film simply has requisite moments where the score needs to carry the audience. Almost like it's leading them. The ambient idea has worked extraordinarily well in samples - Barry himself was a master of this, Thunderball being a prime example - but they're always offset by melodically driven action themes that are prominent and memorable. The best Bond music never hides behind the film in front of it. The best Bond music is as listen-able on an OST CD driving in the car as it is while watching the movie it's attached to.

Lots of ambient music and a lack of melodically driven action themes perfectly characterizes Arnold's work since TND. Don't get me wrong, there are several themes that I liked throughout his tenure ("Vesper," "YKMN," and "Surrender" being far and away my favorites), but most of the action cues are filled with easily repeatable phrases that are clearly used to fill time for the next big moment (i.e., the four-note descending phrases used in the TWINE pipeline and CR stairwell fight) and don't translate well to music that sounds great on a drive. I don't think I've ever listened to the CR soundtrack while driving and not skipped, say, Miami International. Barry, on the other hand, had an infinitely superior skill for arranging excellent, melodically driven action cues that have since gone unrivaled (the closest being George Martin's LALD score, imo).

Arnold proved time and time again that he sure can arrange a Bond theme like nobody's business, but I think Newman has every chance at being capable of creating action cues that don't sound like exciting, ambient filler.

#342 MattofSteel

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 12:40 AM

'Miami International' is something of a selective example, though. There's plenty of iconic awesomeness in African Rundown, Blunt Instrument, Time to Get Out, etc. that plays enthrallingly well outside of their respective films. The kind of stuff that tells a story in and of itself - easily sustaining one's attention during, say, a drive, or a run. Or just a casual listen. Newman's music has never done that for me.

#343 JackUnion

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:16 AM

So, basically we should be prepared for tinkly piano and an abundance of slow, moody strings.

#344 DamnCoffee

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:21 AM

I can't wait to see how he handles action music, and the gunbarrel. This is the thing that has me excited the most.

Any idea's where we'll get an all out Bond theme?

Bond getting control of the digger on the back of the train in Turkey seems likely, ending with the cuff adjustment.

#345 MattofSteel

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:23 PM

So, basically we should be prepared for tinkly piano and an abundance of slow, moody strings.


That's what I'm worried about! I mean, I know it won't happen. But I'm worried nevertheless. I think I have anxiety issues.

#346 roger no more

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

I am also worrying it..worrying it will become another Goldeneye soundtrack without James Bond Theme...

#347 Double-0-Seven

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:05 PM

I am also worrying it..worrying it will become another Goldeneye soundtrack without James Bond Theme...

Technically it was there, just on a timpani half the time and rather low in the mix. Eric Serra himself noted how disappointed he was with the mix of the score.

I do agree though. While many have criticized Arnold's overuse of it in his first three Bond scores, the 50th Anniversary is a time where a rousing rendition of the Bond theme is needed in the film in key places. I have no doubt Newman can deliver quality music, I just hope that he has studied enough past Bond music to keep it within the Bond sound but adding his own twist/personality to the film.

I wonder if the producers would pull a GoldenEye - call in someone else to score a key moment in the film if the music is not what they're expecting. I doubt that'll happen, but just something to ponder.

#348 PPK_19

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

No score since Goldeneye has really been anything to shout about. Though i liked a few pieces in Casino Royale. The Parkour chase and Vesper's theme mainly.
I'm sure Newman will deliver, have FAITH people!

#349 roger no more

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:06 PM


I am also worrying it..worrying it will become another Goldeneye soundtrack without James Bond Theme...

Technically it was there, just on a timpani half the time and rather low in the mix. Eric Serra himself noted how disappointed he was with the mix of the score.

I do agree though. While many have criticized Arnold's overuse of it in his first three Bond scores, the 50th Anniversary is a time where a rousing rendition of the Bond theme is needed in the film in key places. I have no doubt Newman can deliver quality music, I just hope that he has studied enough past Bond music to keep it within the Bond sound but adding his own twist/personality to the film.

I wonder if the producers would pull a GoldenEye - call in someone else to score a key moment in the film if the music is not what they're expecting. I doubt that'll happen, but just something to ponder.

Frankly, if producers really care...the first thing need to care should be the poster...I wonder..I worry..

#350 JCRendle

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:31 PM

Frankly, if producers really care...the first thing need to care should be the poster...I wonder..I worry..

What do you mean by this?

#351 The Shark

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 05:34 PM

'Miami International' is something of a selective example, though.


Not really, though it's the one that comes first to mind. I couldn't see myself driving to 'License 2 Kills', 'Fall of a House in Venice', 'Stairwell Fight', 'Dirty Martini'. 'The End of an Aston Martin' is alright, but like lots of Arnold's more melodic action cues, it's too damn short, and I'd probably end up crashing at the end.

#352 MattofSteel

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:19 PM

Ha. I should never have started this discussion. Now the subjective "can you listen to it while driving?" argument will be the metric by which we study all of Arnold's scores, I suppose.

I'm simply saying: Newman's music = great, but not necessarily appropriate for Bond. Arnold's music = (IMO) great, and appropriate for Bond.

And again: it's probably an insult to Newman's versatility as a composer to think that he can't come up with adequate Bond music, in the same way it would have been insulting to say Mendes couldn't direct a Bond film. One of them seems to have already proven me wrong without even having seen a full reel.

#353 JimmyBond

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:30 AM

Just because it's the fiftieth anniversary doesn't mean they need to serve us up a generic Bond score. I hope they celebrate the movie by letting the movie stand on it's own, and not try to represent fifty years of history in one film. That's the type of thinking that got us the non so subtle "homages" in Die Another Day.

#354 MattofSteel

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:19 AM

I'd hardly want a generic Bond score. But I certainly want it to fit within what's accepted as the traditional Bond sound. The scores for Goldfinger, OHMSS, YOLT, TLD, and CR are all hardly generic - each quite unique and memorable in its own right - and yet they fit comfortably into the mold of iconic, memorable, purely badass 007 music. They don't shy away from what they are or try 'to do something different for difference's sake (IE, Goldeneye)'.

By all means, Skyfall the film should dictate what Skyfall the music needs to be. Wouldn't have it any other way, and they shouldn't be referential just for the sake of it. I'm not advocating that. I'm just suggesting there are certain standards which need to be met.

#355 The Shark

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:43 AM

CR [is] hardly generic


Say what?

#356 MattofSteel

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 01:24 PM

I'm not going to bait the hate-DA-by-default crowd with reasons and quotes to snipe at him him. If people really think he's brought nothing new to Bond or that CR is a generic movie score, fine, to each his own, and we have nothing to discuss. But neither of those statements is true. For all the crap he takes on these boards, no one ever offers a specific alternative or constructive suggestion about what he should have done instead.

(Cue *that* feedback in 3....2....1....)

#357 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:14 PM

I wonder how George Martin was viewed after he was brought in as the first composer to follow Barry. And then Marvin Hamlish. Hell, I don´t think Michael Kamen was getting a lot of applause for his work. And we all know what happened to Eric Serra.

The point I´m trying to make is this: John Barry defined the Bond sound. Not for one actor-era - but as a constant for the first four actors.

Everyone who has to follow that kind of dominance will be criticized for:

a) being not like Barry
B) being too much like Barry
c) bringing nothing new to the table

Nobody really can succeed at this job after Barry, I´m afraid. Because the James Bond sound is so distinctive that you just have to emulate it. It is such an integral element to these films that you cannot change it (too much). In the end, it all sounds like Barry because it has to.

So maybe the only alternative is: getting a new composer for every film, so we get used to people doing their version of a Barry-Bond score. But nothing else.

Changing things up with bringing in Newman definitely is a good idea. But I do not expect his work to be loved. Instead he will be as criticized as much as Arnold.

(Personally, of all Barry´s successors I love George Martin´s approach the most. Fantastic melodies, a new sound, still completely Bondian.)

#358 Satorious

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:55 PM

Must confess I wasn't a huge fan of the majority of the new Bourne Legacy movie's score from James Newton Howard (which was mostly a rehash of the Salt soundtrack), although I got a few Barryesque chills on one particular track:



The part in question begins around 0:50, and it builds to a beautiful part at around 1:50. By 2:15 it's over, but I love that part. I'm only speaking for myself here (and expect people to ignore or jump on the "Bond shouldn't follow Bourne" bandwagon), but personally I'd love something akin to that style in SkyFall please Mr Newman! :)

#359 Pussfeller

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:51 PM

Must confess I wasn't a huge fan of the majority of the new Bourne Legacy movie's score from James Newton Howard (which was mostly a rehash of the Salt soundtrack), although I got a few Barryesque chills on one particular track:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eyz-foYRbW0

The part in question begins around 0:50, and it builds to a beautiful part at around 1:50. By 2:15 it's over, but I love that part. I'm only speaking for myself here (and expect people to ignore or jump on the "Bond shouldn't follow Bourne" bandwagon), but personally I'd love something akin to that style in SkyFall please Mr Newman! :)


The bit from 1:48 to 2:20 sounds a lot like "007 And Counting" from DAF. I wonder if it's a conscious yoinking. According to Wikipedia, Howard replaced Barry on The Prince of Tides.

#360 Satorious

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 09:34 PM

And he also replaced him on The Juror. Of course, let's not forget The Horse Whisperer with Thomas Newman either! ;)

http://www.johnbarry...lmnotgraphy.php

The fourth paragraph on this is interesting (although I'm sure how accurate this is, but I heard the same rumour at the time)

http://www.eclectica...never_dies.html

Edited by Satorious, 27 August 2012 - 09:35 PM.





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