Thursday, November 13, 2008

Academy disqualifies 'Dark' score

Interview: Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in their continued efforts to avoid awarding Oscars to deserving efforts in film scores, has apparently disqualified Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's work on The Dark Knight. According to Variety, the same stipulation as to how many composers are technically listed on the cue sheet similarly screwed over their Batman Begins score -- the stipulation being that listing multiple names helps to award royalties to music editors and designers as well.

Zimmer previously said that listing multiple names on the cue sheet was a way of financially rewarding parts of the music team who helped make the overall work successful.

Zimmer, Howard and the other three individuals -- music editor Alex Gibson, ambient music designer Mel Wesson and composer Lorne Balfe -- reportedly signed an affidavit stating that the score was primarily the work of Zimmer and Howard.

That apparently wasn't enough for the majority of the committee, which was also supplied with documentation indicating that more than 60%, but less than 70%, of the score was credited to Zimmer and Howard.

I'd argue that the film -- which is bound to crack a billion bucks worldwide any day now, and likely to rack up considerable awards nominations regardless -- owes a great deal of its sustained visceral thrills to this rousing score, and in an ideal world, the December 9th release of the DVD would be enough for the Academy to whip around and shape up their bureaucratic brouhaha. To them, I simply ask this: why so serious?

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