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OSCARS: From ‘Philomena’ To ‘Saving Mr. Banks’, Composers Show Creativity And Agility With This Year’s Scores

David Mermelstein is an AwardsLine contributor.

This year’s bevy of awards contender films is not only uncharacteristically large but also varied, particAwardsLine.LogoBWularly in how they were scored. The lack of similarity is apparent in everything from genre to instrumentation and even transcends musical matters, touching on the very core of the process. Specifically, when the composer is handpicked to buttress feelings and emotions primarily expressed in visual terms, what is his or working relationship with the director? Several prominent composers spoke about that intimate union, which in some cases was a new collaboration and in others a welcome reteaming.

Philomena (1)Alexandre Desplat first worked with Stephen Frears on The Queen in 2006 and gratefully accepted the director’s offer to work on this year’s Philomena, a bittersweet road movie starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. “The story is intimate and deeply moving, and Stephen thought I could emphasize that,” Desplat says. “The story is such that it’s difficult not to be in tears: This little woman who seems to be lost but is actually ahead of everyone. It was so appealing to me. I came out with the main theme rather quickly.”

Related: ‘Philomena’: Could It Be This Year’s Oscar Sleeper?
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The Contenders 2013: Hans Zimmer On Scoring ‘12 Years A Slave’ : “If You’re Really Lucky You Get To Work On Something That Has Meaning” (Video)

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 2:55pm PST
Pete Hammond

Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer talked about the meaning and personal importance to him of working on the score for 12 Years A Slave at Deadline’s THE CONTENDERS sold out event for AMPAS and key Guild members on November 2It was clearly a labor of love and he told me the movie is ultimately about love. Here is part of that conversation and just a click below is an exclusive featurette on the creation of one of Zimmer’s most unique scores.

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PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery

Deadline’s sold-out award season kick-off The Contenders unspooled Saturday at the Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. Take a look at our special guest panelists from this year’s crop of Oscar hopefuls from The Weinstein Company, Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate, Focus, CBS Films, Paramount, Fox Searchlight, Warner Bros, Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Walt Disney Pictures, Universal and Dreamworks Animation. Click through for the updated gallery:

Related: Deadline’s ‘The Contenders’ Event To Kick Off Awards Season And New Annenberg Center Today

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Faces Airline Lawsuit, Primps For ‘Real Sex’; UK Bans Bruce Willis — Sort Of; More

Channel 4 Threatened With Lawsuit Over Ryanair Report
In the past year, the BBC has been the subject of harsh criticism — and legal action — over some of its reporting. Now it’s Channel 4‘s turn. A report by the network’s news program Dispatches has flown in the face of low-cost airline Ryanair, marking the second time in seven years the pair have butted heads. The investigative show’s Monday episode included concerns from unidentified pilots over the airline’s fuel policy and safety measures. Ryanair now says it plans to sue. “Ryanair has instructed its lawyers to issue legal proceedings against Channel 4 Dispatches for defamation,” the no-frills airline said. The program highlighted three occasions in which Ryanair pilots called in emergency alerts because they were low on fuel. Ryanair says the incidents occurred because of bad weather and that EU regulations were met in each case. The Dublin-based carrier serves 30 countries in Europe and North Africa. In 2006, it was the subject of a separate Dispatches report, “Ryanair Caught Napping,” which criticized its safety, training and hygiene practices. Ryanair denied the allegations. Channel 4 told Deadline today, “We stand by our journalism.”

‘Real Sex Season’ Coming To Channel 4
In other Channel 4 news, the network says it wants to be “very un-British and talk about what really goes on in Britain’s bedrooms.” To do so, it’s planning a thematic series of shows to form the Real Sex Season beginning in September. The focus will be the effect that pornography is having on people’s expectations of sex. Included among the new shows are Porn On The Teenage Brain, a study of the impact of readily-available, explicit content on adolescents; The Week The Women Came, produced by ITV’s The Garden, about a group of women on a mission to confront loss of libido; and Date My Porn Star, which gives three porn-obsessed men the chance to meet and date their favorite adult movie stars to see if they can distinguish between the fantasy and the reality.

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Hans Zimmer Steps In To Pen ‘Lone Ranger’ Score

By | Friday December 14, 2012 @ 12:08pm PST

Rocker Jack White was originally the frontrunner to compose the score for Disney’s The Lone Ranger, but scheduling conflicts arose after budget concerns temporarily pulled the plug on the Jerry Bruckheimer Films pic starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp and directed by Gore Verbinski. Production finally started in February, and the tentpole’s release date eventually was moved to July 3, 2013. White will still contribute music to the production, we’re told. Hans Zimmer‘s name first appeared in conjunction with the movie when his name appeared in the latest trailer that bowed this week. Zimmer has worked with this bunch before: He did the music for Disney, Bruckheimer, Depp and Verbinski’s Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.

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‘ABC World News’ Debuts New Look, Music

By | Tuesday October 2, 2012 @ 1:44pm PDT

ABC World News has gotten a makeover. The program tonight is debuting a new graphics package, logo and theme song, composed by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer. It’s the first time the song has been updated since 2000. The show last got a graphics update when Diane Sawyer replaced Charlie Gibson in 2009. Take a look below:


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‘Dark Knight Rises’ Composer Hans Zimmer Records Song For Aurora Victims

The Oscar-winning composer says on his Facebook page that that he recorded the 8:26 minute elegiacal tone poem, titled Aurora, ”as a heartfelt tribute to the victims and their families.” He’s offering it on Apple’s iTunes store for $1.29, and on Moontoast for as little as 10 cents. All of the proceeds will go to Aurora Victim Relief organizations, Zimmer says. He won his Oscar for writing the score to Disney’s The Lion King. Zimmer’s other film work includes Gladiator, The Dark Knight, Inception, Black Hawk Down, The Simpsons Movie, and several Pirates Of The Caribbean movies.

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2012 Academy Awards Tap Hans Zimmer And Pharrell Williams As Music Consultants

By | Thursday December 8, 2011 @ 12:45pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The 2012 Academy Awards has got the musical waterfront covered. Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer and Grammy-winning hip-hop artist and producer Pharrell Williams have been set to supervise the music for the awards show. They will serve as musical consultants, the first time either has done it. Oscarcast producers Brian Grazer and Don Mischer were looking for an opportunity to inject music into the program that touches on Zimmer’s classical flair, and the hip hop, R&B and pop sensibilities that Williams is known for.

Zimmer won a Best Original Score Oscar for The Lion King, and was nominated eight other times. His film scores included Sherlock Holmes, Inception, Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code, the last three Pirates of the Caribbeaan films, and all three of Chris Nolan’s Batfilms, including the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises. He has won four Grammys and been nominated six other times.

Williams has won three Grammys as an artist and producer, and he wrote the original score for Despicable Me. His songs have been on the soundtracks of films ranging from Any Given Sunday to The 40 Year Old Virgin.

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WME Signs Famed Composer Hans Zimmer

By | Monday May 9, 2011 @ 1:10pm PDT

UPDATE: WME has just signed  one of Hollywood’s most famous scorers and Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer from the Gorfaine-Schwartz Agency which until recently enjoyed a virtual monopoly on the film music market as big name agencies had divested themselves of representing composers. But WME recently got into the composer rep biz in a big way with the hiring of GSA’s Amos Newman. Zimmer had been talking to other talent tenpercenteries to redefine his Remote Control Productions team. For nearly 3 decades Zimmer has composed music for over 100 films including winning an Oscar for The Lion King. His other scores include GladiatorThe Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes, Inception, and Rango.

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OSCARS: Nervous Anticipation To The End

Pete Hammond

There’s no question this was Hollywood’s biggest week of the year. But now it’s all coming to a close tonight — and not a moment too soon for a lot of nominees at the end of a looooong campaign trail. “Thank God,”  said The King’s Speech’s 73-year-old screenwriter David Seidler when I asked him Saturday night at The Weinstein Co bash at Soho House how he felt about nearing the end. After tonight, he plans to spend a month fishing. At the same party I caught up with the ultimate class act, Colin Firth, who between last year’s A Single Man and this year’s The King’s Speech has been on the awards circuit for the better part of two seasons. I asked him about being heavily favored to take Best Actor, and he replied, “I’m told I am”. He’s next making lighter fare: a Coen Brothers-penned version of the 1966 movie Gambit that starred Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine. He said the film, to be directed by Michael Hoffman (The Last Station), is not a remake and that there’s barely a line of dialogue in common between the two films. Cameron Diaz will co-star. The Weinstein party filled up fast and brought out the entire King’s Speech crowd except for Geoffrey Rush who was on stage in New York for Diary Of A Madman but will be at tonight’s Oscars.

At a Society Of Lyricists And Composers reception Saturday afternoon, many-times nominated and Inception Best Music Score nominee Hans Zimmer told me he’s been too … Read More »

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