This year’s Oscar nominations for the Best Score, are also presenting a live concert three days before D-day
An organic partnership
Steven Price was only supposed to work on Gravity for three weeks. But after he and director, Alfanso Cuarón, started having conversations about the film and what the music could be, “it just spun out of control,” said Price, adding, “All of a sudden a few weeks had gone by. Then a few more. It almost sounds right out of The Money Pit. And after about six weeks, Cuarón sat me down and asked if I wanted to come on board as the film’s composer.” He’d only scored a handful of films before this, including The World’s End and Attack the Block. But the UK native has been aiming for this opportunity since he was 21. “I’ve always wanted to be a composer, and it’s just taken me 16 years to work my way through the ranks, really,” he said.
Oscar-nominated William Butler’s first-time experience composing the score for Spike Jonze’s Her, with his partner Owen Pallett, was a bit of a romance as well as a crash course in moviemaking. Butler says the experience opened him up to the collaborative process, which also paid off on their latest album, Reflektor. “Because we’re very much our own bosses and working on something where you had to defer to the director and see it through his eyes, it was a great musical challenge that you could apply to everything else,’’ Butler admits.
Starting from the end
Having been nominated six times in eight years, composer Alexandre Desplat is a veteran of Academy campaigning. He called his latest Oscar-nominated work, the score for Philomena, among his most difficult assignments. In fact the movie had more music than his first Oscar-nominated film, The Queen. Unlike other composers, Desplat prefers to see the finished film before he begins working, rather than starting from the script. “I like to see the images. That’s what turns me on, that’s when the inspiration can start getting somewhere. Before you’ve seen the camera moves, the light, the pace of the direction and the performances of the actors, it’s just ink and paper,” he says.
Five and counting
One of the most famous composers in film history, John Williams is a five-time Oscar winner for Best Score and a 48-time nominee overall, which makes him the second most nominated individual in Oscar history, after Walt Disney. And for all you know, the man might win it this time as well for composing the score for The Book Thief, an American-German war drama based on the novel of the same name by Markus Zusak.
Walt Disney, the legendary Hollywood producer is the subject of Saving Mr Banks, a movie about the making of Mary Poppins. The film features a score composed by Thomas Newman, which has been nominated. Despite multiple nominations— he’s got the nod 11 times— he’s not won an Oscars till date. His last nomination was for last year’s Skyfall.
– Mrinalini Sundar