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Thompson on Hollywood

Oscar Noms Boost Soundtrack Sales of Inception and The Social Network

Oscar Noms Boost Soundtrack Sales of Inception and The Social Network
The heyday of the movie soundtrack--once a powerful marketing tool for the studios--has waned. But Oscar nominations can boost a soundtrack into big sales, reports Anthony D'Alessandro: When it comes to recent soundtracks and film scores, consumers have been powering down their stereos.  Over the last four years, SoundScan sales for the genre fell from 27.2 million in 2006 to 16.4 million last year -- a 40% drop.   What was once a dependable ancillary for a film’s theatrical launch is now seen as a business gamble; record companies can no longer depend on the wallets of single males.  Aside from burgeoning digital downloads and piracy, the major studio music executives also gripe that there’s a disconnect between radio listeners and movie crowds.  Rap dominates the Top 40, leaving no room for a pic’s adult-contempo "love theme." MTV limits soundtrack music vids to a small percentage of film footage-- so that it doesn't play like a second trailer.
  • By Anthony D'Alessandro
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  • February 18, 2011 6:18 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Video: Inception ASC-winner Pfister Talks Working with Nolan in 35 mm, Tech Panel Q & A

Oscar Video: Inception ASC-winner Pfister Talks Working with Nolan in 35 mm, Tech Panel Q & A
In a surprise win, American director of photography Wally Pfister, who has been working with Chris Nolan for twelve years, ever since Memento, collected his first American Society of Cinematographers' award for Inception Sunday. He beat out Oscar favorite Roger Deakins, who collected the BAFTA for True Grit on Sunday. Check out my flip cam interview with Pfister (below), who talks about working with Nolan; Pfister has received Oscar nominations for Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight and now, Inception, one of eight noms for the film.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • February 14, 2011 9:19 AM
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Social Network Q & A: Composers Reznor & Ross Talk Score, Fight Club Musical, Editors Baxter & Wall

Social Network Q & A: Composers Reznor & Ross Talk Score, Fight Club Musical, Editors Baxter & Wall
Bragging rights to a quantity of Oscars are important to the bigger-scale films vying for technical awards. Amy Dawes covered the Q & A for The Social Network including composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and editors Kurt Baxter and Angus Wall:Trent Reznor took an instinctual, unstudied approach to creating his first film score, and it paid off – surprising even him. So said the Nine Inch Nails frontman last night at a screening in Hollywood of The Social Network, for which the score he co-created with Atticus Ross is nominated for an Oscar – and has already won a Golden Globe.
  • By Amy Dawes
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  • February 10, 2011 9:35 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Cinema Audio Society film Nominees Include Shutter Island

The Cinema Audio Society nominees for sound in motion pictures in 2010 are Black Swan, Inception, Shutter Island, The Social Network and True Grit. These are the bigger-scale movies of the year, the ones most likely to factor in the technical categories. I'm surprised not to see Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I in this list. Shutter Island has been left out of many critics and guild votes.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 6, 2011 1:30 AM
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Oscar Watch: Hans Zimmer Talks Inception Score

Oscar Watch: Hans Zimmer Talks Inception Score
Christopher Nolan's Inception, which has crossed the $800-million mark worldwide, certainly will be one of this year's ten best picture Oscar nominees. Warner Bros. will bring the movie back into the public eye when it promos the DVD release in early December. One key contributor to the film's success is composer Hans Zimmer, who has been consistently strong of late (Sherlock Holmes marked his seventh Oscar nomination; he won for The Lion King). Released on iTunes July 9, the Inception soundtrack was a top ten bestseller.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 10, 2010 9:19 AM
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  • 1 Comment

New Orleans Films Louis and The Big Uneasy Screen on Katrina Anniversary

New Orleans Films Louis and The Big Uneasy Screen on Katrina Anniversary
It's unheard of for a movie to play one night in five cities before it's finished and before it has a distributor. But nothing about Louis--which inspired widely divergent reactions at a recent Beverly Hills screening--is what you'd call normal. Also marking the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, radio host/writer/actor Harry Shearer's searing expose The Big Uneasy hits theaters August 30 for one night only.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 25, 2010 11:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December

Taymor's Tempest and Spider-Man Musical Both Open in December
Julie Taymor is cheering up these days. Her movie of Shakespeare's The Tempest--which had been in limbo at Miramax-- is now closing night at the Venice Film Fest (here's the new poster) and a centerpiece gala at New York, and is set to open December 10. Meanwhile her long-in-the-works Broadway musical Spider-Man finally has an opening date: December 21.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 11, 2010 12:54 PM
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Unraveling Inception: Zimmer's Piaf Riff, Clothing Clues, Nolan's Anxiety

One of the great pastimes of summer 2010 is unravelling, explaining and debating Inception. Which is the main reason it is such a big hit: repeat business. (The movie's so good that the Chinese government is allowing it to play there, a rare honor for a Hollywood picture.) Here are some recent popular memes:
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 3, 2010 5:27 AM
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  • 6 Comments

Michael Feinstein's American Songbook Debuts This Fall on PBS

Classics crooner Michael Feinstein will make legions of music lovers happy this fall when he premieres a three-part series exploring the history of American popular music. The American Songbook will air October 6, 13 and 20 at 8 PM on PBS. This is my idea of heaven.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 17, 2010 8:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Public Enemies: Goldenthal Returns to Studio Score

The only Oscar I ever held belonged to Elliot Goldenthal, who won for his diverse, Mexican-tinged score for partner Julie Taymor's Frida. The New York couple (together since 1984) are equally serious about opera, film and musical theater, which all demand very different skill sets.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 22, 2009 6:30 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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