January 2, 2009

Terrible night for tv music

Filed under: General,Rant — steve @ 11:18 pm

What a terrible night watching tv – King Solomon’s Mines and The Outsider – both on Chanel 9 (Aus) and both with really horrible sound track mixes….

King Solomon’s Mines music writer hopefully got paid a hell of a lot of money as his/her music was featured more than prominently throughout the movie yet did not get a credit, yet we did read that the Budapest Film Orchestra performed the compositions. Very much a ‘made for TV’ movie, Supervising Sound Editor Patrick O’Sullivan and Music Editor Matt Shelton decided that it was best to  confront the viewer with constant “up-front” soundtrack and little to any, apart from canned audio, ambient sound. Very off-putting and one can only wonder why Patrick Swayze, who was a poor man’s Harrison Ford, had any part in the movie… At least the Executive Producers, Larry Levinson and Robert Halmi, Jr., got their names displayed in gold lettering – shame really as it was a crap ‘movie’…

I was then ‘fortunate’ enough to watch The Outsider – not so much a made for TV movie though that is where you would probably ever have seen it. The soundtrack would have suited Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with its use of pan pipes and other “eastern” sounding instruments – but this was a Western! Maybe because David Carradine was in the movie the “grasshopper” inspired the Producers to deliver to us a somewhat eastern soundtrack to a western movie… And again, in your face type of stuff, though at least not during every second of the movie like King Solomon’s Mines was achieving. Music Editor was Steven Saltzman – and three compositions were at least listed to which one assumes were used in the movie – poor choices however in the most part – ultimately made this a ‘made for TV’ event…

Lesson learnt though – how to compose ambient soundtrack mixes [stacks of reverb and only a few, selected instruments - make some 'oriental' as well] AND what NOT to aim for when mixing for film!

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