Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by Strilo, Jul 16, 2007.

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  1. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    So it's time for extremely early speculation on the score for the next Harry Potter film. It seems likely that Nicolas Hooper will be scoring the next film, as David Yates has already been tapped to direct the film. From the story side of things, Steve Kloves is returning to write the screenplay. What does all this mean for the music? Themes? Expansion on the OOTP score? The possibility of a different composer? Discuss away!
  2. erus_multus2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2005
    star 3
    I think it'd be nice if John Williams came back for the last two movies. One of the things I felt would have made Goblet of Fire better in certain parts (I haven't seen OOTP yet, so I can't say how well the score fit into it) would have been using the Voldemort theme from the first two films. It would have added a certain greater sense of intimidation I think. So I think that Wiliams' own willingness to use the past themes would help carry along the next films musically.

    All IMHO, of course. :)
  3. Dark_Faith Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2004
    star 3
    Anyone think they have an idea on what elements of the book should have their own musical themes?

    1.Advanced Potion making book theme (HBP book).

    2. A theme for the cave. Maybe something like the dead marshes from LOTR: TTT? But a little more intense and ghostly.

    3. Horocrux/Tom Riddle theme?

    4. Perhaps a new love theme for Harry/Ginny?

    5. Maybe the Half-blood prince himself/Snape should have his own theme for this movie? Maybe a variation of the HBP's book theme?
  4. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    After hearing what Hooper did on OotP, his first big movie, I can only imagine that he'll improve. Although, as Strilo noted a few times in the other thread, there are some extremely crucial moments in this book/film that will need to be expertly composed (and filmed of course). I think that Hooper is capable, but they are are such big moments, that I would be nervous with anyone but Williams at the helm.

    As for themes I would like to hear:

    Something for Harry and Dumbledore - crucial in my mind

    Slughorn

    A new theme for Voldermort -- I used to be steadfast in my defense of bringing back Williams' theme, but as I watched Philosopher's Stone the other day, I think a darker theme would be better. Williams' theme worked for the first two films, but I do think it's time for something different. This is an area where neither Doyle or Hooper impressed me. No strong material for Voldermort in his crucial scenes.

    I'm re-reading HBP right now to have my mind fresh for when the final book comes this weekend, and I'm really interested in what they keep in the film. I find myself wondering if one particularly violent moment with Draco will be included simply thinking of rating and how it's described in the book.
  5. HL&S Magistrate Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 30, 2001
    star 7
    WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS HBP SPOILERS.


    There are so many possibilities for themes and classic score moments in HBP, but I don't think Hooper is up to the task based on OOTP's score. It wasn't a terrible scores, but I agree that a more experience composer might be needed to really capture such dramatic moments.

    1. Prisoner of Azkaban
    2. Sorceror's Stone
    3. Goblet of Fire
    4. Chamber of Secrets
    5. Order of the Phoenix

    That's how I rank the scores so far.

    I want Williams back for at least one of the remaining two, preferably Deathly Hallows just so he can book-end the saga. If he returns for HBP, that would be great too, though I wouldn't mind Brian Tyler or even veteran, Bruce Broughton, taking a shot at it if they decide on a new composer.

    As for the themes, I'm sure the Phoenix Lament will be beautiful. Or at least should be. Also I believe the mermaids sing a moving song at the end. Slughorn can have a theme for the Slug Club. The Inferi/Cave sequence will need to vary from the dementors tone of music, but there are many possibilities still open for them.

    Maybe just a love theme in general for all of the lovebirds in the film. There's quite a few couples if I remember correctly. Some good, some bad.

    The Half Blood Prince can have a theme, certainly. It's kinda a sneaky way of giving a main character an actual theme so late in the game. I like it.

    Giving Draco a theme of some sort might pay off during the astronomy tower scene. Especially if it's dark and sinister throughout the movie and then turns sad and really accents Dracos's dilema at the end. Maybe even during the bathroom scene too when he's nearly killed. The music can really make you sympathize with him at the end of that scene.
  6. Dark_Faith Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2004
    star 3
    *HBP SPOILERS*






    Well in my mind, the end of HBP, when Harry and Dumbledore return from the cave and witness the dark mark over Hogwarts, the music should start again and then dramatically stop when Harry and DD arrive at the tower and Draco comes out, and the rest of the scene should be without music, to keep the tension, then when things get more heated and the other death eaters come up, followed by Snape, the music should silently and very quietly grow stronger, and then when Snape kills Dumbledore, the music should hit a dramatic crescendo, and transition to the battle within Hogwarts, in a strong, desperate, emotional and sweeping melody which perhaps can sweep back into a violent and suspenseful variation of the Half Blood Prince theme as Snape is running away across the ground chased by Harry and reveals himself to be the Half Blood Prince.
  7. Whitey Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2003
    star 6
    Hooper did a solid job, but I just don't trust certain pivotal scenes in the hands of anyone less than Williams. Though, I'm willing to let Hooper surprise me.
  8. redsabreanakin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 5
    Hooper is coming back huh?

    I thought the score to "Phoenix" was pretty unremarkable. I didn't hate it, but it certaintly didn't have any balls to it. The "standoff" at the end between Good and Evil needed more "gravitas"...and a scene which was very good..could have been outstanding. I stated in that thread that I would love to have Williams back, and I pretty much got crapped on. I was told to "wait and listen to it first"...well, I've heard it..and give it a "c".

    I was kind hopeing for someone else...but I guess I'll just have to wait and see what he can come up with; but at this point..I would even take James Horner...(and even I can't believe I just said that)

  9. andy1044 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2006
    star 2
    You won't have any luck with there. Horner was approached to do the first three movies and explicitly turned them down, saying that he had had enough scoring fantasy movies and did not want to do any more.

    Personally, I'm excited to see what Hooper will do with HBP. I think that he did a pretty decent job with Order of the Phoenix, and considering that was his first major score his quality can only go up. He'll be approaching the next one with much more experience than OOTP and frankly that can only be a good thing.
  10. Jedi-Washington Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 4
    After reading the newest one, I'm not sure what I'd do with myself if Williams didn't score film 7. I can deal with him not scoring Half-Blood prince, but it's absolutely necessary for for someone who knows how to write tragedy well for the last film. I hope the last director requests him or perhaps Elfman for the last film. Continuity is already screwed, so I don't really expect a development of themes that Williams would have used in the film.

    Have to admit, whatever themes Hooper and Doyle composed in there, they certainly never stuck in my mind. Sounded like a Bach 4 part chord study in both cases with a un-recognizable theme in there. Bad orchestrating, that's for sure. And what a weak waltz theme for GOF, especially if it plays such an important role.

    As for the newest score, Hooper did a decent job, certainly better than Doyle's score - which I expected much more out of. Hooper's usage of Hedwig's theme is really clever. I'm not a big fan of some of the strings writing, as it sounds a little...out of place.

    1. Prisoner of Azkaban
    2. Sorcerers Stone
    3. Chamber of secrets
    4. Order of the Phoenix
    5. Goblet of Fire

    The Harry Potter series needs some serious musical help. The standard has just not been set high enough by the last two composers.

    ~JW
  11. redsabreanakin Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2005
    star 5
    Couldn't have said it better myself. Well done
  12. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    I don't know, there's quite a bit of action in Deathly Hallows, and I haven't been impressed with Williams' action material in quite some time (especially most of his stuff for PS and CoS). Few people can match the quality of his melodic content, but there are many other composers out there who are much more skilled in writing action.

    And while Williams can write tragedy well (Schindler's List), I don't think it's his strong area.

    My dream composer for the Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows would be Elliot Goldenthal, but there's almost no chance of that happening. Goldenthal is an amazingly talented composer who's great with tragedy and it'd be interesting to see what he does in a fantasy world.

    James Newton Howard would be another choice.

    With that said, I was really pleased with Hooper's work on Phoenix and can't wait for what ideas he comes up with for Half-Blood Prince. As Andy said, with his first major film behind him, his second score can only improve. Depending on his output for Prince, he could very well be up to the task of scoring Hallows if he and Yates see this series to its conclusion.
  13. Cerrabore Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Wait, are you implying that something tragic in the vein of Schindler's List (but by a composer more talented in the genre) is appropriate for Half-Blood Prince?
  14. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    No, I was just giving an example that he can write tragic music, but on the whole I don't think it's his strong area. Obviously something like Schindler's List in Half-Blood Prince would be overkill.
  15. Cerrabore Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Something like Schindler's List in Schindler's List would be overkill. It's absurdly emotional music. So, yes, something much more understated in Half-Blood Prince will do nicely.
  16. andy1044 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2006
    star 2
    Ok, I feel the slight need to play Devil's Advocate, so bear with me. Guys, I think it's about time we stopped using John Williams as the end all be all film composer. Yes, he is a hugely talented composer whose legacy will dominate the world of film composition for many years to come, but frankly, he is getting up there in years and may not be with us that much longer. Instead of always jumping to "I think John Williams should do this score because he's the only one that has this or that skill," I think we should start looking for the composer, or composers, that will be the best candidate(s) to fill Williams' shoes once he is gone. There are many talented younger composers out there who might not gain the same notoriety and fame as Williams, but are certainly capable of filling his shoes musically. Elliot Goldenthal was a good example, as well as Alexandre Desplat, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, Alan Silvestri, and a host of others. I don't think you guys should be so quick to dismiss Hooper's work just because, "He isn't John Williams." Instead of concentrating on what he's done, look instead to what he might do in the future since he is only now turning from an award winning career as a British Television composer to what might amount to an award winning career as a blockbuster movie composer.
  17. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Hey look I am fine with John Williams not doing the scores for Harry Potter. I am NOT fine with completely throwing out the musical world he established in THREE films and starting from scratch for the fourth. Then completely throwing all that out and starting over from scratch again on the fifth. It's a bleeding mess now. My point all along, since it was announced that GOF would not be scored by Williams, is that whoever took over should continue in the tradition formed by the first three scores. Lush, rich sounding, similarly orchestrated, using leitmotif and just in general tying directly to the first three scores. This means using some of the themes from Williams scores, sorry guys. I strongly believe that this should have been done with far more than just Hedwig's theme.

    For a series of films as well established as Harry Potter, and for scores as recognizable as the Harry Potter Williams' scores, there is NOTHING wrong with emulating that style to a significant extent. Twice now we've had new and relatively unknown composers come in and instead of doing this, they went off in their own direction and wrote mediocre scores. I don't expect these scores to be as good as Williams' best stuff. I do expect them not to be mediocre and sub par to the point where people who don't even normally care about music or notice it in film as saying how bad the music was. THAT speaks volumes, no matter what all the film score fanboys say about Doyle or Hooper's work.
  18. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    Something else that you must realize though is that these later movies/books are completely different in tone from the first two and to an extent the third. They are much darker and more mature. To emulate Williams' style from those films would be inappropriate.

    EDIT: I know it was pretty much set in stone already, but David Yates did announce earlier on XM Satellite Radio's "Reel Time" that Hooper will be back and has already started on working on ideas for Half-Blood Prince.
  19. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Of course, that is a no brainer. It is possible to match the tone of the later films while still staying within the musical world Williams established.
  20. andy1044 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2006
    star 2
    The composer wouldn't need to emulate his style, only develop on the themes established by Williams to fit the mood and style of the film. Maintaining thematic continuity is one of the most important parts of storytelling, and sadly, the lack of at least a few hints at Williams' other themes has been a little disappointing.
  21. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    But see, as the films changed directors, the look and feel of each film has been quite different. Sure, the sets and actors have stayed the same (by and large), but the cinematography has radically changed, the way the editing has changed, but why must the music stick to a certain sound.

    I'll admit that the lack of including "A Window to the Past" has been a big disappointment, but I haven't been too upset with the exclusion of other themes. Other than that and Hedwig's Theme, no other themes comes to mind as being particularly pertinent to the other films.
  22. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    You are not listening to what I am saying. I am not saying the music needs to stick to the same sound. I am saying they needed to develop and progress based firmly to the existing three films. They needed to build off what Williams developed instead of completely throwing it all out and starting over almost entirely. Using similar approaches to scoring, using a leitmotif setup, using similar orchestrations (albeit darker and more mature). Using the themes previously established for major characters.

    Basically it feels like Doyle and Hooper were like "**** John Williams, we don't need his crap. We can do WAY better ourselves" and then they didn't. I can't help but think of them as kids trying to outdo the old man and failing miserably.


    EDIT: And sorry... the Weasley's exit in OOTP needed one of the flying themes, perhaps Nimbus 2000.
  23. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    It seems to me that you're contradicting yourself. You say they don't need to stick to the same sound but that they should use similar scoring techniques, orchestration, and leitmotif. With all those similarities, wouldn't they sound like an interpretation of Williams? It seems that you want them to stick with the style that Williams developed for the series, but other composers aren't going to be able to do that. They have to orchestrate and approach the score in their own style. If not, they might sound infinitely worse.

    And there is definitely some leitmotif in GoF and OotP. They may not be as particularly memorable as William's material, but they are there.

    That was one of the weaker moments of Hooper's score.

    EDITED for my idiotic remark about the Nimbus 2000 theme. For some reason I was thinking of something completely different. [face_blush]
  24. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    No it's the difference between "same" and "similar". They have different meanings. And using multiple themes from Williams' work is paramount to me. Not doing that was a huge mistake and it caused the films to musically suffer. As for them using leitmotif but not being memorable, that's what I am talking about when I say this:

    Basically it feels like Doyle and Hooper were like "**** John Williams, we don't need his crap. We can do WAY better ourselves" and then they didn't. I can't help but think of them as kids trying to outdo the old man and failing miserably.
  25. Cerrabore Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Strilo, calm down.

    As a composer, I can attest that it is much more satisfying to write original material than to faithful recreate another's. The exception comes when dealt iconic music like "Hedwig's Theme." If I were hired to write the Half-Blood Prince score, would I want to use "Hedwig's Theme"? Of course! Would I want to use it eighteen times, keeping the harmonies and orchestrations identical to Williams's at all times? Of course not!

    When it comes right down to it, being bound tightly by others' precedents crushes creativity. Look at Don Davis's Jurassic Park III. The only worthy portions of this score are the few that don't faithfully reuse all of Williams's themes.
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