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. Jedi-Washington Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 4
    So half-blood prince has been decided on composer wise it seems, and perhaps Hooper will step it up also. As for using Williams theme's, Doyle broke the tradition, and we can't go that route anymore, unfortunately. I would have loved to see how Williams would have progressed the themes as the characters had grown (as he did for Star Wars), but there is no chance of that now, so Strilo's hope of using previous material I think is lost at this point unfortunately.

    As for the difference in composition and other creative aspects of the series, such as the editing and cinematography, I find those aspects changeable. Sets you can change, sound effects you can change, shooting, editing, scripts...those can change all they need to. Music is different though. it's a character unto itself. Watching even a film without music can render it the most disastrous and embarrassing trash. Acting doesn't carry it alone with film, as the camera limits performance available with live theater. Therefore, I consider music a character, just like Daniel Radcliff plays Harry, or Rupert plays Ron. When you break that continuity between films in a series, people don't react warmly. The series already suffered a huge loss of Richard Harris as Dumbledore and people were a little put off. I find it very telling that as the composers have changed, the reviews i get from others about the film are critical.

    Music plays on emotions of people. This series needs an emotional composer. someone who can express, not just write notes on a page. The whole point of the series is to help young people with the idea and realization of Death. Hooper and Doyle just...don't speak that well to the message. They don't know how to make a person feel a scene, not just watch it. There are very few film composers I've found who know how to make a person feel a scene. I don't think Williams makes the best themes in the world, I don't think he is necessarily even the best composer when it comes to timing to film. What I appreciate from Williams is his approach that fits a scene emotionally. Every note has a purpose. Hooper and Doyle have used too many notes, and as a result, the score is cluttered and ineffective in my opinion.

    I do need to note other composers though, as I know John Williams is not really known for coming back into series.
    -Mike Giacchino - He's done a wonderful job with some of the emotional scenes in the Pixar films, and I think he might do a wonderful job if given the chance.
    -Danny Elfman - has a very interesting style that might fit the films well, and he knows emotion fairly well.
    -Elliot Goldenthal - Someone mentioned him, which would actually work, I think. Not a bad composer at all! His cues are never that long, unfortunately, but I think he would do wonderful.

    ~JW
  2. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    The reviews you have gotten "from others"? I'm not sure what that means, but in general reviews of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban agreed that the film was infinitely better than the two and a half hour monstrosity that is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (I just watched the extended edition, and the restored scenes only drag the eyelids lower, save for a ten-second gag with Gilderoy Lockhart at the end). Continuity? Forget it. If directors had stuck to the continuity and style of Chris Columbus, Goblet of Fire would have been five hours long, and half of it would have been spent on Ludo Bagman's gambling problems. As for Williams's hypothetical musical score? Expect everyone from Harry Potter to Dean Thomas to have a "theme," and for fans to argue over Williams's use of Viktor Krum's theme for a line of Igor Karkaroff's (is it because they represent the same school, or did Williams's finally make a mistake?) and which music cue is their favorite: the light-hearted, bumbling rendition of "Nimbus 2000" for Wormtail's approach in the graveyard or the reprise of "Harry's Wondrous World" for the end credits. Sadly, such a score did not occur, as our dear Columbus was replaced with a competent director and Williams later left the series.

    Having not seen Columbus's films in a while, I was shocked at the dullness and stupidity of them when we were reacquainted. Richard Harris delivered reasonable performances (barely reasonable in Chamber, but you can hardly blame the man for being on his death bed), but they are wholly without energy - while Michael Gambon's are pulse-quickening. As for the music, I hope anyone didn't take the above paragraph seriously, but Williams really does drag down scenes in many points in Chamber. The first time you hear one, a Williams "ominous" cue sounds unnerving in a childish way. The seven thousandth time, you just want to die. Prancing and whimsical curiosity and flighty mock danger are not things Doyle and Hooper brought to the table, but seriousness is.

    So forget the continuity of the originals. Nobody over the age of nine should have to bear it.
  3. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Well I think the composers following Williams should have thought less about their own satisfaction and thought more about what was good for the music of the series and the tone that was set.
  4. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    It's more likely that the composers were thinking about their directors' satisfaction. Eager as they know doubt were to gleefully demolish the world established by John Williams (after all, you seem to view the abandonment of Williams's style as an arrogant, personal insult to the maestro), their function first and foremost was to write what their directors wanted. David Yates has spoken endlessly of his reverence for Hooper, who is always his composer, and I believe Mike Newell has employed Doyle several times.

    By the way, what tone? Why do seven films released within a span of ten years have to have the same tone? It's impossible to expect the same sort of film when directors, screenwriters, actors, special effects companies and set designs routinely change. Even the actors that have stayed through all the films have changed. Alan Rickman - a subtly showier and more flamboyant Snape originally, but grittily toned down for Prisoner of Azkaban. Robbie Coltrane - light-hearted and comical turned gruffer and warier. The trio has, of course, changed completely in appearance and personality, and while this can be expected, given their ages (doubled since Sorcerer's Stone), they are impressionable and easy to change in style. Watch a few behind the scenes interviews to see how the various directors have coached these kids.
  5. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    That's the whole point though. The tone, style, sound whatever you want to call it that was established by Williams is no longer appropriate. Williams disregarded almost all his original compositions when he wrote Azkaban. Except for a few instances of Hedwig's Theme and a very short reprisal of Nimbus 2000 at the end, the score for the first two movies and Azkaban are radically different. The films changed, therefore the sound changed. If Williams can throw out almost all continuity, why can't the other composers?

    Yes, a few of the very well established themes (Hedwig, A Window to the Past) should make brief appareances, but the composers should write music for the film on the screen and ignore Williams.
  6. __Vader__ Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 3
    SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!!



    Like OoTP, HPB is a mammoth-sized snore-fest compared to the other books. Naturally the film is going to be scraping the barrel for decent action scenes. The score, in turn will suffer in "Excitement" levels. To make this score decent, Hooper will really have to get his act together and accomplish the following:




  7. Build tremendously on the small ammount of thematic material he established in OoTP

  8. Ramp up Dumbledore's Death/Funeral to Operatic proportions. (No holding back like in previous character's deaths, this needs to be full-on choir)
  9. Maybe a new Horcrux theme or similar.

  10. This is arguably the darkest book. No happy music.(Jigs, Waltzes, Songs, etc)

  11. Please no "Slughorn's theme"


  12. Hooper is guilty of ignoring John William's and Patrick Doyle's leitmotif (As is Doyle) and to make amends he will have to pull out all the stops for this movie.

    People may remember the Harry Potter scores yet.
  13. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    I'm going to have to disagree with this. While Dumbledore's loss is a huge blow to the entire wizarding community, his death is witnessed on a much more personal level by Harry who has yet again lost one of his closest mentors and another father figure. The music does need to be more emotional than that of Sirius' death, but big operatic choir would really be hamming it up.

    I think the biggest challenge will be the Phoenix song (if it's included of course, they might cut that out).

  14. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Guys... things from the sixth book are not spoilers. It's been out for two years.


    (after all, you seem to view the abandonment of Williams's style as an arrogant, personal insult to the maestro)

    No this is flat out wrong. Don't make assumptions. I view it as a mistake in regards to the films and the musical tone set out for Harry Potter.
  15. MJedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2000
    star 2
    I really hope John Williams is hired for the final movie (and HBP, if it hasn't been decided yet). I mean, why would all the promos, interviews, behind-the-scenes shows and documentaries on TV use his score, if it is not the definitive music to accompany Harry Potter? Even the music on the GOF DVD documentaries still use William's music, not Doyle's! Williams captures the magic, pun intended, of the series. It would be a shame for him not to be hired to end the series.
  16. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    Well yes, but not everyone reads the books. I have several friends who enjoy the movies, but aren't interested in reading the books.
  17. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Well I specifically created this thread to not be spoiler free, so don't worry about it here.
  18. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Quote: "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."

    Quote: "Well I think the composers following Williams should have thought less about their own satisfaction and thought more about what was good for the music of the series and the tone that was set.
  19. Jedi-Washington Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 4
    I never expect themes to be passed between films. Quotes here and there, sure, but I don't think Hooper or Doyle treated the score with enough musicianship. People always bring up the "directors vision" in scores, but I don't buy that. Having worked with several directors, I find they aren't exactly to the note specific about what they want. You can honor a directors vision while still keeping not necessarily direct themes that came before, but at least a style that came before. While I don't think they blatantly spit in Williams' face, from the sounds of it, they didn't even attempt to make a transition.

    As for Scoring Dumbledore's death...not full choir, not full orchestra. While it is a turning point in Harry's life...it needs to be very personal. I wouldn't want it downplayed, but certainly given a tragic/sad romantic interpretation perhaps.

    ~JW
  20. andy1044 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 26, 2006
    star 2
    I think Dumbledore's death could be scored extremely well with even a solo instrument. Perhaps an english horn or an alto flute. The subconscious symbolism being that Dumbledore's death has now left Harry alone in his quest. Overplaying this scene with a huge orchestra and a choir would take away from the actual death and lessen the emotional impact.
  21. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Screwing around with music samples, I found that "Fawkes the Phoenix" on Irish low whistle sounds good.
  22. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Quote: "Well I think the composers following Williams should have thought less about their own satisfaction and thought more about what was good for the music of the series and the tone that was set."


    You make the assumption that "their own satisfaction" somehow is personal and not professional satisfaction. Bottom line, you seem to have no problem with how the music has been handled for Harry Potter. You seem to think that Doyle and Hooper did well. I don't. But it seems like your viewpoint is coloring how you are perceiving the statements I am making.

  23. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    I inferred that you felt Doyle and Hooper had insulted Williams because of the above quotes. "**** John Williams, we don't need this crap"? And what exactly is "professional satisfaction," and how is it different from "personal satisfaction"?

    Anyway, I don't believe Doyle and Hooper wrote scores equal to Sorcerer's Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban, but I don't believe they are totally worthless and impossible to enjoy because of their differentiation from Williams's style.
  24. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    Just a side not about Deathly Hallows -- Alfonso Cuaron said in a recent interview that he would be "very tempted" to direct the final film. I for one would be thrilled if he seeing as how Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite of the films thus far (although I think David Yates did a very nice job as well). The main reason I bring this up is because many people elsewhere are having wet dreams about Cuaron and Williams teaming up again. While this is certainly possible, my guess would be that unless Williams asks to come back, Cuaron will choose Doyle to come back since they have worked together twice and he has already written one Potter score.
  25. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    That's part of the problem. You have inferred a lot in my words that isn't there. Professional satisfaction as in what they think will be best for their own professional purposes. Meaning that they think it would be better for their careers if they throw out what Williams established and do something stellar that supersedes it. The problem is knowing one's own limitations as an artist. They needed to step up to the plate and hit a homer. Doyle hit a single and Hooper fouled out. From what I have heard of both composers, they should have known they could not step in and solely carry this thing, so they should have used more support from the structure established by Williams.

    And look I have asked all sorts of friends and family who don't give a crap about film scores but love the Harry Potter films what they thought of the music for OOTP (without giving any indication what I thought of it) and they have ALL said either it was bad, a disappointment or they said "what music?" So a few film score fanboys aside, it seems that most people think the music for OOTP sucks.
  26. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    I ask my friends all the time what they thought of the music after seeing a film -- Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, etc. and nearly all them say "I didn't even notice it." (For some odd reason though, everyone noticed the trash in Pirates of the Caribbean and liked it!) Scores don't always have to be noticed to be felt, most of the time it's subconscious. It's fans like us that actively listen to it. I'll continue to defend OotP because I think it works very well as a score. It definitely did not "stand out" and that is probably why most people didn't notice it or were disappointed. As I said earlier, Williams' wrote great themes for the first two films, but much of his underscore stood out in a very bad way.

    And I'll still defend Doyle as well. I tend to think he was having an off day when he wrote GoF. It isn't a bad score, but it's certainly not up to his usual standard.

    EDIT: And can you please stop with the "film score fanboy" bit? Just because we are defending something that we enjoy and you don't is no reason to resort to petty name-calling. It's pretty immature.
  27. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    It's not name calling. Fanboy is no different than fanatic. What else are people who listen to primarily films scores called? Something has to differentiate between me (a fan) and you guys. I freely admit I am a Pearl Jam fanboy. Nothing wrong with that.
  28. Cerrabore Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 4
    Well, now we are just back to "Doyle and Hooper should have sounded more like Williams because their scores suck." If you so dislike these scores, would a more reused and derivative feel really have redeemed them?
  29. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    It means the same as fanatic, yes, but it generally has a negative connotation and it seems to me that you were using it in a condescending manner.
  30. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
  31. Darth_Vader-Anakin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2002
    star 3
    This has been discussed on a few other sites. It seems the consensus has been that it's just a lazy reporter using IMDB as a source. There he is listed as providing themes for all those films. Nicholas Hooper is still scoring HBP.
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