Goldsmith Deconstructed

Jerry Goldsmith and the Music of STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

This post continues my look at the music of the Star Trek film franchise. For previous posts: STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE | STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN |
STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK | STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME

Because STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME was such a spectacular success, attention quickly turned to another sequel. Due to contractual obligations, the job of directing STAR TREK V was handed over to William Shatner, who also wrote the initial concept for the film. Drawing inspiration from the televangelist phenomenon, Shatners initial outline, subtitled “An Act of Love,” dealt with a holy man on a quest to find God.

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“Nautical But Nice”

James Horner and the Music for The Wrath of Khan

This post is written as a part of the Second Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Becky at Film Music Central. It also continues my look at the music of the Star Trek film series. For previous reviews: 

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE 

Despite the financial success of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE (1979), the film was considered by Paramount Pictures to be a disappointment, owing to spiraling production costs and a script that came together literally at the last minute and that led to a story that left many Trek fans cold.

The end result was that Paramount Pictures decided, if there was to be a second Star Trek film, the budget would have to be considerably smaller. Series creator Gene Roddenberry, who was largely blamed for the cost overruns from the first film, was reduced to an “Executive Consultant” role, while well-regarded TV producer Harve Bennett was put in charge of the franchise.

As he was developing the script with writer Jack B. Sowards, Bennett turned to novelist-turned-director Nicholas Meyer to helm the film. Meyer had recently directed TIME AFTER TIME (1979), but he had almost no familiarity with Star Trek. This actually turned out to be a good thing, since he was able to focus on making the best film possible without staying overly (excessively) reverential to the material.

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The Gold(smith) Standard

The Music of STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE

In the coming weeks, I will be taking a look at each of the scores to the films in the Star Trek franchise. Here, I will talk a bit about the first film, which really set the template for what Trek film music would sound like for more than 35 years.

In 1979, Star Trek, a TV show that had been on the air only for three short seasons yet drew a fan base unequaled for its time through syndication, was reborn as a feature film. While the music written for the series by Alexander Courage, Gerald Fried, Fred Steiner, and others had often been memorable but not what I would call “cinematic.” To bring Trek to the big screen would require the skills of one of the biggest names in film music: Jerry Goldsmith.

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Continuing the Musical Saga of Star Wars

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Update: If you’d like to hear more about what I thought about the movie itself, I recently joined the folks on the Talking Stars Podcast to talk about ROGUE ONE.

With the recent release of ROGUE ONE, I figured what better way to kick off this blog than with a discussion of the score to that film. In addition to being the first “anthology” film in the Star Wars saga, ROGUE ONE also marks the first time a composer other than John Williams was tasked with scoring a film in the series.

starwars_premiere_1-768x1152Originally, the filmmakers decided on Alexandre Desplat to compose the score for ROGUE ONE; however, owing to the significant number of reshoots that occurred in postproduction, Desplat became unavailable. To replace him, the producers turned to Michael Giacchino, who, in my humble opinion, is one of the hottest composers working in Hollywood. I’ve been a fan of Giacchino’s work ever since his score for THE INCREDIBLES (2004), and he had already made a mark in another iconic science fiction franchise in scoring the recent Star Trek reboot films.

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