Yesterday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said that The Dark Knight‘s pulsating soundtrack could not be considered for the Oscar for Best Original Score. (And you thought people were upset when the Academy disqualified There Will Be Blood‘s score last year.)
“What happened?” you ask.
Variety: Sources inside the committee said that the big issue was the fact that five names were listed as composers on the music cue sheet, the official studio document that specifies every piece of music (along with its duration and copyright owner) in the film.
Zimmer said, in an interview with Variety prior to this week’s Acad action, that listing multiple names on the cue sheet was a way of financially rewarding parts of the music team who helped make the overall work successful. (Performing-rights societies like ASCAP and BMI use the cue sheet to distribute royalties to composers.)
Zimmer, Howard and the other three individuals — music editor Alex Gibson, ambient music designer Mel Wesson and composer Lorne Balfe — reportedly signed an affidavit stating that the score was primarily the work of Zimmer and Howard.
That apparently wasn’t enough for the majority of the committee, which was also supplied with documentation indicating that more than 60%, but less than 70%, of the score was credited to Zimmer and Howard.
The “Dark Knight” score — and the whole issue of multiple-composer collaboration, which is on the rise in Hollywood these days — has occupied about four hours of discussion over the past two executive committee meetings.
Aren’t you glad you asked? Basically it was disqualified because of a technicality just like with Jonny Greenwood’s There Will Be Blood score—albeit, not the same technicality.
Best Original Score is just one of the 15 awards Warner Bros has asked the Academy to consider The Dark Knight for. And earlier this week, the studio unveiled its big awards pitch site, on which Warner Bros. touts TDK and Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino. (What? No Sex and the City?) The TDK portion features a schedule of upcoming awards screenings; information about the film, including the trailers and a photo gallery; the full list of awards WB would like the Academy to consider TDK for; and the film’s entire script, handy for high school drama teachers and aspiring filmmakers who want to recreate the movie at home the way Kevin Smith did with Die Hard and Ben Stiller did with Jaws.
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