Category Archives: Uncategorized

New soundtrack reviews coming!

Hey everyone! There’s something cool coming to Film Music Central: more soundtrack reviews are on the way! First up will be reviews for the soundtracks for Spider-Man: Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes. I’m also looking to have my review for Atomic Blonde out this week 🙂

Been really busy with dissertation writing, but thanks for sticking with me and the blog.

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RIP Glen Campbell (1936-2017)

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News broke a few days ago that legendary singer and songwriter Glen Campbell had passed away after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s. It’s sad to lose such a great talent, but the good news is he’s not suffering any longer (Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease).

Rock-A-Doodle “Sun Do Shine” (1991)

Of course my knowledge of Campbell comes from his appearance in the 1991 animated film Rock-A-Doodle where he voices Chanticleer the rooster. It wasn’t until years later that I learned about his career as a singer. He also hosted a variety show called The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour from 1969 to 1972 and released over 70 albums. Of those, 12 went gold, 4 platinum and one double-platinum. He won four Grammy Awards and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 (also the year he made his final televised appearance, he’d revealed his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s the year before).

Rest in peace sir, your amazing voice is already missed.

 

RIP June Foray (1917-2017)

Damnit. I KNEW this was coming eventually. When a legend like June Foray reaches 99 years of age, you know it’s only a matter of time before they leave you. And yesterday it finally happened: the last surviving person from the Golden Age of Animation has finally passed away, two months shy of her 100th birthday.

June Foray had a voice talent on a level with Mel Blanc, though many didn’t realize it for years (the saying goes “Don’t say that June Foray was the female Mel Blanc, rather say that Mel Blanc was the male June Foray”).

Among her many voice roles, June Foray provided the voice of:

  • Granny (Tweety Pie’s owner in the Looney Tunes cartoons)
  • Witch Hazel (the green witch who inevitably needs a rabbit for her potion)
  • assorted characters in Looney Tunes and Disney cartoons, often voicing a “nagging wife” character
  • Lucifer the Cat in Disney’s Cinderella (1950)
  • Rocky the Flying Squirrel and the evil Natasha in Rocky and Bullwinkle
  • Cindy Lou Who in the TV special “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
  • Grandmother Fa in Mulan (1998) and Mulan II (2004)
  • Jokey Smurf in the original cartoon The Smurfs
  • and so many more

With June Foray’s passing, the last living link to a Golden Age of cartoons is gone, truly the end of an era.

June Foray as Witch Hazel

Lucifer the Cat in Cinderella

Grandmother Fa in Mulan

Rest in peace June Foray, you are already sorely missed.

An Interview with Paul Henning

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Last month I was privileged to conduct an interview with composer Paul Henning where we discussed (in part) his work in orchestrating Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his work as a performer in film orchestras and the ongoing work of the legendary John Williams. I was fascinated to learn about the process that goes into recording a film score and how the process of orchestrating a score actually works. If you follow the link below, you can check out the audio interview I conducted with Mr. Henning. I hope you enjoy!

An Interview with Paul Henning

Film composer and musician Paul Henning’s most recent project was writing the score for the Tribeca Film Festival opening night documentary ‘Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives’. The film premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Paul had a somewhat unconventional role writing music for this project. While the focus was the cadre of huge music artists Clive has worked with, Paul scored key moments of conflict, loss or emotional gravity that were vital to the story.

Paul also recently released his debut album, ‘BREAKING THROUGH’. The album was crafted with a nostalgic, Americana vibe drawn from Paul’s love of the expanses of the Western US and his love of American History. The album features piano solos performed by the Paul and recorded live with a 48-piece studio orchestra. Here is a link to selections of the album for your review: http://www.paulhenning.com/breaking-through.

Paul has served as Concertmaster for the Golden State Pops Orchestra since 2004. He’s also worked on the score orchestrations for over 50 feature films, including ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens, ‘The BFG’, ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ and ‘Chocolat’. In addition to his film writing, he also works on orchestral arrangements that have been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and London Symphony.

An accomplished pianist and violinist, Henning has performed with the Hollywood Studio Symphony on the soundtracks to ‘Frozen’, ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’, ‘The Maze Runner’, ‘Furious 7’, ‘Moana’, ‘Storks’, ‘Monsters University’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’, among many others. He has also played violin for artists including Barbra Streisand, Michael Bublé, Neil Young, Aretha Franklin, Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban. Henning has served as Concertmaster for the Golden State Pops Orchestra since 2004.

Achievement Unlocked: 350 followers (and then some!!)

Ordinarily I would have celebrated this achievement the day it occurred, but with my hiatus…well, it just slipped by the wayside. But now that I’m back, I want to celebrate a little bit: my blog has passed 350 followers! I’m over halfway to 400! This is a HUGE number to me, and the fact that it happened while I wasn’t actively writing touches me so much because it shows people really care and are willing to wait for me to come back. What’s even more exciting? The fact that I might be celebrating 400 followers sooner rather than later (I’m at 362 and counting). Once I reach that next milestone, I will celebrate with another “Ask me Anything” like when I reached 300 🙂

Thanks to everyone who continues to invest in Film Music Central, this blog would not be where it is without your support. Cheers!!

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Where I’ve been

Hey everyone, so I know I’ve disappeared for a while, just wanted to let you know I’m still here. I got royally burned out right before the 4th of July holiday and I have just been taking some time to focus on some projects and get myself back together.

I’m not sure when I’ll be back, but it will hopefully be this month 🙂

Thanks for understanding 🙂

In theory: Going to a Film Festival

I’m pretty sure my list of “things to do before I die” is close to a mile long. I’ve been fortunate enough to achieve some of the things on the list, and others I’m not sure I’ll ever get to do. But one thing I would like very much to do is attend a film festival (hopefully as a critic, because that would be fun!). In a perfect world (where I could afford to go anywhere at anytime), one film festival I would love to attend is the Anthem Film Festival being held next month (July 19-22) in Las Vegas. Attending this festival would actually kill two birds with one stone as it were, because not only do I want to attend a film festival, I also want to visit Las Vegas at least once in my life. While I can’t actually attend, I thought it would be fun to think about what I would (or would not) do if I did get to go.

For me the most important thing about the film festival would be selecting which films to go see, and that can be pretty overwhelming because film festivals often have a great selection to choose from. But like any festival event, it’s impossible to see EVERYTHING being offered, at some point you just have to miss out on something. So how would I pick? Well, I would start by scanning the list of what’s available to see if there’s anything that belongs in one of my favorite film genres. Failing that, I would do a search by subject matter and see if any of the topics being explored is one I have a personal interest in. In this case, I have a hit with Re-Evolution, a film that is described as “combining V for Vendetta with the philosophy of Atlas Shrugged.” This film would be at the top of my list because I have an interest in subject matter of this type. Other films would be selected based on this choice, with a secondary list made of films I am merely curious about.

I would not actually bring a lot of materials along with me. I travel with the philosophy that the more you bring, the more you have to worry about losing while you’re away. For a film festival, I would probably be content to take a notebook and some pens, to jot down any notes or thoughts regarding the films I’d seen. I would also use the notebook to write down any questions I might have once the film is over.

As for any “Dos and don’ts” regarding what to ask in a Q&A, I confess I can’t think of anything you shouldn’t do (besides asking questions that are inappropriate or in bad taste). I’m sure the best way to spend a Q&A is to listen intently to what is being asked, and if there’s a point in the film that you really want clarified, don’t be afraid to go to the microphone and ask, you may not get the chance later.

For anyone travelling there, it is always good to look up travel deals like those found here. Many times (but not always), airlines and hotels will have discounts available if you are travelling to a big event, especially if you can arrange to be travelling as part of a group.

And that is a small taste of what I would do I went to a film festival. Hopefully I WILL get to go someday and afterwards I’ll get to share about all the wonderful films I saw. Hope you enjoyed!

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