November 13, 2008

Academy Disqualifies The Dark Knight Score

Variety is reporting that excellent score for the incredible new Batman movie has been disqualified from Oscar contention. It is a decision that is way off base, in my opinion.

The reason for it's disqualification? Too many composers and not enough credited to the primary duo of Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. You see, when the studio submits the score for consideration, it goes along with a listing of all the cues along with the composers name and length for each track. The Dark Knight score has a total of five names credited to pieces and this is apparently too much.

Frankly, I do not understand what the issue is. Does the Academy have something against collaboration? I can understand if not enough original material is written and outside music is used, but that is not the case here. All of the music was written for this film. Where is the problem?

The reasoning for the multitude of names is an honorable one. In an interview prior to the decision, Zimmer is quoted as saying that this was a way of financially rewarding other members of their team for their work and contributions to the score. Performing-rights societies like ASCAP and BMI use the cue sheet to distribute royalties to composers, so their inclusion will allow them to collect royalties on this music.

This situation just tells me that the Academy needs to seriously rethink some of their rules and regulations to ensure that they make sense because this does not.


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