After a very non-conventional year at the Oscars last year with the tragic James Franco/Anne Hathaway blunder, this year the Oscars saw a return to the classic traditions of Hollywood. Billy Crystal returning to his hosting position took me directly back to 1998, the year he spoofed Titanic. Even as a kid I gained an understanding for how classic and celebratory Billy’s brand of comedy can be, which works so perfectly for such an esteemed ceremony. Sometimes it takes a fervent desire to change to spark a series of events resulting in the realization that things were perfect in the first place. Making this year at the Oscars even more delicious was the immense level of recognition received by The Artist.
This was a phenomenal film, so basic and yet so realistically and relatable – so human, that it was incredibly difficult not to love. What I think is so important to remember is that the artist is a foreign film; we just don’t really categorize it that way because we don’t have to read any subtitles. This speaks to my belief that American cinema is hungry for more than just bigger and better special effects and plastic 3-D glasses. If a story can really make us feel something, and love its characters with sincerity, it has achieved so much more than any measurable standards or wealth or excellence.
It was wonderful to see the celebration and pride that comes with each of these filmmakers being so devoted to their respective projects, after having spent months and often years of their time taking risks on something that they so feverishly believe in, and yet have no proof will succeed. And when movies are made with this level of passion, I feel that they are indestructible.
I haven’t spoken much about this in my articles because of the high level of confidentiality, but the project we have been working on the music for since I started at Lionsgate is The Hunger Games. This is a film that I believe will achieve something very rare: big-budget, highly-anticipated status with an equally matched level of heart and passion that has been present with the filmmakers since the project’s initial idea stages. My co-workers have sacrificed nothing on this film; they’ve fought every battle necessary, making no concessions, to ensure that every facet of this movie is as fascinating as the story of the Hunger Games itself. For those who have not read the books, I highly recommend reading them before seeing the film, if you plan on doing so. I felt such a strong appreciation for the casting of the film after having read the story. I feel I was fortunate in a way to have read it before any casting announcements were made or any trailers were released, so that I could view the characters in the way my imagination intended rather than automatically picturing Katniss as Jennifer Lawrence. For fans of the books, please know that this film was made to tell Suzanne Collins’ magnificent story in a way that truly brings it to life.
The incredible score for the film is by James Newton Howard, and seeing such beautiful attention to detail gives me full assurance that the music in this film will enhance and add to all the inspiration the story brings. On this note, there will also be a soundtrack album of AMAZING songs by a number of incredible current artists written specifically for the film.
I am so proud to have been a part of such a highly anticipated and exciting project, and am immensely happy and grateful to report that this film will be my first credit as well. Music Assistant will be my title, and I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been able to have my name on this project forever.
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