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Newsletter #3: ANNOUNCING: MEDIA MUSICIANS DATABASE by Peter Hackman
IMDB LISTING: THE LONE RANGER
1,294 FILMMAKERS... ONLY 4 PLAYERS
A FAN OF FILM MUSIC
While growing up in Indiana and listening to film music religiously, I always wondered, who are all these people I keep hearing from score to score and whose names I see on the back and inside of my favorite score CD’s? Who performed all those gorgeous and tender piano solos on War Horse? Who is the guy on Finding Nemo who plays all those exotic instruments, most of which I can’t even pronounce? Catch Me If You Can has some really fun, yet poignant saxophone solos by some guy named Daniel Higgins… what else has he done?
GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE
Movies nowadays list everyone and their mother who contributed to the making of a film even if their task was carrying a donut across the lot; that person will have a credit in the finished movie. Why in the world do we not give credit to the talented folks who actually helped us laugh, cry and feel something during our favorite films whether it is a comedy like THE HANGOVER, a drama like STEEL MAGNOLIAS or an action film like MAN OF STEEL.
For THE LONE RANGER, the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) lists 1,294 actors, filmmakers and crewmembers who worked on the movie but only four of the musicians who performed on the score. Among the 1,251 individuals credited for their work on OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (including “Confidentiality P.A.” and “Travel Coordinator”) while only one player from the entire score is listed on IMDB.
MEDIA MUSICIANS DATABASE
I have spent the last several months working on a project designed to address this. As a fan of film music, I have been contributing to the development of THE MEDIA MUSICIANS DATABASE, www.mediamusiciansdatabase.com, a website dedicated to giving credit to the talented artists who perform on the soundtracks to film, television, video games and other new media.
This is a long overdue issue that the initial team behind the database (Anastasia Devana, Jehangir Tajik, Richard Kraft, Elisa Rice and myself) are trying to make right. We believe that giving credit to the HUNDREDS of other musicians whose work is indispensable to the films they helped play on is so EXTREMELY important.
WHY CREDIT MATTERS
Giving credit where credit is due is the RIGHT thing to do. It allows others who are in the industry, such as composers, filmmakers and contractors, to research a performer on a particular score or find out who works with a particular composer. Better Identifying musicians creates new paths for them to receive future work.
There was once a time when very few people knew who even composed the music in a motion picture. Eventually fans discovered Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith and helped bring their names into the public light. Now, even the most hardcore film music buff rarely knows about the musicians who bring these scores to life. This database will also help film music fans discover and learn more about the talented musicians who play on each score with links to their own website and photos of each musician.
Why am I excited to be a part of the Beta version of this site? If there was one guy in Indiana reading all of these names and wondering, "Who are all these musicians?" then I bet there are countless other “Peter Hackmans” throughout the world who would also like to learn who you they are. Growing up, I would have LOVED to have had a site where I could go and learn who performed that incredible oboe solo on Georges Delerue’s final film, RICH IN LOVE (Tom Boyd) or discovered who fiddled those great tangos in MR. AND MRS. SMITH (Bruce Dukov) or banged that crazy percussion on both versions of PLANET OF THE APES (Emil Richards).
Because this database is great for industry people and fans alike, I’m honored to have been able to help with the Beta version of this site for the last several months. That has involved gathering info from countless CD booklets, websites, and other listings. Film by film, score by score, I have been populating the Beta version of this site with the names and credits of so many great musicians (who often have REALLY long names… believe me, I’ve typed them over and over and over!)
To get started I focused on films from the last two years as well as older credits for a few specific musicians and contractors. It is our ambitious goal to ultimately flesh out the data to include all the credits for all musicians on every film, television series, TV movie and video game.
It has been thrilling meeting some of you in person, as I know quite a few films from your repertoire because I’ve been adding them almost daily!!
The database is searchable by SCORES, MUSICIANS, INSTRUMENTS, LOCATIONS and YEARS. It can also be searched by COMPOSER to then find his/her MUSICIANS' LIST by SCORE.
As we are in the Beta testing phase of this project, we would appreciate any and all input and comments of how to improve the site. Once we officially launch the site in a few months, there will be a Wiki feature to allow fans and musicians themselves to add additional credits.
Eventually, we hope to convince IMDB to migrate this information into their database.
MUSICIANS: YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
Musicians: we need YOUR help! Please review your credits and submit any and all corrections, changes or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you feel inclined, you can also send your full resume, preferred headshot and links to your own website as well. This site is meant to give YOU the credit you so richly deserve.
P.S.: As it turns out, the pianists on WAR HORSE were Gloria Cheng and Randy Kerber It was George Doering playing all those great instruments on FINDING NEMO. And Mr. Higgins has been a premier saxophonist performing on hundreds of scores for the past few decades including CITY SLICKERS, EPIC, BATMAN FOREVER and MEET THE FOCKERS, to name a few.
To explore the Beta Version of the Media Musicians Database go to: www.mediamusiciansdatabase.com
FANS OF FILM MUSIC ANNUAL EVENT
PETER HACKMAN - Super film music fan, Peter Hackman wasn’t satisfied listening to film music in his home state of Indiana, no, he created his own yearly Fans of Film Music Event: where anyone and everyone could come and hang out and meet some of their favorite film composers, pose for pictures, ask questions and get an autograph or two. Composers who have joined the annual event include John Altman, Nathan Barr, Tyler Bates, Jeff Beal, Christophe Beck, Marco Beltrami, Bruce Broughton, George S. Clinton, John Debney, Randy Edelman, Cliff Eidelman, Brad Fiedel, Robert Folk, Charles Fox, Tom Hajdu, Reinhold Heil, Lee Holdridge, Joseph LoDuca, Daniel Licht, Deborah Lurie, Harry Manfredini, Cliff Martinez, Mark McKenzie, Trevor Morris, Walter Murphy, David Newman, John Ottman, Stu Phillips, Nicholas Pike, Graeme Revell, William Ross, Craig Safan, Theodore Shapiro, Edward Schearmur, Richard M. Sherman, Ken Thorne, Brian Tyler, Michael Wandmacher and Christopher Young.
To increase their awareness to film music fans, he has now added session musicians to his events with flutist Sara Andon as the initial panelist.
Going on it’s fifth year, Hackman’s FANS OF FILM MUSIC events have attracted attendees from around the globe including devotes from throughout America, Spain, UK, Canada and Europe.
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