The Monster Scifi Show Podcast – Scifi News for 8/4/2017

Huzzah, another week has come and another Scifi News Podcast has arrived. What are the “BIG” 3 news items for this week:

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Hans Zimmer Extracts the Secrets of the ‘Inception’ Score –

Hans Zimmer Extracts the Secrets of the ‘Inception’ Score


Having systematically picked apart the critical arguments for and against Christopher Nolan’s film “Inception” and the many possible meanings of that dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream caper, the Web this week went another level into the movie by focusing on its music.

In recent days Internet denizens have gotten very excited about a viral video posted above that compares the Édith Piaf song “Non, je ne Regrette Rien” to Hans Zimmer’s score for the movie. When the video’s pseudonymous author, camiam321, plays the key musical cue from that score, two ominous blares from a brass section, followed by a slowed-down version of the Piaf song which the “Inception” characters play at regular speed as a warning to wake up from a dream state, they sound nearly identical.

via Hans Zimmer Extracts the Secrets of the ‘Inception’ Score –


I am thoroughly pissed off about Hans not winning an Oscar for Best Score for Inception. As I mentioned on an upcoming podcast (coming soon) I had only listened to the Inception score and never saw the movie. Based on how powerful this score was, when I got a Blu Ray player, one of the first movies I bought on Blu Ray was Inception. Hans music was the icing on the cake. The visuals mixed with Hans’ score was absolutely brilliant. I was more than pleased when Hans was nominated this time around since the Academy left him out in the cold for his work on Batman: The Dark Knight.

Mr. Zimmer, who in 2008 was briefly excluded from an Oscar nomination for the score to “The Dark Knight,” which was deemed to have had too many composers (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences eventually reversed itself and allowed him and a co-composer, James Newton Howard, to compete for the award), said he had no idea how awards bodies would react to his “Inception” score’s incorporation of the Piaf track.

via Hans Zimmer Extracts the Secrets of the ‘Inception’ Score –

I am always fascinated when a composer talks about their work. I remembered Michael Giacchino who composed the score for the Lost tv series whereby he included parts of the plane as seen in much of the first season as a musical instrument. I found this piece in which Hans talked about how he worked on the score of Inception:

YM: How did you come up with that iconic blast that’s part of the score?

HZ: Let’s talk about this. Chris had the Edith Piaf song in the script. Right in the intro of it, there are these two little brass nubs. Just in the accompaniment. They’re not even the tune. They’re just lying in the corner of your vision, as it were. And it seemed like a good idea to take the rhythm of that and play it at something like 800th of its speed. Play it really slowly.

I put a piano in the middle of the room and put a brick on the sustain pedal. So when the brass section was blasting away, the strings on the piano would vibrate. That’s what I recorded. Then I slowed it down and did all of the stuff to it. But it’s the same rhythm as the notes in the beginning of Piaf’s song.

I actually had a conversation with Chris [about] if just slowing it down makes it too obvious. Everyone will know straightaway. Shouldn’t we make it a greater riddle? It did actually take people about four weeks to work it out. Well, actually, that’s untrue. People probably did work it out faster. It took someone four weeks to make a YouTube video.

Now giving credit to the winner of Best Score goes to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network. I did love this movie for it’s writing (kudos to Aaron Sorkin), actors, and subject matter. The music for the most part was atmospheric in my opinion which is fine when you doing tv. I’m not knocking it but rather I was not blown away but it either. Bear McCreary of BSG, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The Walking Dead are perfect examples of incredible workmanship on tv today. Even Wendy and Lisa who scored the canceled Heroes series made a huge impression on me. Much like I pointed out on Hans’ methodology, here is something about Reznor and Ross:

Q. You said David Fincher gave you specific direction or really knew what you wanted; was there kind of an overwhelming or over arching theme he had for you guys?

A. [Reznor] Well, we had read the script and David called us in and said, the only immediate direction was, “I don’t want to use an orchestra. I would like it to feel kind of electronic.” He referenced a couple films. BLADE RUNNER was one of them. Not to sound like BLADE RUNNER, but to inhabit the to have a score that felt like the same iconic quality that the music BLADE RUNNER had in its time. Not something that sounds like that or sounds dated like, but might today. And the thing with David though, and I think this is where we we hit the mark right from the start, is David is never making things up on the fly. And it was difficult at first for us to see a film or read a film and read a script that was a bunch of people talking in rooms. It was no great sweeping landscapes or battle scenes or anything like that and it wasn’t obvious to us what flavor or kind of shape the music was going to have.

Okay, so I give some props to Fincher using Blade Runner as an example of the music he was looking for The Social Network. I’m still bummed that Hans did not win this time around. I’m hoping he will not be the next Spielberg of composers whereby he get nominated tons of times and never take home the big prize. Well, he already did win for The Lion King but Inception is leaps and bounds from his early work.
FYI – If you haven’t heard this by now, give a listen to the theme from Jurassic Park where the music was slowed down to 1000%. Click here to hear it.

Q&A: Hans Zimmer


He is one of favorite film composers. Having watched several Ridley Scott’s film in a row recently, I love the mix of the storytelling from Ridley and the underlining music by Hans. I recently saw Black Rain with Michael Douglas. Hans score was to me back then was a cross of Tangerine Dream meets Vangelis, who is another fantastic composer and who worked with Scott – Blade Runner. 

On Black Hawk Down, I immediately heard the early stark drumbeats that I recognized from the score The Dark Knight. The piece on Dark Knight that I am referring to is called “Why So Serious?”.  Click here to hear preview on Speaking The Dark Knight, I just learned about the score will not be considered for an Academy Award for best score in 2009. Go here to read more.  

As I have stated already, I truly love Hans work and have collected most of his work on cd. For me, I enjoy listening over a period of years how a composer grows and matures. For example, James Horner has done great scifi and fantasy film soundtracks for Willow, Krull, and Star Trek II to name a few. When he did the score for Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, there was a great refinement and shift in his themes that was more softer rather than the fast paced motifs did in the early 80’s. From that moment on, he has done some majestic scores for Glory and Titanic in which he won on oscar that are simply awe inspiring. So you see, this is not the first time that I’ve heard film composer using themes over and over again in various forms but if you’re a film soundtrack, you’ll know what I’m trying to explain. 

Read below an interview I found from The Hollywood Reporter online.

Q&A: Hans Zimmer

Nov 12, 2008, 08:54 PM ET

Ryan Schude/


Inside Hans Zimmer’s Remote Control

Fall Film & TV Music: Penny serenade

You’d think after all his accomplishments Hans Zimmer would want to take it easy. You’d be wrong. In the last year alone he’s composed the music for six features: the low-budget Mexican production “Casi divas,” Warner Bros.’ summer blockbuster “The Dark Knight” (with James Newton Howard), the animated hits “Kung Fu Panda” and “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” for DreamWorks/Paramount, 2929 Prods.’ “The Burning Plain,” and, last but not least, Ron Howard’s ambitious holiday release “Frost/Nixon” for Universal. Despite all this, the composer took the time to sit down with The Hollywood Reporter’s Kevin Cassidy for a typically wide-ranging discussion of his life and work.

The Hollywood Reporter: You composed the scores for six films this year. Tired?

Hans Zimmer: I shouldn’t say this, but it never really feels like work. This is truly what I love doing. In this day and age, to be allowed to do what you love is extraordinary. I’m a lucky bastard.

THR: Was it difficult to transition from “Kung Fu Panda” to “The Dark Knight”?

Zimmer: It was actually not hard to get into “Kung Fu Panda.” Going from “Dark Knight” to “Madagascar 2” was tough. “Knight” was dark. So when I started “Madagascar” I was still not that … “friendly,” one could say. On “Kung Fu Panda” — what I love about this film is that it is actually quite a noble story with a lot of heart, and it’s a very good movie. The other thing: I love collaborating. It’s great to work with friends like John Powell and kick ideas around and come up with things together. I was never that emotionally insecure to the point that I didn’t like working with other people. I come from a band mentality, and film is the same sort of thing.

via Q&A: Hans Zimmer