Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 5:10 AM   
 By:   KonstantinosZ   (Member)

Probably noone knows, but I thought to give it a shot.

I was curious to know, what is the first score that maybe Williams himself or the people attached to the film (director, producers etc.), thought it had a potential to be nominated for an Oscar?

I mean, I assume not every score that he wrote was submitted for an Oscar consideration (eg. his very early scores: Daddy-O, Because they're young, etc.).
Maybe it was as early as 1965-1966 (None but the Brave, How to Steal a Million, The Plainsman, The Rare Breed)?
Or earlier?


Does anyone know?

This piece of information might show also what was the first score that Williams himself felt comfortable with.

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 5:28 AM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

Per Wikepedia it was the Reivers 1969. He was nominated for best score adaptation before that.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 6:07 AM   
 By:   KonstantinosZ   (Member)

Per Wikepedia it was the Reivers 1969. He was nominated for best score adaptation before that.

I'm not asking about his first Oscar nomination.
I'm asking about the first original score he submitted for Oscars consideration but didn't get nominated.

(I had a hunch that there might be a mix-up with this wink )

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 6:11 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I think the only way to find out this would be if someone had access to the pre-1969 shortlists. THAT's one hard thing to find, I would guess.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 6:13 AM   
 By:   KonstantinosZ   (Member)

Well, I thought maybe a film music historian here or Mr. Eldridge , knows..

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

I recall reading somewhere a shortlist of the scores submitted as potential nominees for the 50th Academy Award ceremony of 1977. I remember seeing things which didn't make it to the final five - ISLANDS IN THE STREAM and THE SENTINEL stood out for me on that list. There were about a dozen others. Not much to go on, but it shows that someone, somewhere knows. Unless it was a fictional list, but I don't think it was. As I say, not much to go on... Maybe I even saw that list here on the Board. Good luck!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 1:09 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I think the answer to this question may be more complex than it appears to be.

It is my understanding that ALL films released in a given year are automatically submitted to the Academy IF they qualify as regards release dates and theatrical runs. (So.....in any given year, you could have a list of 200-600+ films to sort through.)

Once submitted, these lists go to each technical or creative branch of the Academy, for "pre-nominations" selection. This is done for each branch---actors for actors, directors for directors, costumers for costumers, etc. These massive lists are then winnowed down by a voting ballot given to each member of the branch for consideration. That list of winners from the massive list then becomes the "short-list"---so-called because it's shorter than the massive entry list! A "short-list" gives the branch members a general consensus list to focus on and finally select what film achievements they wish to represent their branch.

From there the branch members view (or let their wives, mistresses, boyfriends, cousins frown view ) the "short-list" films---or read about the films---or hear recommendations from their friends about the films---and then vote the 3-5 nominees for that branch. (In the old days the FINAL-nominees lists were much longer---sometimes 10 or more possible contenders in the music category---and the earlier "short-lists" were even longer than that---a reflection of the huge number of qualified films distributed in those days.)

In all of this selection for the final Oscar, the branch votes for the final nominees, and the nominees themselves, are often thought of as more accurately representing the best of the year than the final award.

The final voting for the Oscar is done by ALL members of the Academy---actors can vote for acting and all other categories, composers can vote for music and all other categories, etc, and EVERYONE can vote---for their friends.....against their enemies.....for the oldest survivor in the industry without an Oscar.....for the politically correct nominee of the year.....for the seriously ill or near death nominee---or even, actually, for what they consider the best work of the year. smile

I suspect that all of John Williams' early work---as long as it qualified---made the long submission lists in any given year. How or whether Williams achieved the short-lists would depend on how well he was known in the biz against, say, Franz Waxman or George Duning or Alfred Newman.....how important or famous his scored film was in relation to the most famous films of the year.....how good his publicity or reviews were.....or how important a figure he was becoming in the music category in which he worked. Once these things were achieved, his appearance on the short-lists would be assured, sooner-or-later. In Williams' early days, however, it's likely hardly anyone in the music branch had ever heard of DADDY-O or BECAUSE THEY'RE YOUNG when they appeared on the master lists and, thus, would never have voted for them.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 1:46 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I agree. It's only speculation, of course, but I doubt any Williams films prior to HOW TO STEAL A MILLION (1966) made it very far. Although HOW TO was not nominated in the end, I wouldn't be surprised if it came a long way. It was pretty high-profile at the time; his first real "A list movie", including the music -- which really put him on the map.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 1:59 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)



It is my understanding that ALL films released in a given year are automatically submitted to the Academy IF they qualify as regards release dates and theatrical runs. (So.....in any given year, you could have a list of 200-600+ films to sort through.)



Wow correcting Mandeley in one of his very few lapses. This definitely hasn't been the case always. Ennio Morricone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA score was not submitted by the bankrupt Ladd Company (in fact the whole film and other potential nominees) so it wasn't even in the running that year. It became pretty controversial at the time. The current rules definitely requires submission, nothing is automatic:

http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/86/rule04.html

 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 2:06 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

Manderley, I'm pretty certain that in most categories (documentaries, shorts, and foreign language films being exceptions), the short lists (which aren't very short) merely reflect what's technically eligible. Last year, the score shortlist was announced on December 10, well before several of the films eligible had been released. Yes, most or all of them were likely finished and some were available to screen by then, but those films would be at a real disadvantage if they had to be widely seen in order to be shortlisted.

Merely existing in the right calendar year is not enough to qualify for the shortlist. A score has to be submitted for nomination. (This way, the Academy doesn't have to bother even considering bottom-of-the-barrel stuff where even the people making it have no delusions.) I believe that a moderate fee must accompany this submission form, though Academy members are entitled to some number of free submissions as part of their dues. In general, established composers have it in their contracts that a studio will submit their score for consideration. This is boilerplate, and it's why scores like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," which have no prayer of an actual nomination, are on the shortlist.

I am a television writer, and a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the studio I was working for last year offered to submit my work on a particularly awful show for Emmy consideration. I knew I didn't have a prayer (and correctly so!), so I never filled out the (very simple) form to submit my work. What would be the point? So by that same token, John Williams likely knew that "I Passed for White" was not realistically going to be a contender against "Ben-Hur" and "The Diary of Anne Frank."

Which brings us back to the original question: What was the first Williams score submitted for Oscar? I have no idea.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   KonstantinosZ   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 12:43 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..


Maybe, but they weren't really "A films", were they? -- despite the talent involved (Sinatra & Stewart, respectively and most prominently). They're excellent, "serious" scores, though, so who knows?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 3:24 AM   
 By:   KonstantinosZ   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..


Maybe, but they weren't really "A films", were they? -- despite the talent involved (Sinatra & Stewart, respectively and most prominently). They're excellent, "serious" scores, though, so who knows?


well, not ALL of the oscar nominated scores I see in recent shortlists are for A films.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..


And no one mentions "Diamond Head"? I'm fairly certain Columbia, which issued the OST on ColPix Records, would have submitted it for consideration.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..


And no one mentions "Diamond Head"? I'm fairly certain Columbia, which issued the OST on ColPix Records, would have submitted it for consideration.


Really? It's a clunker of a film, the only saving grace being some great Hawaiian visuals and the Williams score. OK, so they hired Hugo Winterhalter to write the main theme song -- and he had somewhat of a name at the time -- but Williams was practically unknown. Not altogether unlikely, I guess, but I doubt it.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..


Maybe, but they weren't really "A films", were they? -- despite the talent involved (Sinatra & Stewart, respectively and most prominently). They're excellent, "serious" scores, though, so who knows?


And as a side note, studios in those days would submit AND PUBLICIZE nominations for major players for movies that were even badly reviewed. Many couldn't believe some of the full page ads in Variety for clunkers. But back in those days you really wanted to stay on the good side of the likes of Sinatra and Stewart and pushing their films in that way made them feel better about the judgments they made.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 1:31 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Yes Manderley, I agree with the others.
Not every score is submitted for Oscar consideration.
You're submitting something when you think that you might have a chance..

@Thor
Well, None but the brave and The Rare Breed (that came before How to Steal a mIllion) could have been submitted too..


And no one mentions "Diamond Head"? I'm fairly certain Columbia, which issued the OST on ColPix Records, would have submitted it for consideration.


Really? It's a clunker of a film, the only saving grace being some great Hawaiian visuals and the Williams score. OK, so they hired Hugo Winterhalter to write the main theme song -- and he had somewhat of a name at the time -- but Williams was practically unknown. Not altogether unlikely, I guess, but I doubt it.


I was talking about the score, Thor.

Williams was HARDLY unknown. He'd already had an album released with his "Checkmate" music.

I only stated that the studio may have submitted his name "for consideration", especially given that the soundtrack was in the stores.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 2:22 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I was under the assumption that the film had to have at least SOME merit to be submitted, even if it wasn't an "A film" -- even for a music category. But I don't know. We're all just speculating here. I have no answer to Konstantinos' query. I'm just starved for more talk about early Williams and seize every opportunity I get. smile

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.