State of the Art Conference 2002


On June 1, 2002 The Society of Composers & Lyricists (SCL) along with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC presented The State of the Art Conference 2002. The conference was held at The Directors Guild of America. SCL President Ray Colcord explained, “We’re very proud of our 6th Annual State of the Art Conference. It was by far our most ambitious, and judging from the response, the most successful.”

Over 300 guests attended the event. Besides the leading composers and hottest directors, attendees also experienced state of the art conference display innovations, including projection screens, and a fully restored version of MGM’s classic film The Great Escape, introduced by the original composer Elmer Bernstein. BT (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Fast and the Furious) the DJ-turned-composer provided a complete on stage demonstration of the art of scoring electronically.

Panelists included Director Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams, Sneakers) and composer Jerry Goldsmith (Star Trek, LA Confidential) who worked together on this weekend’s number one box office hit The Sum of All Fears. Goldsmith and Robinson discussed the importance of the director-composer relationship. Robinson stressed, “you want somebody who understands that at this point in the movie the character needs to look like this, or this scene should have this feel. And a great composer does this.” Goldsmith recalled scoring the Sum of All Fears “on September 11th, we all kind of wandered on to the mixing stage and realized we weren’t going to mix that day and went home.” Director Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) announced at the conference that he would accept the offer to write Indiana Jones 4. He discussed the anatomy of the score of The Majestic with composer Mark Isham (A River Runs Through it, Life as a House).

Other notable panelists included Film Editors Ralph E. Winters (The Thomas Crown Affair), Alan Heim (American History X), and Donn Cambern (The Body Guard), Composer Denis M. Hannigan (Recess Rugrats), David Schwartz and Director Martin Bruestle (Sopranos) along with Songwriters Richard Sherman (Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Alan Menken (Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast) and Glenn Slater.

The SCL also held the first inductions into the SCL Hall of Fame. Awarded posthumously to composers who have made great contributions to film music. They included George & Ira Gershwin, Bernard Herrmann, Eric Korngold, Henry Mancini, and Max Steiner. SCL President Ray Colcord added that the SCL is making further efforts to ensure greater public awareness of the film composing giants. Colcord noted, “Of the five inductees two do not have stars on the walk of fame. That is why we have also launched the SCL Hollywood Star Campaigns on behalf of Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Bernard Herrmann to secure recognition on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”

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