Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Walker on Walker Part Eight: The Care and Feeding of Your Orchestra

You know air guitar? Shirley Walker once did air conducting:
I had one experience on a Disney film, where executives had come in to look at playbacks of the scene. The orchestra was on the clock, and so the music people at the studio were very concerned that they were paying these musicians that were gonna be forced to sit around for 45 minutes, and not be able to do any recording... So the request to me was that I rehearse the orchestra on the music that we hadn't recorded yet, while they were in there watching playbacks. I knew the scoring stage, I knew they were all sitting down in there and they could not see the orchestra, but because the podium was elevated, all they could see was my back.

So I told the orchestra -- and of course all the microphones were shut down in the room now, because they were playing back in there. So I explained to the orchestra that this was happening, and I said it doesn't make any sense for us to be rehearsing music that we know is gonna be changed, and I don't want to wear you out because we do have a long day ahead of us, so I'm gonna just stand up here and I will move my arms as if I am conducting, and I began doing so. So as I'm talking to the orchestra, and telling them that this is going on, and I'm dutifully moving my arms, with beautiful motions as if we're giving this most moving rehearsal, that, boy they wish they could hear it in there, but they're stuck watching those playbacks.

And so I did this, and I would stop, and then move the pages of my score and then take out my pencil and turn to the violins, and tell them a joke as if I was telling them what to play in bar 23, or to change a bowing, or something.

Sometimes you have to do these things, because it just doesn't make sense to beat an orchestra to death because they're being paid, and just the process of the film making had gotten congested at some point...
That, and more (particularly on other trends in the film industry and how much she loved working on the Final Destination films), in Walker On Walker: Part Eight, courtesy Film Score Monthly.
Tags: music

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