Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

The Life of Leonard Rosenman, Part One

Film Score Monthly, as it did for film music composers Basil Poledouris and Shirley Walker, has compiled an "in his own words" summing-up of the life of late film composer Leonard Rosenman. He was the often modernistic composer who scored (among others) Rebel Without a Cause, Fantastic Voyage, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Barry Lyndon, and the '70s animated Lord of the Rings. Part One ran this week, where he speaks of his friendship with James Dean and his entrance into film scoring with East of Eden:
I knew absolutely nothing about films, and I asked for something I thought was impossible. I wanted to go through the whole process, from beginning to end, to watch the filming, work with the actors, and let the music be an integral part of the film...

On East of Eden, I went along on location; I wrote the scenes while the film was being shot. I worked with Kazan right from the first day of shooting. And when the film was rough-cut the music was rough-cut. I played the music for the actors before they went out to do their scenes. In scenes where the music carries forth the rhythm of the scene rather than the dialogue, Kazan let me dictate the action of the scene by directing it with me like an opera. To my amazement, he said that he had often wanted to work like that. That's ideal.
Tags: music

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