Oscars 2019: Best Original Song and Score Nominees Share Stories at Society of Composers & Lyricists Reception

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“I did attempt to change my title to Lady Gaga final night time,” joked Scott Wittman, co-writer with Marc Shaiman of “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns, addressing the 200-strong crowd at Saturday’s (Feb. 23) annual Society of Composers & Lyricists’ reception for Academy Award nominees for finest authentic track and finest authentic rating.

Wittman’s comment was a lighthearted nod to Gaga’s frontrunner standing for finest authentic track for A Star is Born’s “Shallow” at Sunday’s Oscars. While Gaga wasn’t on the reception, held at Los Angeles hotspot E.P. and L.P., her nominated co-writers — Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt — had been.

As pop songwriters and first-time nominees in a room filled with composers, they remarked on how welcoming they’d discovered the movie music eco-system.

“To get to be in a room with so many individuals I’m such huge followers of and to simply be a part of this group is particular,” mentioned Ronson, after saluting fellow nominee Gillian Welch, who, together with Dave Rawlings can be up for finest authentic track for “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

“I instructed Gillian that I keep in mind going to see O Brother Where Art Thou on the Union Square Theater and strolling straight out to the Virgin Megastore on the nook to purchase the soundtrack … I used to be [like] I should have that soundtrack now.” 

Welch is credited as  as a vocalist and arranger on the 2002 Grammy Award-winning album of the 12 months.

Such good spirits and camaraderie abounded on the occasion, with nominees sharing their tales about fellow nominees or expressing the enjoyment they’ve skilled making new buddies whereas working the Oscar gauntlet.

Ludwig Goransson, nominated  for finest authentic rating for Black Panther, shared his reminiscence of shifting to Los Angeles in 2007 to attend University of Southern California to review movie scoring and assembly Alexandre Desplat, who’s nominated this 12 months for scoring Isle of Dogs.

“I snuck right into a screening with Alexandre Desplat for Benjamin Button. After the film he was getting interviewed by [Variety movie reporter] Jon Burlingame. I simply moved from Sweden to L.A. and I’m seeing this film after which assembly the composer and listening to the composer speaking concerning the film, speak concerning the music. I’d by no means skilled something like that earlier than.”

Shaiman, who’s moreover up for finest authentic rating for Mary Poppins Returns, additionally recalled a narrative about Desplat, who was unable to attend the reception: “After Scott [Wittman] and I had been blessed to have the ability to write Hairspray and mainly moved to Broadway, I ended up subletting my dwelling and studio in L.A. to many people, however the most effective tenant I ever had twice was Alexandre. I distinctly keep in mind as soon as popping out right here and coming as much as say hi there to him and saying, ‘You know, I was nominated for Oscars and now I’m a landlord for folks being nominated.’ So it’s good to be again on the opposite aspect of the fence.”

For Shaiman, his re-entry into the Oscar world — he’s been nominated 5 occasions beforehand — with Mary Poppins Returns is a full circle second, doubly made so by Bette Midler performing “The Place Where Lost Things Go” at Sunday’s ceremony, accompanied by Shaiman.

“In the '60s, I used to be obsessive about Mary Poppins. I listened to that soundtrack album endlessly,” he mentioned. “Then within the '70s, I used to be a teen and I grew to become obsessive about the brand new star, Bette Midler, and I listened to her albums endlessly. If you could possibly have ever instructed me on the ripe age of 59, that I’d get to play for somebody I’ve now labored and lived with as a pal for 41 years, Bette Midler,  could be singing this track that I co-wrote with my finest pal, Scott Wittman, for the sequel to Mary Poppins, you wouldn’t imagine that in a film. You’d say ‘that’s bullshit, it’s simply too corny.’”

Similarly to the “Shallow” writers, for Welch and Rawlings, the immersion into the movie composing world has confirmed not solely pleasurable, however enlightening and maybe a path to an expanded profession.

“I had no concept [‘When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings’] would connect with something,” Rawlings mentioned. “We thought we might write this little track and ship it off and [Buster Scruggs co-director Joel Cohn] would say sure or no and that might be the top of it. But as quickly because the nomination hit, it’s been a whirlwind. It’s been an eyeopening expertise to know that there are individuals who do that all day lengthy and I wouldn’t thoughts making an attempt it someday.”

Among the opposite nominees in attendance had been If Beale Street Could Talk composer Nicholas Britell, BlacKkKlansman composer Terence Blanchard and Diane Warren, who acquired her 10th finest authentic track nod for “I’ll Fight” from RBG.