‘New Moon’ Director Chris Weitz and Score Composer Alexandre Desplat Share Musical Secrets

October 30th, 2009
Los Angeles, CA

Some of music’s top film and television producers, supervisors and editors were out in full force for Billboard’s Film and TV Music Festival on Thursday, October 29th at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. People from all corners of the industry were in attendance to cultivate and learn new information to apply to their careers, or even just to see what made these music supervisors so successful. Companies such as ABC/Disney showed off their impressive musical choices that have garnered them so much attention such as working with The Fray in Grey’s Anatomy and the ever popular show, Hannah Montana. However, the big buzz that surrounded this conference wasn’t because of a 16 year old girl with split personalities. That honor bestows upon this year’s hottest soundtrack and highly anticipated theatrical score for The Twilight Saga: New Moon.

The Official Twilight Facebook page and Twilight Source were on hand to experience two panels devoted to a behind the scenes look into the making and popularity of the series’ soundtrack and instrumental score. The first discussion involved Alexandra Patsavas (Chop Shop Music), Livia Tortella ( Marketing, Atlantic Records) and Paul Katz ( Music Consultant, Summit Entertainment, LLC.) These “masterminds” behind the multi-million selling soundtrack to “Twilight” discussed how exactly they put together the newest ensemble of songs for the film’s sequel, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” Production of the soundtrack started back in December of ’08, which gave the team roughly 8 months to put together another best-selling product. The main priority for this soundtrack was that the group wanted to find artists who would embody the “Twilight” culture, work with the franchise and bring everything they have back to the fans. Paramore did it with “Twilight” and the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Thom Yorke, Lykke Li complete that notion with “New Moon.” Patsavas and Tortella also commented that with “Twilight” they did the artist and band searching, but this time around there were so many offers from mainstream bands to “Twilight-inspired” artists. Twenty CD’s worth of material were submitted by artists for consideration to be a part of the project. The producers worked with Chris Weitz, the film’s director and the bands/artists up for feature on the soundtrack with showing them certain scenes and then asked them to write a specific song to coincide with that emotion. With this, the music producers felt it would bring more of a personal aspect to the song because the song was truly designed to encompass the range of action and emotion in a scene. According to Patsavas, “the reason why the music on this (soundtrack) fits so well is because Chris Weitz sat down with the artists telling them how he would like the scenes to feel.”

Many fans were disappointed to find out that Robert Pattinson ( who plays Edward Cullen in the series) would not be contributing to this soundtrack, as previously on “Twilight”. While the producers enjoyed working with Pattinson on the first film and debuting his musical talents via mainstream, the “Twilight Saga” actor opted out of this soundtrack to focus on his acting career and the success of the movie series. This won’t stop our trio of the films’ movie producers, as they intend to kindly ask Pattinson to contribute to the next two movies in the series ( fingers crossed!). Over the past weekend, the third movie in the series “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” directed by David Slade finished filming, with a release date of June 30th, 2010. However, the music production team stated that they have not started work on putting together this soundtrack, but will in the coming weeks.

After a panel completely devoted to the conglomerate that is ABC/Disney, Chris Weitz and Alexandre Desplat ( composer for the movie) graced the stage to an enthusiastic applause. For those of you who have not been fully introduced to Desplat, he is a multi- Oscar nominated composer of such films as “Julie/Julia”, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and many highly acclaimed French films. Weitz said that he was “drawn to New Moon by the desire to do a faithful rendition of the book, and bring to life all the dark/emotional tones.” Weitz and Desplat had previously worked with each other on “The Golden Compass” and Weitz felt that no other composer could quite encompass the tone of this movie into the instrumental score as Desplat. At first, the movie’s production company, Summit Entertainment, LLC was concerned for the continuity between the scores for Twilight and New Moon. However, the feeling dissipated when they heard early cuts of Desplat’s score. The great relationship between Chris Weitz and Alexandre Desplat was clearly evident on stage, as the two playfully bantered about trips to France and their family. Something to look for in the movie: Desplat mixed “Edward’s Theme” and “Jacob’s Theme” ( and vice versa) to illustrate Bella’s internal conflict between her two loves.

Selected artists from the New Moon soundtrack will be heading out on tour starting November 6th in Los Angeles, CA and touring various Hot Topic location across the U.S. Here the fans can see the artists up close, divulge in some new merchandise and even meet a “New Moon” cast member or two ( subject to availability.) On November 24th, just 4 days after the U.S. debut of “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” fans can expect the release of Alexandre Desplat’s theatrical score.

** Thanks to Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter for allowing us to attend the event. Thanks also to Matt and Andrew from Twilight Source ( http://www.twilightsource.com) for contributing to this article.**3





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Filed under Chris Weitz, New Moon Soundtrack, New Moon the Movie

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