This is an outrage! I had posted weeks ago that the film world is finally giving drummers some credit. Antonio Sanchez who is one of my favorite drummers composed the music for Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film, “Birdman.” It was genius to use Mr. Sanchez as the composer. He even just got a well-deserved Golden Globe nomination for Best Film Score for it. However, the Academy Awards has deemed that his score was ineligible for this award. Their justification for the ruling?
To be eligible, the original score must be a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring, and must be written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.
Basically they are saying he sampled a few pieces of melodies from preexisting music. Here’s why this is a horrible ruling. There have been many nominated and eligible scores with “preexisted music.” Most recent are Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who were nominated and even won the Best Film Score from the Academy for the David Fincher film, “The Social Network.” In one sequence you hear the use of the famous classical melody of, “In The Hall Of The Mountain King.” Preexisted!
The other example is of this ruling being broken is John Williams’ score for the Steven Spielberg classic, “Close Encounters Of The Third.” At the very end when Richard Dreyfuss is in the spaceship fleeing Earth you hear the melody of the Disney classic, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” John Williams even acknowledges that he borrowed this famous melody and it’s on the soundtrack as said song. Preexisted!
Why are Mr. Reznor and Williams’ score eligible and not Antonio Sanchez? Is it the old school thought of drums not being a musical instrument being played by a musician? It’s just a bunch of noise? Antonio Sanchez is an amazing and skilled musician. He has taken his life to perfect his art of playing drums. He is being robbed of his chance to shine for his craft and for his contribution to this great, innovative film. I beg everyone to share this and contact the Academy! Get their attention and have them go back on this ruling. Long live the drums!