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Monday, September 19, 2005

Thank you for the music

Just getting back for a moment to the idea of why the writer is lost in the film making process. Lets look at another industry...

Maybe its because I identify with the plight of being 'invisible' but I often feel bad about music producers. Not for too long obviously. But I mean, am I mistaken, but don't they actually create the sound of the album (or the song). They are similar to the director of a film. The singer is just like the actor - important yes, but essentially another instrument. Is that fair to say that?

Who is this?

Why it's William Orbit. No? He produced Madonna's Ray of Light. But you wouldn't know that from its amazon page. Not a mention of him. I quite like the sound. So I might want to check out some of the other productions of his. Like I might want to see other films directed by Spike Jonze after enjoying Adaptation. Well bad luck. You can't.

Why is that? What is it that says we are allowed to follow Madonna's career but not William Orbit. Unless of course he was a hyphen. Like Dr Dre (producer-artist) or Simon Cowell (producer-TV villain).

And let's not even get started on who writes these songs!


JoNae said...

Well, I don't have any hair straighteners to promote (j/k), but just thought I'd say hi. Hope all is going well with your film career. Ok, now back to studying for school...ugh!

Paul Draper said...

Thing is Timbo, I think these producer/songwriter types quite like the anonymity if coupled coupled with frighteningly large royalty cheques.

Stardom isn't to everyone's tastes but the committed fan can always follow a reclusive producing star or songwriter by looking at their website or a fan message board.

Every now and then though someone gets fed up with being the shadows. With regards to Madonna you can remember the rather cheesy "Jellybean" who tried to kick off his own performance career, then there's the like of Missy Elliot, who used to write songs for others before deciding she needed more Ferrari-style beds (I saw a documentary, she has one of these) and diamonds and decided to perform.

Still, I imagine some people love the idea of having their sounds listened to by millions yet be able to walk down the street.

Likewise a writer or author. A fan might recognise Terry Pratchett, but would the rest of us if we stood next to him at Waitrose? The man's worth a fortune, I bet he uses the deli counter recklessly.

Paul Draper said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Draper said...

Ps those Sedu hair straighteners look top notch, I'm going to buy three.

Tim Clague said...

Tis true in some respects. But why does being a producer mean you are 'in the shadows' and to be out of the shadows you have to do something else?

I don't have to have recongnise Terry Pratchett to follow his career. But I can see his name clearly on a book, I know his work, I can follow his work. If the books just said 'Published by Penguin' in big letters I couldn't.

And he would need to do something else if he wanted to be known for his craft.

Paul Draper said...

Best to define "Shadows" at this point - in this case is wider public recognition.

The public respond to publicity, hype and marketing. A worthy individual sliding faders up and down a mixing desk is not a marketable task, it's only really going to catch the imagination of other persons who are into that field, so the role will never be promoted at the expense of marketing the product (and by product thats the film-director-cast package)

It's generally agreed that some jobs have star quality and some just don't - and back to the fundamental question of the writer, it just doesn't. The product can't happen without it, but perversely the public aren't that interested in it. It's like a car, a person can love a Bentley but not really be into the exquisite camshaft and piston setup beneath.

Finally figured out this photo thing.