History of the Hollywood Film Score – Part 1 [In-Person Only]

This event took place Jun 12 - Jun 19, 2023

This workshop has a suggested registration fee of $30.

Sliding scale, pay-what-you-can prices are available starting from $0, but we humbly request that participants contribute the amount that they are able to ensure that the programs remain accessible.

Duration: 3h
Instructor: Chris Julian


Why does music in film affect us so viscerally? How does it completely change the emotional landscape of storytelling in movies? What are the ingredients of this “secret sauce” that composers and filmmakers employ, to tug at our heartstrings in just the right way?

Join filmmaker and musician Chris Julian for a two-session workshop that examines film scoring over the last century of Hollywood filmmaking. We’ll look at the history and theory behind this subtle and sometimes overlooked art form. This workshop will cover the basics of different time periods and trends within film score history, some of the most influential and prolific composers, and the terminology and basic workflow of how filmmakers incorporate original music into film.

These group gatherings will feature plenty of clips to view, and comparisons between scoreless and scored versions of the same scenes, plus different and alternate scores for the same scenes, and how music can shift the perceptions of the audience. Come join us for watching, listening, and many rounds of discussions and debates about how this sometimes elusive craft affects our film-going experience.

Session One:
1- Basic concepts: Diegesis; Parallel vs. Counterpoint; Mickey-Mousing Clips from: Steamboat Willie, Princess Bride, Psycho, Lord of the Rings, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety
2- An Overview of Western Music History: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century
3- An overview of Film Score History, 1927-today Including: The Golden Age of Hollywood Cinema, competition with television, returns to tradition, pop and soundtrack scores, modern textures.

Session Two:
4- A comprehensive review of important and influential Hollywood composers, and famous composer/director relationships.
5- To Score or Not to Score: Clip comparisons from Jaws and The Empire Strikes Back
6- The Temp Score: Practices and Pitfalls Clips from Close Encounters, The Godfather, Star Wars, Psycho,
7- A Temp Score Case Study: 2001: A Space Odyssey, The original Alex North Score, and “temp love” consequences

Click for Accessibility Info

Ticketing, concessions, cinemas, restrooms, and our public edit lab are located on Northwest Film Forum’s ground floor, which is wheelchair accessible. All doors in Northwest Film Forum are non-motorized, and may require staff assistance to open. Our upstairs workshop room is not wheelchair accessible.

We have a limited number of assistive listening devices available for programs hosted in our larger theater, Cinema 1. These devices are maintained by the Technical Director, and can be requested at the ticketing and concessions counter. Also available at the front desk is a Sensory Kit you can borrow, which includes a Communication Card, noise-reducing headphones, and fidget toys.

The Forum does NOT have assistive devices for the visually impaired, and is not (yet) a scent-free venue. Our commitment to increasing access for our audiences is ongoing, and we welcome all public input on the subject!

If you have additional specific questions about accessibility at our venue, please contact our Patron Services Manager at maria@nwfilmforum.org. Our phone number (206-329-2629) is voicemail-only, but we check it often.

Made possible due to a grant from Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, in partnership with Sensory Access, our Sensory Access document presents a visual and descriptive walk-through of the NWFF space. View it in advance of attending an in-person event at bit.ly/nwffsocialnarrativepdf, in order to prepare yourself for the experience.

⚠️ Covid-19 Policies ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to wear masks that cover both nose and mouth while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. We are not currently checking vaccination cards. Recent variants of COVID-19 readily infect and spread between individuals regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about NWFF’s policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

Chris Julian

Chris Julian

Chris Julian is both a filmmaker and a lifelong musician, and he has studied both film history and music history in equal measure. His interests began to merge during college, when he was able to study film scores for both his music history and film theory classes, and this led to growing a large collection of scores in his own personal library, as well as information and interviews from composers. After teaching college classes in filmmaking since 2007, he was able to build a class of his own in film scoring, starting in 2013. He has enjoyed sharing his collection of rare audio and film materials with others ever since.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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