PLATINUM STATUS What it takes to be a hit factory in today’s recording world
AFM Local 47 Career Pathways pilot program strikes a chord with students
Making the Film of a Lifetime
One filmmaker’s incredible journey
#ListenLA: 70th Annual Emmys
Musicians of the Primetime telecast, Creative Arts & LA Area winners, & special guest column by Emmy winner Gregg Field
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BURBANK, CA (DEC. 15, 2015) — More than 50 members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, Unite Here Local 11, and other unions and community supporters held a large demonstration Tuesday morning against the exploitation of musicians taking place on the Warner Bros. lot.
The group distributed leaflets objecting to the studio’s facilitation of non-union activity on its property. Warner Bros., signatory to the American Federation of Musicians, permitted a non-union “dark” date by Cinema Scoring, an employer with whom AFM Local 47 has a labor dispute. Continue reading →
LOS ANGELES, CA (MARCH 24, 2015) — The Force is with Los Angeles musicians: For the first time in the film saga’s history, the musical score to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be recorded in Los Angeles by members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47.
Composer John Williams—himself a Life Member of Local 47—is currently at work writing the music for this seventh installment in the “Star Wars” franchise. Williams has composed the music for every film in the series since its 1977 debut. While previous films were scored at Abbey Road with the London Symphony Orchestra, “The Force Awakens” marks the first time a “Star Wars” score will be recorded in the United States. Continue reading →
LA studio musicians who recorded the soundtrack of the 1960s profiled in Denny Tedesco’s feature documentary
By Linda A. Rapka
You may not know their names, but you know their music.
The soundtrack of the late 1950s and 1960s was largely recorded by a group of Los Angeles studio musicians known as the Wrecking Crew. The Beach Boys, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, Elvis Presley, the Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, the Mamas & the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, the Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers, and even Alvin and the Chipmunks are but a small few of the hundreds of popular artists for whom the Crew recorded, though more often than not were left uncredited on the album sleeve. Continue reading →
At once slickly modern and touched by nostalgia, The Bridge Recording stands true to its name as a testament to bridging past and present. Sparing no effort or expense, owner/engineer Greg Curtis opened the doors of his dream vision in 2010. The 6,500 square foot scoring and mixing facility houses an 1,800 square foot stage with 23 foot ceilings, two large ISO rooms and a spacious control room. Among the equipment and decor are various nods to the past, none more prominent than the behemoth Neve 96-channel console with provenance from Paramount’s historic Stage M.
Besides being the home of the USC scoring sessions and the likes of Adele and Idina Menzel, the studio records a host of today’s top TV shows including “Da Vinci’s Demons,” ”Once Upon A Time,” “Constantine,” “The Simpsons” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to name just a few. At a recent “Person of Interest” scoring session, Curtis welcomed interviewer Linda A. Rapka and photographer Erik Rynearson to share how The Bridge in just a few short years finds itself as one of the hottest recording spots in town.
Tell me how you became involved in the recording industry. I’ve been a lifelong musician, a trumpet player, since 5th grade in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. That would set the trajectory for my life in music. I still play a little bit, but I spend so much time here and am mainly at home with my family and three kids, ages 3, 5 and 7. That’s prime time for me. I want to give them as much time as I can while I can. That’s a luxury to have.
Concertmaster Katia Popov performs a violin solo during the recording session with the Hollywood Studio Symphony for Lior Rosner’s debut classical album, “Awake and Dream.” Photo courtesy of Lior Rosner
Since moving to Los Angeles from his native Israel, Lior Rosner has made a name for himself as a composer of rare versatility. Perhaps best known as the composer of the theme music for the “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” he has worked in film, TV and video games, and scored trailers and commercials for huge projects and brands.
A graduate of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, he studied composition and theory with composers Haim Alexander and Mark Kopytman. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a film composer. During his many years of success in this medium, he has continued to compose classical music, including chamber works that have been played by various ensembles, among them the Armadillo String Quartet and the Pacific Composers Forum.
But concert music has always been dear to Rosner’s heart, and his artistry is on full display with his new collection of vocal and instrumental works, “Awake and Dream,” released on Bridge Records. Continue reading →
LOS ANGELES, CA (AUGUST 28, 2014) — The American Federation of Musicians Local 47, the labor union representing more than 7,000 Los Angeles musicians, and the Recording Musicians Association of Los Angeles applaud the announcement by Gov. Jerry Brown and other state leaders affirming their commitment to expanding California’s Film and Television Job Retention Act.
Members of the California Film & Television Production Alliance, AFM Local 47 and RMALA stand alongside fellow entertainment guilds and thousands of hard-working men and women up and down the state in commending the governor and a band of state legislators who yesterday confirmed that California’s film and television production incentive program will be expanded, extended, and improved through the passage of AB 1839. The bill gives the program additional funding of $330 million per year for five years, more than tripling the current annual allocation.
Musicians are happy about language included in the legislation that will increase the credit for qualified expenditures relating to music scoring and music track recording by musicians. Further, the bill will urge Congress and the International Trade Commission to investigate aggressively and impose sanctions and tariffs on elements of production, including music scoring, visual effects and virtual photography, protected by the Tariff Act, to combat unfair and illegal competition from international parties. Continue reading →
At an advance screening for Lionsgate-released film “Step Up All In,” Hong Kong campaign supporters distributed leaflets to moviegoers in both English and Cantonese that described how the company is offshoring music jobs on U.S. taxpayers’ dime by accepting millions in tax subsidies. Photos & images: Courtesy Listen Up!
Activist and labor groups in Hong Kong show support for American musicians calling for Lionsgate to stop offshoring film scoring jobs on U.S. taxpayers’ dime
Hong Kong-based Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) and several other Chinese activist groups have announced support of the American Federation of Musician’s Listen Up! campaign calling to end offshoring film scoring jobs.
Vince DeRosa tribute album pays homage to the local living legend
words by Linda A. Rapka
photos by Bonnie Perkinson
In homage to one of the greatest brass players of the Hollywood Brass Golden Era, “Hollywood Epic Brass: The Vince DeRosa Tribute Album,” an album conceived by Kevin Kaska, debuts this month.
It was from listening recently to a massive number of film scores on which DeRosa played that Kaska hatched the idea for a tribute album. “I wanted to pay tribute to one of the world’s greatest brass players still alive,” Kaska said. “Many Los Angeles brass players have him to thank for the techniques he has taught.” Continue reading →