Friday, November 9, 2007

Victory!

Many saw 300 and recognized on its soundtrack several cues from Elliot Goldenthal's amazing score to Titus. I'm very partial to Goldenthal's music, and (full disclosure) a biased fan because I've worked for the man (and to know him is to love him).

At long last, a settlement has been reached, and Tyler Yates ("composer") and the producers of 300 have finally had their comeuppance. I certainly wasn't the only one who noted the plagiarism and contacted EG's camp, but this blogger is proud to have been one small part of sounding the alarm bell.

Listen to "Returns a King" from 300 and then listen to "Victorious Titus." Compare Yates' "Remember Us" to the crescendo of Goldenthal's "Finale." You don't have to be a musician to hear how shameless it is.

It probably went down like this: they started using El's music as a temp track in editing (a standard practice). They fell so in love with it, and Yates couldn't best it, so rather than pay for the tracks or the rights to rerecord it, they just go with "no one will notice." It's hard to say to what extent this is Yates' fault. I'm sure he would rather have had some original music in there, but the honorable thing to do would have been to take his name off, or somehow get Elliot the credit he deserves. Is this a producer's blunder? An incompotent legal affairs division at Warner Brothers? Some executive's idea of cutting corners to save money? Well, a whole orchestra of musicians and a crew of engineers and mixers were hired and paid to record unoriginal music, and now WB has had to pay god-knows-how-much on top of it. Awesome.

Check out the 300 DVD website (image below). The fine print reads:

Warner Bros. Pictures acknowledges and regrets that a number of the music cues for the score of "300" were, without our knowledge or participation, derived from music composed by Academy Award winning composer Elliot Goldenthal for the motion picture "Titus." Warner Bros. Pictures has great respect for Elliot, our longtime collaborator, and is pleased to have amicably resolved this matter.

The same t
ext ran in a full-page ad in the
Hollywood Reporter (thanks, Matty G, for pointing that out to me). Congratulations, El.

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