Award winning composers helped turn this year’s Netflix Playlist event into an aural and visual spectacle.
The music from some of the streaming platform’s awards contenders and series were brought to life for live audiences alongside immersive, wall-to-wall projections. Alexandre Desplat, Nathan Johnson and Danny Elfman were among those in attendance for an orchestral performance of select music cues from films like “White Noise,” “Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” and “Pinocchio.”
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The event also served as a platform for Netflix to debut various teaser clips from upcoming content like Season 5 of “The Crown,” the pilot season of “Wednesday” and “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical.”
Below are the top 10 highlights of the evening’s festivities:
Alexandre Desplat Guest Conducts “Pinocchio” Score
Best known for his Academy-Award winning compositions for director Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Desplat took to the stage to conduct a series of songs from his and del Toro’s most recent project: “Pinocchio.”
As expected, the songs were imbued with percussive vivacity, brought to life by sounds of childhood whimsy such as the toy-like whirring of a ratchet or the staccato thwack of a wood block. Previous scores from Desplat — “The Grand Budapest Hotel” being a suitable example — highlight unique instrumentation like the balalaika, an acoustic folk sound that was pervasive even in this newest work.
“It actually sounds exactly like what I’d imagine a Guillermo and Alexandre musical palette to sound like,” Steven Gizicki, the music supervisor on the upcoming feature, said of the score. “Alexandre’s score — not to oversell it — but I think it’s his best one.”
For the final song performed from the film, Desplat brought a young girl on stage to sing the lyrics to “Ciao Papa,” which is sung by Pinocchio actor Gregory Mann in the movie. The song is being submitted by Netflix to the Academy as a contender for best original song.
The Cousins Behind “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” Share a Heartfelt Moment On Stage
Nathan Johnson, the composer behind “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” shared a tender moment on-stage with his cousin Rian Johnson, who is directing the sequel film, before the orchestra began their performance of selections from the soon-to-be-released feature’s score.
“I love you so much,” Nathan said to Rian, prompting his cousin to rope him into an affectionate embrace. The two had just finished discussing the long-standing legacy of their working relationship, which dates back to when they were both 10-years-old and making short films on family vacations.
Rian also revealed that “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was his cousin’s first time scoring a full orchestral arrangement — though the grandiose strings artfully embedded throughout the composition were anything but amateur. Despite being down 30 musicians for the Nov. 7 performance (the original score was recorded with a 70-piece orchestra), most of the score’s nuance was still captured, down to the ethereal vibration of a wine glass as a percussion instrument.
Hints About the Score for “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story”
Music supervisor Alex Patsavas, who worked on Season 1 of “Bridgerton,” announced she’s begun talking with the crew of the show’s upcoming prequel series, “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” about the music for the eight-episode limited series.
“I can’t tell a thing,” Patsavas said during an interview panel at the event, when asked if she plans to once again translate contemporary pop hits into a quartet setting. Songs like Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” and Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” are tactfully woven into early episodes of the original “Bridgerton” series. “We’re going to do something really special, but it’s still in the ideation phase,” Patsavas continued.
Last May, “Bridgerton” executive producer Shonda Rhimes signed on to write and executive produce the anticipated mini-series for Netflix. No official release date has been announced, but the show will likely drop in 2023.
Netflix Teases Inside Look at the Upcoming “Wednesday” Series and Opening Theme From Danny Elfman
Audience members got a sneak peek at a scene from Netflix’s “Wednesday” series, which hits the streaming service Nov. 23.
The clip sees Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) seemingly part the red seas as she walks down her school’s hallway and students flee to make a path for her. She stops at a graffitied locker, where she finds her brother Pugsley (Isaac Ordonez) tied up and trapped. When asked by her brother what she plans on doing in retaliation, Wednesday solemnly says, “What I do best.” She then proceeds to enact her revenge on the water polo jocks who bullied her brother by releasing piranhas into the pool during their practice.
The full title sequence was also revealed, set to a dark theme composed by Elfman, who was also in attendance.
“Working with Tim Burton on this, we really wanted to stay true to his aesthetic and to just kind of give our own spin on it,” said Jen Malone, the film’s music supervisor, during the interview panel. “I don’t want to give any spoilers, but there are some really fun on-camera songs that were created.”
“White Noise” Music Supervisor Says Director Noah Baumbach “Gobbles Music”
George Drakoulias, music producer of “White Noise,” reflected on working with critically acclaimed director Noah Baumbach for the upcoming film, who has been nominated for three Oscars between his 2019 film “Marriage Story” and 2005’s “The Squid and the Whale.”
“Noah gobbles music more than just listens to it,” Drakoulias said, describing how the director has music blasting at all times. “He’s music obsessed.”
Drakoulias explained how Baumbach’s passion catalyzed the making of a lively and un-skippable end credits sequence that features a theatrical musical number to the backdrop of an all-new, original song from LCD Soundsystem. Dubbed “new body rhumba,” the LCD Soundsystem track was created specifically for the film and marks the band’s first release in five years. The song was played during the finale of the Nov. 7 event.
Premiere of “Paper Airplanes” Music Video from Ruth B.
Alternative R&B singer Ruth B made an appearance at the Nov. 7 showcase to introduce the premiere of the music video for her ballad “Paper Airplanes,” which is the leading song on the soundtrack of director Tyler Perry’s film “A Jazzman’s Blues.”
A few weeks after the Sept. 23 release of the movie, Ruth B explained she traveled back to Georgia to film the music video, which sees the singer-songwriter in some of the exact locations in Atlanta where “A Jazzman’s Blues” was filmed. Warm cinematography and Ruth B’s haunting lyricism meld together to make the music video feel like an extension of the original film, which follows the forbidden love story of best friends Bayou and Leanne.
“Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” Debuts Ending Sequence
Audience members witnessed the final moments of “Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical,” set to an original song by Tim Minchin, who also wrote the music and lyrics for the stage adaptation of the 1988 children’s novel. Though most of the songs in the upcoming film were taken from the Broadway musical, the film’s closing number is a brand new composition starring Alisha Weir, who plays Matilda, and Lashana Lynch, who plays Miss Honey.
“The movie really called for an ending number, because films don’t have curtain calls,” Tim Minchin, the film’s composer said in a virtual introduction before the clip. “So it needed to be wrapped up. It needed all the thematic and musical traits to be tied with a nice bow.
“Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical” is expected to premiere in the United Kingdom and Ireland Nov. 25, with the film becoming accessible to other countries on Netflix as of Dec. 25.
“The Crown” Season 5, Episode 6 Clip Teases at Nov. 9 Season Premiere
A clip from “The Crown” Season 5, Episode 6 was screened, primarily with a focus on emphasizing the upcoming season’s piano and string-driven soundtrack. The sneak peek shows the Queen tending to her horse stables, graciously thanking her attendants for helping to keep them fed and maintained. There’s both a sadness and a sense of tranquility to her movements as viewers see the royal figure in a context so far removed from her typical world.
The new season begins airing on Netflix this Wednesday, Nov. 9, and will be the first season of the series to air after the death of Queen Elizabeth II — on whom the titular character is based.
George Drakoulias Talks Working With Ben Stiller on “Zoolander” Soundtrack
New York native Drakoulias revealed his current occupation was never his initial end goal; it wasn’t until “Night at the Museum” star Ben Stiller came to him for help on his 2001 film “Zoolander” that he discovered what being a music supervisor entails.
“Like 20 years ago, Ben Stiller says to me, ‘I’m making “Zoolander,” you should do the music,'” Drakoulias said. “I’m like, ‘What do you want me to do?’ And he goes, ‘I don’t know, figure it out.'”
Drakoulias also explained he was responsible for Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It” being the iconic backdrop to the scene where male models Derek and Hansel compete in an intense walk-off. Stiller was all-in after hearing the pitch, and the song made its way into the film.
“I got a call from the guy at the music department, who is not there anymore, and he’s like, ‘Did you show Ben Stiller “Beat It?”‘ Drakoulias continued. “I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ And he goes, ‘Do you know how much that costs?'”
360 Degree Wall Projections in the Lighthouse Artspace
Held at the Lighthouse Artspace Los Angeles, which is located at 6400 Sunset Blvd., the venue for the Nov. 7 event doubles as the hub for the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit by day. The spot was formerly occupied by the original Amoeba Music store, but now its bare walls are used for large-scale projections.
For Netflix Playlist, the 360-degree images featured key art from the upcoming Netflix films and series being honored that evening through musical performances. Grocery store aisles stretched infinitely across the room’s interior for “White Noise,” and lush forest greenery set the ambiance for composer Isabella Summers’ serene score for “Lady Chatterley’s Lover.”
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