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Author Topic: Movies at the symphony?  (Read 744 times)
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robcat2075

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« on: Oct 28, 2017, 09:32PM »

Tonight I went to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" at the Dallas Symphony.

The movie, with music stripped out, plays on a screen above the orchestra.

I understand why they do it, the place is pretty much sold out, but it's a terrible way to see a movie.

The hall is great for the music during the action sequences but dialog, played on the overhead PA system, is largely incomprehensible, especially when there is music under it.

On the occasions I've seen classic silent movies with orchestral accompaniment it's been a striking experience but for talkies, it's mostly annoying.
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bigbassbone1

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 28, 2017, 10:05PM »

I think this is becoming quite popular all over. You are right, these concerts sell very well. Back home in Melbourne I think I saw MSO do lord of the rings, star trek and raiders from memory.

To be honest it doesn't really bother me so much about the dialogue. I mean, Yes you want to see the film but I would be surprised if concert goers were coming to watch the film having never seen it before.... They want to hear the orchestra!

If you wanted to hear all the dialogue and have a proper cinema experience, you could just do that at home with a dvd. I think the point is to kind of draw your attention to the orchestra.... not to watch the film and forget they are playing live over it.
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Burgerbob

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« Reply #2 on: Oct 29, 2017, 12:37AM »

Just have to have the right sound setup.

I saw La La Land Live at the Hollywood Bowl this summer (amazing show, great movie) and none of it was inaudible.
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 29, 2017, 02:11AM »

Bigbassbone1,
When you heard the MSO do those movies,could you generally hear the dialogue?  They do spend a large
part of rehearsal sorting that out.  We have a couple Harry Potters coming up, plus the new Star Wars.  As long as it’s sparingly, I don’t mind doing them, it can be pretty fun.  You are definitely in shape at the end of 4 Raiders in 3 days!

Mike
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robcat2075

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« Reply #4 on: Oct 29, 2017, 07:47AM »

Yeah, it's a movie I've seen before but not recently, not since the 90s. I didn't recall most of the middle 50% so it was like seeing it new. It would have been great to re-watch it now but I really haven't.

The hall has curtains that can be pulled along the walls to deaden the echo but they didn't deploy those until the second half.  Don't know

The Raiders theme must be tough on the trumpets, I heard several clams throughout but they ended strong.
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Robert Holmén

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bigbassbone1

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« Reply #5 on: Oct 29, 2017, 08:45AM »

Bigbassbone1,
When you heard the MSO do those movies,could you generally hear the dialogue?  They do spend a large
part of rehearsal sorting that out.  We have a couple Harry Potters coming up, plus the new Star Wars.  As long as it’s sparingly, I don’t mind doing them, it can be pretty fun.  You are definitely in shape at the end of 4 Raiders in 3 days!

Mike

Hi Mike!
I mean, Yes it's not like the dialogue was inaudible at any point when I went to see those programs, but there were definitely sections where it's not as easy to focus on the screen as what you are hearing on stage. As I said though, I prefer it like that. It's not like the levels are so far off it destroys the experience for me, I guess I am just very aware that it's a live performance going on under the screen..... but I think in a good way.

I'll ask my brother what he thinks, I'm curious now. I think he has been to more MSO film concerts than me.

Have fun doing harry potter! I think Amanda told me she did that with both SSO and ASO this year and she had a lot of fun. Apparently the troll scene has surprisingly good trombone bits. Wish I could come hear you play it!
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Matt K

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« Reply #6 on: Oct 29, 2017, 09:50AM »

That's a shame they didn't figure out the dialogue. I saw two of the Lord of the rings films in NYC A few years ago at the Koch theater and it was hands down the best performance of anything I'd ever seen ever.
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 29, 2017, 02:41PM »

Just have to have the right sound setup.

I saw La La Land Live at the Hollywood Bowl this summer (amazing show, great movie) and none of it was inaudible.
I agree!
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robcat2075

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« Reply #8 on: Oct 29, 2017, 03:41PM »

But at the Hollywood Bowl... you're listening to the orchestra as picked up by mics and played over a sound system... in an outdoor environment where the dialog audio is not hindered by any hall acoustics.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #9 on: Dec 21, 2017, 12:57PM »

I was thinking about going to see Atlanta do Harry Potter, but the cheapest tickets were about $80.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 21, 2017, 09:15PM »

In Toronto in the early 80s there was a film presentation by Francis Ford Coppola of Abel Gance's 4 hour silent film epic 'Napoleon' with live orchestra. The large orchestra  played on stage at Thompson Hall with a giant screen hanging above us. Carmen Coppola wrote and conducted the score. No dialogue to worry about but with 2 two hour halves,  it was quite a blow for the entire orchestra. Besides playing bass trombone I acted as librarian. At one performance Carmen gave the cue to the crew to start the projectors and then went for his baton which I had forgotten to put on the conductor's stand. He shrugged, started conducting with his hand and a violinist handed him a pencil which he continued with. I whispered to the tympanist to go fetch the baton and we passed it up through the orchestra.  An embarrassing moment for an  inexperienced  librarian.

E.P.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #11 on: Dec 22, 2017, 02:54AM »

In Toronto in the early 80s there was a film presentation by Francis Ford Coppola of Abel Gance's 4 hour silent film epic 'Napoleon' with live orchestra... No dialogue to worry about but with 2 two hour halves,  it was quite a blow for the entire orchestra.

I saw the most recent version of this in 2012. It now has 4 ninety-minute halves.
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Robert Holmén

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« Reply #12 on: Dec 22, 2017, 03:13AM »

I saw the most recent version of this in 2012. It now has 4 ninety-minute halves.

call me vice president of the pedantic society....but surely thats 4 ninety minute quarters?..... :D
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 22, 2017, 04:33AM »


On the occasions I've seen classic silent movies with orchestral accompaniment it's been a striking experience but for talkies, it's mostly annoying.

A few years ago, I played in a concert of music from computer games, with some game action on a big screen. Not so dialogue heavy, so it worked quite well. Some of the writing was superb, especially from Jeremy Soule who did the Elder Scrolls series of games (and they're wonderful adventure games too).

I also saw a showing of Metropolis with a live orchestral soundtrack and that was good too.
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robcat2075

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« Reply #14 on: Dec 22, 2017, 09:44AM »

call me vice president of the pedantic society....but surely thats 4 ninety minute quarters?..... :D

At 90 minutes... it feel like more than just a quarter.  Clever

But is was easily the most knock-out motion picture event I've ever been to.

The Oakland Symphony Orchestra is in the pit down front.

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Robert Holmén

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