2007.03.04 Film updates from Chris Beck
License to Wed and Drillbit Taylor should be done by late spring, with The Dark is Rising to follow in the summer.
2006.09.02 Film updates - straight from the horse's mouth...
CB got back to me in his usual minimalistic style with details of current film projects.
License to wed
"yes, will be recording at end of the year"
We are Marshall
"yes, in the middle of that now, recording in 4 weeks"
School for scoundrels
"done, comes out in USA in september i think"
"all done, and came out [comment snipped]"
He was not able (or thought too dull) to give a reason for not working on A night at the museum but hopes to continue to work with Shawn Levy in future, and currently sees only We are Marshall as a possible candidate for soundtrack release. Let's have our fingers crossed.
2006.03.23 Film updates
Pink Panther is now released by Varese Sarabande
The Sentinel will be released by VS in a matter of weeks
Garfield 2, School of scoundrels and Zoom are all agreed or already in motion.
2005.10.01 Film updates
Yours, mine and ours
... was recorded on 2005.09.30
... has been started but is not expected to be completed until early next year.
2005.08.07 Film updates
In his last e-mail CB was secretive over his next project, but the release calendar is still full for films he has already been involved in. The Pink Panther's release date is now hazily pushed back to 2006.02; Thom Fitzgerald's film 3 needles consists of a main theme and 'a few cues' from Beck, with the bulk of the score completed by Trevor Morris at Chris's request; 2 for the money, now complete, is due for a 7 October release.
A recent request to the message board was for the title of the two musicals Chris and his brother wrote in their youth. Before Blunt decides where this information should be stored, here is CB's response:
my word. dredging the deep past are we? "the nose" and "rumbletown"
are the titles. they received performances at mcgill university and
yale. i doubt you'd find anything in the web.
by the way info on my brother's latest project, a solo piano album, is
As ever, The perfect man has either been lost at sea in the voyage to Europe, or passed me by. Therefore a review of the score will have been delayed. Rest assured that despite the webmaster attending to other sites over the coming months, there will still be frequent updates.
2005.06.19 The Perfect Man
This week sees the American release of Mark Rosman's film The Perfect Man. Christophe Beck's score is orchestrated by regular Kevin Kliesch, and mixer as ever is Casey Stone.
2005.04.03 Current and future projects
According to the details posted in a mini-article at SoundtrackNet (see http://www.soundtrack.net/news/article/?id=582), Beck has now completed recording the music for Shawn Levy's The Pink Panther, which nods both to Mancini's iconic theme and to the 60s groove in general. Scoring sessions for orchestra and for big-band were catered for. US cinematic release projected for 2005.09.23. What the report doesn't mention is that since there is time between the 'completion' and release, changes may be made in the interim, for which the composer is prepared to deliver.
The Perfect Man seems on target to be recorded during April.
Two for the Money is confirmed by the composer as his next projecta sports gambling drama with Al Pacino.
Finally, CB sheds light on the Frankenstein's monster of music credits that is Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. As is always a 'danger' for composers, the film makers fell in love with the temp cues (subsequently licenced for release), and the gaps were filled in by Randy Edelman (one cue) and by Chris Beck (about ten cues), so far as Beck knows. Hence the lack of a composer opening credit. Mikael Carlsson also writes a little on this at Musicfromthemovies.
2005.03.06 Pink Panther info
The official website for the anticipated Beck-scored film is at http://www.mgm.com/pinkpantherthemovie/. It currently holds the trailer and a few photos only. However, given Shawn Levy's track record of creating successful family-friendly big screen comedy (Big Fat Liar, Just Married and Cheaper By the Dozen were all successes and all scored by Beck), and some very authentic Panther slap-stick on the trailer, things should look good for this project. So far as Beck's reputation went from TV scorer to cinematic comedy scorer a few years back, his portfolio is now sufficiently diverse to make this seem a welcome return to bright silly fun.
2005.02.20 Beck music on Angel soundtrack
The Angel soundtrack, which features music from the erstwhile television show, is now released on CD in the UK, and features a short track of music by Christophe Beck from the very first episode. A timely reminder to update details in the film/tv-ography! Check out the details there (remember to scroll down to 1999!).
2005.01.30 Elektra gets released on CD
In addition to the obligatory pop soundtrack, a CD has been released (by Varese Sarabande) featuring 20 tracks composed by Beck, and one co-composed with regular orchestrator Kevin Kliesch. The disc is out right now, and has certainly caused a stir, with Beck providing a number of interviews describing his experimental approach to the score, requiring an orchestral recording session, electronic manipulation, and another orchestra session over-laid.
2005.01.10 Robert Kral's Angel soundtrack released
Someone in America has a very poor sense of humour! The long rumoured (not least by the composer) Angel soundtrack is at last released, but available in the US only through ITunes and the FOX download stores. Bluntinstrument recommends waiting for the CD release elsewhere, such as 2005.02.21 in the UK. (E.g. streetsonline.co.uk)
2004.12.28 Region 1 DVD blitz in new year
Since some of these films barely touched shores outside the USA, this should be welcome news for multi-region DVD player owners. Little Black Book has a R1 release date of 2005.01.04 (and a region 2 release of 2005.02.08); Without A Paddle is on 2005.01.11 (the film is still trying to make money cinematically abroad, so there is no region 2 release date yet set); Taxi is released on 2005.02.15 (with the region 2 disc out in April).
2004.11.20 Garfield DVD
Old news really. Garfield, the [critically panned] movie is out now practically everywhere on DVD. The Region 2 release is on the 26th November, in one- and two-disc versions, but no extra features are advertised concerning the score. I'll be getting the one-disc version, then..
2004.07.17 A Cinderella story released in the USA
Like a moth to a flame, Chris beck is drawn once more to the lurid colours of the teen comedy/romance he scores so well but is rarely thanked for. Especially when a film like this receives such overwhelming negative critical coverage. Unhappily the "soundtrack" release which accompanies the film features songs only, and appears to be little more than a spring-board to Hilary Duff's singing. For more details on the film, see www.acinderellastory.com. So far no news is available on the film's release elsewhere.
2004.07.14 This year's score projects update
The latest news from the horse's mouth is reproduced opposite.
2004.06.04 Angel score CD a possibility
Various sources including the BBC Cult page have confirmed from Kral himself that a 24-track CD of music from the recently cancelled series Angel is in negotiation. No mention has yet been officially made as to whether any of Beck's score for the first season might be included. The BBC also have highlights of a video interview.
2004.01.22 Some film/DVD release dates, updated 2004.06.04
Skulls 3 - now released on Regions 1 and 2
Under The Tuscan Sun - released on region 1; region 2 appears to have lost its release date
Confidence - now released on Regions 1 and 2
Dickie Roberts - released on Region 1; due on Region 2 2004.06.28
Buffy DVD box sets - Region 2 now has all seven seasons available (in some places for now at much lower prices - almost comparable with the US), and single disc editions featuring episodes focussing on favourite central characters; Region 1 discs aren't far behind, although the usual Buffy rights-lag still drags its feet
2003.10.07 Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Radio Sunnydale [updated
From the dead remains of the Slayer's last season, comes a commercial CD release care of Virgin Records. Fans will be infuriated to learn that the US and UK versions of the CD are very different. Head straight to the topic in Buffyverse section for the grim details.
2003.10.05 Details coming in of some Beck cues being included on the CD soundtrack release for The Event. Keep an eye on the TV/filmography page for updates.
2003.09.09 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star - tops the US Box office
on its first week
The story of a thirty-something former child star who hires a foster family to re-create the childhood he never had (according to the publicity blurb) appears to have drawn in a worthy audience despite mostly disparaging reviews from the American press (many claim you'd be 'nucking futs' to pay to watch it). This success appears to be due to a brief lull in blockbuster releases (as the kids go back to school) that has given it a week free of new competition. Official site: http://www.dickieroberts.com.
A soundtrack CD was reportedly released today by Hollywood Records, but track listings have as yet been unavailable online.The imdb.com lists Kevin Kliesch as orchestrator. This appears to be a regular collaboration, since his name is connected as orchestrator to Just Married, Under the Tuscan Sun, Big Fat Liar and The Tuxedo.
Final note: a web source reports that "Ride Like The Wind" (not by Beck) is used 3 times during the film but is not included in the soundtrack. So, what is? Bluntinstrument will report as soon as the information comes in.
2003.08.10 Under the Tuscan sun soundtrack release disclosed
Audrey Wells's film adaptation of Frances Mayes's novel is set to have a ca.45 minute soundtrack release featuring only music by Beck. Coming mid-way through a very busy year for the composer, this soundtrack release is a welcome addition to the meagre list of commercially available discs of his music. Update: The film's US release date is set for 26th September 2003.
2003.08.04 Confidence DVD release schedule
The region 1 disc is due for release on 2003.09.16. Starring Andy Garcia, Dustin Hoffman, Edward Burns, Paul Giamatti and Rachel Weisz, James Foley's film about the con of a lifetime complicated by a new partner in crime will be complemented by two commentaries (from the director and screenwriter), together with deleted scenes and other extras. Beck's score made it to CD along with a bevy of songs, so Bluntinstrument will try to have some content up when he finally gets to see the film.
2003.7.02 Note on the R1/R2 DVD boxsets of Buffy season 4
Region 2 player owners will have had a chance to buy season 4 for some time, but it has only recently been released in the Region 1 zone. According to details gleaned from amazon.com, there appear to be subtle differences between releases. The region 1 boxset seems to benefit from an extra commentary (for Wild at heart (4.06)) and French and Spanish language options. The region 2 set, however, includes the "Inside the music" featurette and subtitles in Danish, Finish, Norwegian, Swedish, English-for-the-hearing-impaired. According to Joss Whedon in various reports, the R1 boxset's Fullframe mode (1.33:1) is entirely as it should be and how it was meant originally, although widescreen enthusiasts may feel differently after viewing the R2 release's anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1 or 16:9).
2003.6.11 Just Married DVD news
American DVD owners (and multi-region player owners elsewhere) will be pleased to hear that Just Married is to be released on the 17th of this month.
2003.5.2 New Beck score release
The label Thrive has released Beck's score to the Edward Burns/Andy Garcia/Dustin Hoffman starrer, Confidence, currently open in America and soon hopefully on its way to Europe.
2003.5.1 Buffy DVD news for Region 2 viewers
Buffy season 5 (featuring a final episode with music by Beck) is currently on offer at CD-Wow. These are usually limited offers. Free postage to UK. CD-Wow also offers marginally the best price on the forthcoming season 6 release (£56 inc. p&p to UK). Season 6 on Region 2 is to be released on 12th May. Beck's involvement was minimal, confined to supporting work on 6.07 'Once more, with feeling'. There are, however, better special features than on the single-disc release of the episode. Beck fans and Buffy6 detractors may opt for the single disc of this standout production, but hardcore fans (and the rich) should hold out for the box set.
Region 1 DVDs are finally starting to catch up, with Season 4 now released at a fraction of the price set for the more timely Region 2 releases. US buyers are unlikely to have players that are multi-region, but UK buyers which had not previously shelled out due to the cost may be tempted by the cheapness of the region 1 discs. Play.com offers season 4 at £36 with free postage, for example. However, Region 2 devotees will be pleased to learn that due to this there has been an attempt to bring down the price of R2 counterparts, with seasons 1-4 and Angel seasons 1-2 sold for rock-bottom £46 at play.com compared to a previous price of £60 and an RRP of £80. Other online dealers are following suit but note that these offers are always temporary, so browsing sites often can produce bargains.
2003.4.21 Once more with feeling on DVD (Region 2)
Bluntinstrument was shattered to note that not only does this DVD push back the release date of the rest of season 6 (not nice for Buffy fans, although it does not feature any further music by Beck) but it also contains minimal extras, one of which is duplicated from the season 4 boxset. Read the review here.
2002.12.23 The Tuxedo on DVD
With no news of any musical extras, The Tuxedo is set for region 1 DVD release on the 25th February 2003 (data from http://www.r1dvd.com, which currently sells region 1 DVDs of Buffy and Angel series at £35)
2002.11.07 The Tuxedo delayed on its way to the UK
Now nearly finished at US cinemas one would be forgiven for thinking The Tuxedo had missed the UK altogether, but no, cunningly bypassing the Potter/Two Towers Christmas prize fight, it reaches the White Cliffs on the 10th January 2003 according to http://www.uip.co.uk/films/tuxedo/
2002.10.06 The Tuxedo score on CD
See the filmography for details of the film and of the CD!
2002.10.04 Buffy DVD update
Good news for UK fans of the series as season 5 (including the BC-scored finale 'The Gift') is released on DVD on the 28th of this month in widescreen (this follows suit with Angel season 2 onwards). US fans needn't fret too much, though, as on the admittedly distant horizon, the beginning of 2003, the 3rd season release is planned.
2002.10.02 Buffy Music Goes Academic [updated]
This website might not be the most high-brow, but it does strive to drive closer to the musical edge than the average fan site, and will list anything without a pulse.
Please examine Exhibit A:
Out there with various off-beat but highly fashionable academic studies of the theories and structures behind Buffy is a new generation of musical analysts who are applying their skills to the music of popular television and cinema. If there is anyone out there currently writing an essay, a dissertation or even a PhD thesis on the music, I'd be cringingly grateful if you could contribute here. In the meantime I've been in contact with Chris Wiley a doctoral student at Royal Holloway, Univeristy of London, whose interest in the subject has led to a paper entitled '"I Believe the Subtext Here is Rapidly Becoming Text": Music, Gender and Fantasy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer', delivered at several academic conferences (at Royal Holloway, University of Warwick and UEA). Chris discusses the use of music in the Buffyverse as a signifier of otherness - inextricably tied both to fantasy (unreality and the otherworldly) and sex(ual difference) - and applies this thesis to the underscore to "Hush", the famously almost-dialogueless episode from Season 4. Chris's details can be found at his current University website here, and an abstract to his Buffy paper is available here. In addition, one of Chris's Royal Holloway colleagues, doctoral student Matthew Mills, has written a companion paper, 'Leitmotivic Procedures in the Musical Underscore to Angel, Season One', which examines Beck's underscore in several early Angel episodes. Chris and Matt are currently working on other studies of the music of Buffy and Angel, and their long-term plans include a book project, provisionally entitled '"When the Music Starts": Music, Gender and Narrativity in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel', in which their papers provide the basis for two chapters. Future contributions will be posted as soon as they are available.
... and Exhibit B:
Slayage, the "Online Journal for Buffy Studies"is a relatively recent and more highbrow addition to the huge Buffy web presence, and in many ways it shames the plethora of fan sites devoted to satiating the tastes of those wanting the slushiest picture of Buffy kissing Angel. http://www.slayage.tv is the home address, but the only article so far published with direct reference to the music is here, which focuses on the main titles music for both Buffy and Angel. Complete with discussion of diegesis and use of thematic examples this is a good start for those with some musical knowledge, although a more far-reaching analysis might aid clarity and perhaps re-affirm the accuracy of gender-specific statements - the web has still yet to offer a deep insight into the music, both Beck and non-Beck, of these long-running series.
... and Exhibit C:
For anyone with £100 to burn and based in the UK, the University of Easy Anglia's Buffy-themed conference includes 4 presentations on different aspects of music from Buffy/Angel. For details and provisional programme listings please click here.
2002.09.20 Once More, With Feeling CD - if you got here by mistake, click here for details. But note also that in November a Buffy Musical Script Book is planned, including not only the shooting script but also the lyrics and some sheet music.
2002.07.08 The Tuxedo - dressed to
kill at the box office
Chris Beck has just finished recording and mixing the score for The Tuxedo (which stars Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt) for DreamWorks, due for release in the US in October. Although a score release is not confirmed, at least the big star names will give the film legs and might improve the composer's chances at an album.
Beck confirms that the final working title for "Uncle" aka "You Promised" aka "The Promise" is... Stealing Harvard, starring Jason Lee and Tom Green, with a US release this September.
And finally, he is about to start Just Married for director Shawn Levy (of Big Fat Liarfame), a romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy. This promises to be "a very thematic, simple, melodic score" and could get its release either at Christmas or or Valentine's Day 2003. What a busy man!
2002.06.11 Big Fat Liar hits the big time
In development it was known as Lost and Found, later as Pay or Play, Big Fat liar may seem like the average pre-packed children's film, with Frankie Muniz (from television's Malcolm in the Middle) plays gifted liar Jason Shepherd who's schoolwork story is stolen by film maker Paul Giamatti. The critics were divided, but American audiences disagreed in February 2002, and made the film a success. UK audiences have the chance to make their minds up in a few days (14th June), leaving the DVD market to kick in: region one on the 24th September.
See http://www.bigfatliarmovie.com/ for the official movie website, consisting of the usual stock-in-trade of slow-loading visual gimmicks making the information and related entertainments difficult to navigate. Not worth checking for Beck fans.
2002 Buffy on Region 1 DVD
Due to network wrangles and the such, Europe stole the thunder from the Americas when Buffy transferred to DVD, but the two regions are now converging, giving fans of Christophe Beck's "Buffy period" the chance for the first time to own a complete season at a time, having each episode in order, back-to-back, with music unfettered by the VHS format's gradually degrading sound quality. Welcome!
2001.12.07 Angel Season 1 DVD boxset. Region 2
Of much interest to this site, since Beck and Robert Kral shared duties, with Kral's apprenticeship over by the end of the season.
2001.11.19 Region 2 widescreen/full screen DVDs; Buffy season 4
It appears from news at the bbc.co.uk website that widescreen master tapes of the finished episodes from Angel season 1 just don't exist, explaining why the recent region 2 release is in full screen. This is not the case with the second season, though (due for a March/April 2002 DVD release), and Buffy season 4 is also expected to be widescreen and available around May 6th 2002.
2002.11.05 Buffy Season 3 DVD boxset. Region 2
The one single time when the US DVD market becomes aware that the region-coding system which carves up the globalmarket is a dastardly tool for greedy mega-corporations intent on deception and world domination. By some trick of fate, Region 2, which covers most of Europe, is home to the first three seasons of Buffy, where Region 1, home of America, has yet to depart from VHS.
For those wary of purchasing VHS in the knowledge that the DVD is available, there are options which Europeans and others have taken advantage of for years now. Many DVD machines are crackable or hackable (often made so by the manufacturer), and many computer DVD drives are easier still. Purchasing from European shop websites is possible, such as Amazon.co.uk, and PC owners might be interested in the most comprehensive of Region altering software, DVD Genie. Note that DVD Genie works only when DVD drives are not themselves region-coded, and there is a tiny Drive Info utility which can diagnose this available at Visual Domain. It is just possible that UK publication DVD Reviewer could have help with stand-alone DVD players.
2001.10.30 Buffy the Musical - Part II
The UPN website (no, I didn't realise it would use the same colour for it's site but with better graphics!) is currently showing trailer and music video for the episode in question, named "Once more, with feeling" (showing 6th November 2001).. My impression brings the word "cheese" to mind, but as with anything Buffy-wise, the meat tends to create deeper responses. The question is... will this seriously impact CB's chances of getting a CD release for his music for the series. In a world where Xena and Babylon 5 get multiple releases of soundtracks (sometimes of dubious value for money), the absence of a score release for the Queen of fantasy appears more and more like one of Cordelia's alternate universes.
2001.10.22 Buffy the Musical
One of the best sites for genuinely new information concerning Buffy the Vampire Slayer is ironically the UK's BBC, whose run of episodes trails a year behind America. However, with a vested interest and decent journalists, they do well in collecting new interviews from cast and crew. At last my watchful eye pays off, and news is broken by Whedon himself about the "musical" episode (7) for season 6 (that's Chrismas 2002 for BBC2 viewers!), currently preparing for shooting. He publically breaks the news that CB is not only taking on scoring duties again, but also arranging songs.
If clicking HERE does not take you to the correct page for the correct interview snippet (RealPlayer required), try navigating to http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/ and checking for the October Whedon interview. Note that quality of broadcast depends on connection speed.
Chris has confirmed that he and Jesse Tobias will handle arrangements for Joss Whedon's songs.
2000.07.12 Chris Beck to leave Buffy (for greater things?)
The Chris Beck Cameo Committee messageboard received the composer's news (also posted elsewhere) that he was to leave Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In his words:
I've decided that it's time to pursue my dream of becoming a big famous superstar movie composer, and I'm leaving "Buffy". It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made, but it's made, and I feel it's the right one, at least for me in the long term.
Soon after, the Committee's dream of getting Beck in front of the camera was realised in "Restless", the final episode of Season 4 (click here for the widely circulated picture), and was subsequently disbanded.
The producers of B-TVS chose Thomas Wanker to replace departing composer
Chris Beck (Who will score the opening episode of the season). He worked
for a few years now as Harald Kloser's (The Thirteenth Floor)
co-composer. For a more detailed list of credits you can go to the Internet
Movie Database, since there does not appear to be a dedicated site
or official site in his interest.