Birdman cinematographer, Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki: “We had the drum-driven score going, because the drums were like the heartbeat of the character — it helped the actors get in the mood and the camera to get the rhythm.”
In Conversation With Jazz Drummer and Composer Antonio Sánchez
Adriana Teresa Letorney, Co-founder & Creative Director of FotoVisura, Inc
AT: The Oscars disqualified your film score for Birdman. Why?
Sánchez: Their explanation is that the licensed or incidental classical music “dilutes” my original score enough that it deemed disqualification.
AT: What is your perspective on the disqualification?
Sánchez: Basically, …the Academy is saying…the classical music takes so much away from my score that it is ineligible. [T]he score has been getting a lot of praise for something…I performed…by myself on drums — an instrument…many might not consider worthy of producing emotion the way a symphonic orchestra would. I have been playing drums for over 38 years and composing for over 20. [M]y main goal is always to communicate with the audience, and say something meaningful with my instrument.
Nobody walks out of that movie raving about the classical music. Instead, everybody talks about my score because it is very unique, new and powerful and it has never been done like that for a film.
My main issue with the disqualification is…it takes away from the artistic risk, innovation and originality…we put into the film score. [I]t sets a bad precedent for other composers that will want to take risks and do something innovative.