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Golden Globes: Trent Reznor on 'Social Network': 'It's about creativity and consequences'


"The Social Network" is a story of digital life, but it's a tale told with a somewhat classic approach. And that's the reason the film is continuing to resonate with moviegoers and with awards season voters, according to the Golden Globe winning composer of the film's soundtrack, Trent Reznor, who created the movie's sonic template with fellow winner Atticus Ross. "It's not a movie about Facebook," Reznor said. "It's about creativity and consequences. It's about people."

Cradling his new Golden Globe trophy, Reznor watched the revelers at Sony's rooftop party and seemed genuinely happy — not necessarily the natural state for the sonic auteur behind the harrowing music of Nine Inch Nails. "I feel spoiled by this whole thing," Reznor said of the music he created for "The Social Network." "It was so smooth really."

"There was hard work, but there really was never moments of desperation creatively where we were looking for ideas or approaches," Reznor added of his first major scoring project for feature film (he's next set to write music for "Social Network" director David Fincher's upcoming English-language adaptation of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo").

So did the underpinnings of "Social Network" have parallels to the song book of Nine Inch Nails, which married industrial weight and digital soundscapes but also fever-dream fragility? "Absolutely. The Nine Inch Nails music is an exploration of the machine versus the human and the juxtapositions that happen when they collide."

It was a rare night out for the rock star who has a three-week-old baby at home. "We have a baby that's becoming human," the first-time father said. "It's amazing stuff."


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— Geoff Boucher

Photo: Atticus Ross, left, and Trent Reznor; Credit: Lucy Nicholson, Reuters

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My feelings on this new Hollywood thing of having non traditional composers develop scores for Film is a GREAT idea!
Tron Legacy had a huge turn out, partly due to the films cult following but a large portion of those audience members where fans of Daft Punk (The electronic group that scored the film).
By having a former NIN member help develop a score for a movie based on a topic that is targeted to those of us raised in this digital world of social networking...the feel of the score from this former NIN member matched.
I like it, I love it, I want more of it!

Here's the score on the score.

There has been a great amount of media excitement about the "groundbreaking" score for Social Network.

However, music for film is probably the least understood art form in the cinema. Though fashion may play a role, the principles remain the same whether it's an orchestral score, a song over a scene or solely an electronic palette that's being used. Without going into great detail here, that basic principle is–a second by second relevance to a scene's emotional landscape in tone, musical color and theme. The score is an unseen "actor" in the screen play and is to be chosen for it's character and not because it is so "cutting edge" or excluded BECAUSE it uses acoustic instruments, but rather because this "actor" knows how to ACT and can best tell the story.

Scores that are sound design and are atmospheric may be closer to sound effects, at least by definition, in that no distinct musical note or melody can be discerned but WILL synchronize to the images (a precept). In a case like this, "Best Score" is a misnomer in that there is NO actual music.

In one interview, Trent talks about the "rigidity" of today's scoring, however he confuses style with longstanding film scoring techniques and principles. These principles are immutable and can't be changed. For example: you MUST sing in tune and ON KEY. Any variation of this is called "bad singing" and you will NOT make it to American Idol or on the stage of the Academy Awards to sing Best Song. Blindly throwing music at the picture is called "bad scoring" because there is no dramatic concept being used to highlight and guide the scene as they unfold.

If David Fincher placed Trent's "delivered" music in the picture, that creative placement is called "underscoring" and it can be argued that David Fincher MADE the music relevant (work) scene by scene with judicious editing of the picture and music… and deserves to share in the award.


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