Incognito / 1998 Composed
|2||Tricks of the Trade||3:17|
|5||Rubbing It In||2:24|
|7||On the Run Again||1:39|
|8||Tokens of Rembrandt||1:52|
|16||To Catch a Train||2:19|
|19||Front Page News||1:29|
|22||Change of Fortune||3:12|
"John Ottman's music has emerged...as a brilliant new sound in the spectrum of Motion Pictures."
- John Badham
View a sample score sheet from "Research"
After the flawless sessions for Snow White, I found myself gladly returning to Seattle's St. Thomas Center to record the score to Incognito. I poured a great deal of myself into the compositional architecture of this score, and the film was a composer's wet dream in terms of showcasing technique and colors (it was also a story about artistry).
On our first session, a better definition of "exact opposite" of Snow White couldn't have been defined by Webster. The first chord performed in Snow White was glorious in terms of timbre, interpretation - everything. The first chord performed for Incognito was a train-wreck. By the end of the cue I was aghast that the piece I had given birth to sounded retarded. Skipping the sordid details here, needless to say, the next day we had a lot of new players! We managed to get back the three hours we had lost during that first slaughter of a session. John Badham, who I regard as one of the nicest and therefore most inspiring people I've ever worked with, just patted me on the shoulder and said everything would be just fine.
When things got going again, the orchestra's enthusiasm for Incognito was pretty unprecedented as far as my scores go. They really rose to the challenge of performing a score that is virtually "program music" without any rehearsal. I was very happy with the score but was nervous about the fact that Apt Pupil had already begun shooting and I was facing editing jail - and walking into it two weeks behind. Levity is the best medicine, however, and returning from LAX I was fortunate enough to have a pretty drunk limo driver drive us back home. He drove at about 90 miles an hour in LA traffic, barely dodging light posts and other cars. As we screeched up Laurel Canyon, Damon and I had to stifle our laughter (and fear) as a couple of empty beer bottles slid out from under the front seat.
When we began mixing the score at Blowtorch Flats (Basil Poledouris' studio) in Venice, we discovered a disastrous problem in the score. Static was popping up from track to track throughout. It was discovered to have been a Dolby card problem when the score was recorded. We began dodging and ducking static, until it was just not working anymore. We then sent mixed cues to a digital specialist to remove the static. Unfortunately, frequency ranges were removed as well. It was heartbreaking. The mix dragged on as I was being sent dailies to Apt Pupil, which didn't exactly relax me. Finally, we found a new digital technique to remove the elusive pops and crackles without sacrificing fidelity. It was mastered a little more brightly than I wanted (which will always disturb me), but in the end the score was saved. Then the movie went straight to video. Actually it's on DVD now as well with John Badham, the writer and me blabbing away on the alternate track. I have no idea if I sound like an idiot or not.