• Lukas Kendall

Best of the Blog!

Updated: May 29


Yesterday I announced that I am raising money to start a film company. I realize that is a lot to ask of the universe!


I don’t like asking for money. I have much more fun when I am giving to the universe, and not expecting anything in return. Much less stress!


To the end, I’ve been happy to publish this blog, which I started last August (2021) and have continued ever since with daily updates. I don’t know how much longer I can post something every day, but it’s been fun to share stories and opinions.


I realize that only a few (maybe 30) are reading this every day. Most traffic comes from when I post a link on social media. And I know it’s not easy for readers to go back to find “the good stuff” because there’s so much of it.


So let me curate the best and most popular columns for you!


Composers

1) My complicated non-relationship with Jerry Goldsmith—and the time he almost kicked me out of the scoring session for L.A. Confidential!


2) Celebrating John Williams on his 90th birthday (2/8/22)—and a funny Williams anecdote. Seriously, read this!


3) Remembering Leonard Rosenman—I got a lot of nice emails about this piece, including from Leonard’s family and friends.


4) FSM’s very happy relationship with the great Elmer Bernstein.


5) Meeting the one-and-only John Barry at a Playing by Heart session.


6) James Horner’s workflow, the glories of Krull, inside his insanely decorated studio and some Horner music theory. Never met Horner, but was fascinated with him from afar!


7) Remembering Phillip Lambro, who wrote the unused Chinatown score.


8) Interviewing Elliot Goldenthal at 1AM in 1993 when he was drunk off his ass.


Film Music Esoteria

A list of the specific orchestrators for each cue in The Empire Strikes Back. (UPDATE: Also Jedi.)

The unreleased 1986 John Barry soundtrack album for The Golden Child.

A list of all the cues from Thunderball, which I made while producing the 2003 expanded CD.

Making the expanded On Her Majesty’s Secret Service CD.

Some behind-the-scenes arguments circa 1973 about ghostwriting on Shaft’s Big Score!

The unreleased Predator/Die Hard CD circa 1994.

How John Williams writes scores.


Personal

What it was like collecting soundtracks as a kid in the 1980s.

That time I ended up buying the Star Trek III from England for $95 (circa 1990).

How my CD collection ended up in boxes under the stairs—heresy!


Filmmaking/Screenwriting

My experience making the Sky Fighter short film.

A sci-fi pilot I wrote with a cowriter a few years ago, GAME—read the script!

The first script I ever wrote, in 1991 when I was 16: a TNG spec script that I sent to the show per their open submissions policy. (Spoiler: it was rejected!)

P.S. I’ve actually written a lot about screenwriting, but I’m not sure the advice is all that useful. Mostly it was me feeling passionate about my opinion du jour. You can sort the blog for all the screenwriting articles by clicking on the categories above, like so: Screenwriting.


Star Trek

The terrible start of Star Trek: The Next Generation: the pilot, the horrendous episode “Justice” and the lame first season.

The second season of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Q Who and Up the Long Ladder.

The third season of TNG, when Michael Piller saves the show.

My fascination with Dr. Crusher’s hair and wigs.


Star Wars

Remembering the 1993 4CD Anthology release (I wrote the liner notes).

A lifetime of Star Wars—and so much Star Wars being made now.

Related Lucasfilm: all about Indy.


FSM Production War Stories

The time we almost pissed off Lucasfilm by releasing the THX 1138 soundtrack.

The Unreleased Turner FSM Sampler CD.

How Warner Bros. drove a hard bargain with their excessive art licensing fees.

Making the I Spy CDs—and Bob Culp was high maintenance, let me tell you!

The biggest jerk I ever dealt with: Michael Wayne (son of John Wayne).

Venturing into the UCLA archives looking for rare CBS tapes.

Some of our celebrity customers.

When I had to throw out all our backissues—so painful!

Helping to publish the oral history of Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Preston Neal Jones.

And the winner and still champion—I’m not proud of this—my single biggest failure, the unpublished Jerry Goldsmith biography.


Musings

Why things are popular (like John Williams).

How annoying it is dealing with spammers on our message board.

The problems of people speculating about ghostwriters and inadvertently starting rumors.

Something random that annoys me about people asking for CD releases.

What it was like when the original 1989 Batman came out and how it changed movies.

My most-played iTunes tracks—they’re not what you think!

Why entertainment journalism often sucks: because journalists kiss ass for access.


Things That Confounded Me

The Matrix Resurrections—I don’t get it.

The live-action Netflix Cowboy Bebop—malpractice! Also here and here.


Videos

A really neat three-part documentary on the FSM crew circa 2009 by Saul Pincus.

A 2000 documentary by Paul Andrew MacLean about film music collectors.

Rare TV themes by Jerry Fielding (I love Fielding).

A rare documentary featuring John Barry scoring Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1972).

1990 press junket interview with John Barry about Dances With Wolves.

The 1989 ballet based on Goldsmith’s Capricorn One score (this is real).


Oh and don’t forget my own little bio video:


Free Stuff

An archive of FSM CD covers at 1500x1500 resolution.

A pdf of all the Film Composer Collector Cards we made at FSM and gave away for fun.


By the way—if I ever mess up, please correct me! And if you like anything and want to reach out, feel free to leave a comment below, or at the FSM message board, or just email me: Lukas@filmscoremonthly.com. Thanks!

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