From 2006–2010 we made six sets of six “Film Composer Collector Cards,” 36 in all. We printed them up and Screen Archives gave them away for free with orders.
You’re welcome to download a pdf of the complete set here. You can even print them yourselves, for all I care, as long as you distribute them in the same manner we did—for fun and for free!
I remember thinking it would be a kick to have trading cards of film composers the way people have of baseball players. And also, it was a way to goof on the idea of collectability, its obsessions and absurdities. (The cards weren’t worth anything!)
We tried to fill the backs with interesting stats, credits and a quote from an interview:
Many thanks to Joe Sikoryak who designed the cards—Joe was our longtime art director and a good pal! Visit his personal/business website here.
I enjoyed that we used vintage photos of the composers on the fronts. So we’d get images like this one—Lenny was a handsome guy!
We thought about getting permissions from the composers or their estates, but then figured...ah, if somebody complains, we’ll just say we’re sorry and see what they want, maybe some free cards? They weren’t being sold, after all—although we did use them to promote our CD catalog—and they were fun and respectful. (Of course, nobody ever complained.)
The six batches:
Bernard Herrmann, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Miklós Rózsa, Alfred Newman, Elmer Bernstein.
Franz Waxman, Leonard Rosenman, Alex North, Bronislau Kaper, Lalo Schifrin, George Duning.
John Barry, André Previn, Jerry Fielding, Gerald Fried, Hugo Friedhofer, Jerry Goldsmith (“Jerry at the Podium,” spotlighting TV projects).
Ron Goodwin, Dimitri Tiomkin, Maurice Jarre, David Shire, Basil Poledouris, “FSM Out of Print” (listing our FSM CDs that were sold out).
Ennio Morricone, David Raksin, Neal Hefti, Stu Phillips, “Johnny” Williams (spotlighting his TV work), FSM–SAE Virginia Team (info on the SAE staff).
Daniele Amfitheatrof, Dave Grusin, Leigh Harline, Johnny Mandel, Morton Stevens, “FSM Online Team” (spotlighting FSM editors).
We didn’t do modern-day composers like Elfman and Zimmer because we were only doing composers who had a certain number of scores released by FSM (I think four, at least, to fit the back-card design).
It became a pain in the butt to do them after a while—isn’t the case with most things, especially when you try hard to make them perfect? (Super-outstanding-special thanks to Jeff Eldridge, who proofread everything we ever did, pro bono.)
I seem to remember it was annoying for SAE, too, because people would bug them for specific cards, and it became another thing to keep track of when fulfilling orders. Ah, unintended consequences!
I have a set or two packed away somewhere. I have no idea where they are.
This is probably as good a time as any to remind people that we have the entire run of FSM CD cover images, in high resolution, available for free online. I know people like to put these with their digital playlists.
Again, thanks to Joe Sikoryak for always staying on top of technological and distribution changes and keeping such great track of our work over several decades!