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One of his Minor Works
November 7, 2011 10:22 PM   Subscribe

The original recordings of Ray Ellis' background music for Filmation Studios were recently destroyed, but enthusiasts carefully isolate and preserve the scores from broadcast cartoons. These archetypal cues were originally composed for Star Trek: The Animated Series, and used in subsequent series for over a decade: "Tension Mounts", "Danger Approaching (Variation)", "Action Cue 03".
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (18 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's not like I needed another reason to think that Hallmark was the next best thing to giving a damn, but that "recently destroyed" link sure topped off my disdain tanks. What idiots.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:26 PM on November 7, 2011


Yeah, we've been watching bootlegs of Filmation's Tarzan show lately, and the music is very similar, if not outright reused in places.
posted by JHarris at 1:33 AM on November 8, 2011


Ugh. This is the 21st century. Digital storage media for text, images, sound and motion pictures costs, for all intents and purposes, almost nothing. There is literally no reason to destroy something without archiving it in some form except to deliberately be an asshole.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:54 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


if anybody reading this knows of a decent description for how you actually isolate soundtracks from videos, it would be great if they'd post it. I'm having a hard time even imagining how it would work.
posted by lodurr at 4:23 AM on November 8, 2011


(Cues are fascinating to me. Little bits of larger, integrated things in isolation. Then, re-using them as pieces-parts in some other larger, integrated thing....)
posted by lodurr at 4:25 AM on November 8, 2011


That link about Hallmark destroying the original recordings seems really one-sided, but what rational reason would they have for deliberately destroying the stuff?
posted by crunchland at 4:36 AM on November 8, 2011


Even though I fairly recently watched ST:TAS all the way through, and didn't notice it at the time, it struck me here how much "Tension Mounts" sounds like some of Michael Giacchino's music for Lost.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:50 AM on November 8, 2011


Love the '70s guitar in Danger Approaching. Just realized that the Animated Trek is on Netflix streaming, I haven't seen those since they were new.
posted by octothorpe at 5:06 AM on November 8, 2011


Man, even if the shows sucked, production music from that era can be so awesome. Hallmark has committed a crime against culture. Fuckers.

Next time I'm in a Hallmark store I may get arrested for peeing on things.
posted by fleetmouse at 5:12 AM on November 8, 2011


Yeah, we've been watching bootlegs of Filmation's Tarzan show lately, and the music is very similar, if not outright reused in places.

"Outright reused in places" was Filmation's entire business model. They bet - correctly, I guess - that five-year-old me would take no particular notice of the fact that your average He-Man episode had maybe five minutes of new animation in an episode. Now that I'm older, it looks hokey and a little charming, but who am I to argue with success?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 5:47 AM on November 8, 2011


These need to exist as a soundboard app for smart phones.
posted by mecran01 at 6:03 AM on November 8, 2011


Digital storage media for text, images, sound and motion pictures costs, for all intents and purposes, almost nothing. There is literally no reason to destroy something without archiving it in some form except to deliberately be an asshole.

Yes and no. Companies, broadcasters and archives should store their holdings for as long as possible. Not because it's cheap, or convenient, but because that is their duty.

However, no preservation method is cheap or convenient. The digital solution is a bit of a red herring; it can cost as much to rent server space for large lossless moving image files, to replicate data every few years, to create external backups, and to create a sytem to provide access, as it does to build and sustain climate controlled vaults.
posted by dumdidumdum at 6:22 AM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It really depresses me to think that nobody learned anything from the way they wiped the Doctor Who masters. I'm actually surprised that someone involved in all the Star Trek stuff going on in the 90s didn't get hold of all the Filmation archives and salvage them then. What a shame.
posted by immlass at 6:42 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would guess the reason this wasn't saved in some remote digital form is that someone would have pay someone to stop what they're doing and take the time to do it. That's probably where things went wrong.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:43 AM on November 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The thing is, if you don't want to archive this stuff, just give hand it off to the fans with some sort of legal statement about commercial rights and intellectual property. It would be just like throwing it away except it would by you the respect of the fan base (you know, your customers - they people who give you money) rather than their disdain.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:43 AM on November 8, 2011


Kid Charlemagne, While true, most people in charge of companies are still from the era where the "to control information's dissemination is to own it" mindset was the only one that existed.
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:58 AM on November 8, 2011


BTW, while the animation was really stiff and limited, the writing was amazing. They actually got writers from the original series to work on the show, in addition to much of the voice cast. The show has been written out of canon, I believe, but it was excellent for the time.
posted by JHarris at 3:16 PM on November 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Animated Sulu looks uncannily like John Cho.
posted by whuppy at 4:03 PM on November 10, 2011


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