The James Horner theory
bear with me
For decades now there has been a film composer named James Horner who has been dividing opinion in soundtrack fandom.
James Horner wrote the scores for “Titanic” , “Aliens” and a couple of Star Trek films as well as “Glory” and many more.
From the very start many film music fans and soundtrack collectors have had a special axe to gring against Mr. Horner. He has been called a plagiarist, or at best derivative. He steals whole passages from classical music and sticks them into his scores. He also just lifts whole passages from his own scores, whole sections of music, fully orchestrated, and dumps them into whatever score he is working on at that moment.
When you pay attention to film music it is incredibly annoying to suddenly be pulled out of the movie you are watching and hear a piece of score from “Gorki Park” or “Star Trek II-The Wrath of Khan”.
But the thing is, Horner used to be a fast writer (no wonder) and cheap (at least until he won an Oscar). He also has an incredible ear for effective orchestration and an uncanny sense of how to use music to heighten emotion. He also has a great sense of melody. Individual musical themes of his are great (as long as you cannot track down his source). His themes are hummable and lyrical. In other words he has great qualities as a film composer.
How this relates to Lost. The producers got together a great group of writers. They wrote wonderful bits that dovetailed and played into each other. They has a great sense of drama and humour. They set up wonderful premises and knew how to communicate a lot of content in very little screen time. Those flashbacks are models of economy.
But there has to be more to it than that. These guys teased us for several years with intricate interlinking stories and way out ideas and then couldn’t figure out their own stuff.
Think about this. They needed a guy, Greg Nations, just to keep track of their own story continuity. This was because they got so confused by their own plotting they couldn’t keep track. They promoted Nations to the status of producer… And Greg Nations (Jacob bless him) sometimes had to look stuff up on Lostpedia.
Does that suggest people who had a handle on what they were doing storywise?