So, What Does Hollywood Think About Electronic Music Anyway?
Last week we brought you news of electronic music veteran Pete Tong’s call for an increase in dance related cinematic representations. Essentially, Tong expressed his concern (née, frustration) with the scene’s general lack of representation, as plot-centric device, in studio produced and backed film and television content. “It frustrates me that we haven’t made an impression in film and TV the way that genres like rock, hip-hop and R&B have. There’s no shortage of award-winning documentaries or films scored by electronic producers — so where is the cinematic reflection of our culture?”, Tong explained.
Though the independent sector has slowly been turning out electronic music related content for some time now, with films such as Its All Gone Pete Tong, Berlin Calling and, most recently, Eden, it is without a doubt that mainstream media has yet to fully embrace electronic music culture, legacy, and impact, despite being valued globally at some $20 billion worth of industry.
Well, it turns out that Hollywood may have had an ear to the ground all along, albeit one seemingly steeped in stereotype and cliché, resulting in a slew of concepts which have ultimately not come to fruition.
If you can recall, last December saw the world’s largest hack of a private company when an elusive collective calling themselves “Guardians of Peace,” claiming to be of North Korean origin and perpetrating the action in retaliation of the release of Kim-Jong Un assassination comedy The Interview, exposed some of the most inner communications at Sony Pictures (NOT to be confused with Sony Music, a separate company entirely) via insecure server data. Exposed was an array of email correspondences, salary information, leaked films, and more.
This week, Wikileaks got ahold of some 5,000 of these correspondences, which have been published in their entirety, and the public managed to get an even better look inside the mind of a multi-national power hitter. Amongst the slew of new information came some interesting news regarding the potential of an electronic music based, big budget, feature film, as well as some of Sony’s top brass’ concerns and suggestions for improvement, ultimately leaving the project on the scrapheap. Additionally, it is shown that numerous Sony Pictures employees had received advice on utilising the booming industry within its content. “EDM (electronic dance music) is the defining music for Millennials. Wondering if there’s an EDM angle somewhere with Spidey? His movements are beautiful, would be awesome with a killer DJ behind it,” youth marketing organisation, Astronauts Wanted pitched regarding the upcoming Spiderman reboot films.
The previous correspondence took place in November 2013, around the same time the studio was developing a big budget feature film entitled “I’m In Love With A DJ,” whose (unofficial) logline reads as,“three twenty something women going through versions of quarter life crises and one of them goes on a business trip to Barcelona and falls in love with an EDM DJ.” Seemingly, the premise was met with subdued enthusiasm by exec Jonathan Kadin, “I agree with him that this could be a hit for female millennials (Michael De Luca, producer and screenwriter). Script and characters need work (there may be one too many cunnilingus set pieces and way too much cocaine, among other shortcomings) but it is laugh out loud funny“.
Though the electronic music specific content amongst the 5,000 emails is scarce (and somewhat tedious to comb through), it does seem to imply that the scene is, in fact, beginning to penetrate different realms of visual media. As it appears quite regularly in advertisements, bridge sequences, and on the radio, perhaps Pete Tong may get his wish sooner than he may think. Undeniably mainstream and “EDM” oriented, it should come as no surprise that the Hollywood production machine would embrace a more template-driven approach to creativity, but if legacy is a prominent conversation amongst scene enthusiasts of any description, the question becomes: Is this a good start?