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Les Miserables film with good singing

Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 06:11pm
Ever since the film came out I wondered how certain scenes would work if the singing and music quality actually was better. So I did a small experiment. I added some clips of emotional singing to the images of the actual film. You can immediately see it takes the scenes to a higher level emotionally.

Although this comparison clip is very basic, I hope this is an eye-opener for some people in the business. I hope it changes views that actors struggling with singing and therefore sigh, speak or groan is not the solution to an emotional result. Other things are. The placements of the notes and nuances make a scene soar and get the emotion across.

What Hugh Jackman does here is actually taking the viewers out of the emotion. It is way too theatrical for film. The funny thing is that many theatre performers do have this needed filmic nuances, as you can hear. Judge for yourself. I'm starting to believe that they really need outstanding singers for future musical films, it's the only way to make it work.

The only way a non-singer can make it work is if the scene is about dying/despair, such as Evita's Lament and I dreamed a dream, with lots of crying and sighing. Only then they get away with it. In all other scenes they don't.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0qQ_7RFGSc

Updated On: 1/10/14 at 06:11 PM
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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 06:47pm
If the cast were to do it on stage, it'd be very different. And since when does grounding source material actually hurt a movie...Cough*The Dark Knight Trilogy*Cough

Though I actually would be willing for someone out there to try and test having the actors sing their songs live as they're filming, and in post production, try to do some tweaks with some of them (as long as they still don't feel exaggerated).
Updated On: 1/10/14 at 06:47 PM
mikey2573
Broadway Star
joined:12/28/10
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 06:57pm
I thought most of the singing in the film of LES MIZ was horrendous and I have always wanted to make a video of the movie with other, better singers in the roles. Unfortunately, I don't have the technological know-how to do such a thing. Imagine what a great film it could have been had they cast people who could actually SING!
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 07:07pm
So you're Dave19 on BWW and Rebecca2044 on YouTube... Are you a Dave or a Rebecca? Or still deciding?
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 07:12pm
Too bad the movie was made the way it was and achieved a good deal of success.
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Wildcard
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 07:14pm
Let it go dude. The ship has sailed. They are not re-making the film because you were unhappy with it.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 07:18pm
Imagine how great it could have been if done better.

I had shivers going down my spine during the editing of "Everyday" and "Bring him home" in this clip, because of the sheer beauty and emotion. The scenes suddenly came to life.

I had shivers in the cinema too, but because of different reasons. And the reactions from other visitors sitting behind me confirmed this. I remember the audience laughing when Valjean reads Marius' letter. I bet they would not laugh when it was done properly like the example. Or do you think the filmmakers intended it as a funny scene?
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amoni
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/04
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 07:19pm
Wow Davey, what a lost opportunity for all involved. With only $450 million in box office, eight Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, and three wins, five Golden Globe nominations with four wins, including Best Picture and Best Actor Hugh Jackman, eight Bafta Award nominations including Best Picture and Hugh Jackman Best Actor with three wins, four Screen Actor Guild Award nominations including Hugh Jackman Best Actor, with 48 award wins & 110 various nominations, then add in the almost 3 million DVD/Blu-rays sold for another $60 million in sales, just imagine how successful it would have been with your advice.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 07:21pm
"The ship has sailed. They are not re-making the film because you were unhappy with it."

Yes, I know that, but it's always nice to chat about it. I would love to see more examples from other people. And of course, there are more films in the pipeline, like my favorite Miss Saigon, so the more people and the producers think about this issue, the better results we can get.
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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 08:49pm
They do know how to sing ASSHOLE! If they did it on stage, it'd be very different!
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 08:57pm
Les Miserables is one of the most successful movie musicals to date. It did not please all of the snobs, dave19 included, but it did please the masses. That is the goal of the film industry, to please the masses and make money. The Les Mis movie is a bonafide success, whether dave19 likes it or not. If you want something with big stage vocals, there are countless recordings, both audio and video, that can be used to satisfy those needs.
While the performances may not have met your expectations, most of them were generally good and technically proficient. They entertained their audience, and in many cases moved the audience on an emotional level. They earned the production company a significant amount of money as well as a considerable amount of awards for artistic (and political) merit. This childish rant of dave19 is old, tedious, and redundant. It is time to give it up.
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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:03pm
I don't mean to bud in again, but I would like to bring this up, it's an excerpt from a review of the film from an internet user on Blu-Ray.com:

"Les Miserables is a fantastic film rendition of the hit Broadway musical. I've seen the live performance 3 times over the last 10 or 11 years, and there are some significant distinctions to be made between the two. The live performances tend to be sung in beautiful, operatic voices that have earned Les Mis the honor of being one of the most beloved musicals of all time. The vocals in the movie version, however, are "gruffer" and grittier, much more in line with the actual characters of the story. I prefer the emotion and intimacy of the lyrics as performed in the movie than the live stage show. "

I'm not saying how you should feel about the movie personally, I'm just showing why you should at least understand why people liked the approach so much. And grant it, just because it's live, doesn't really mean it's gritty, people sing live on Broadway eight times a week, live singing can be a great thing in any way it's done, whether it's proper or gritty, any way is fine (but not quiet like a mouse).
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:20pm
"If you want something with big stage vocals"

Have you guys seen the clip I posted?

Hugh Jackman's performance is much too theatrical. He is lacking every kind of nuance for film. Many stage actors do have this nuances such as John owen Jones, as you can hear in the clip, and a much more filmic performance is the result.

So it's the other way around. This is why people in the cinema laughed during bring him home and where he reads Marius' letter. Not good. It's about the vocal finesse needed for film.

Updated On: 1/10/14 at 09:20 PM
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:24pm
I do not find his voice to be too theatrical in the slightest. I do not think that "Bring Him Home" was a good match for his voice. It was out of his comfort level and I found it to be lacking; however, it did not seem to be a big theatre voice moment to me. Colm Wilkinson on the other hand has a big theatre voice. I don't care for his voice much either, but that is neither here nor there.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:31pm
"live singing can be a great thing in any way it's done, whether it's proper or gritty, any way is fine"

There is a misunderstanding here. "gritty" does not equal "pure, raw, emotion". Because when I compare the clips, the dubbed ones are much more raw and emotional, because of the heartfelt placement of words and notes and hearing the real emotion in the singing instead of a struggling actor that groans and speaks, that only takes away from the realness and raw emotion.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:38pm
"I do not find his voice to be too theatrical in the slightest. I do not think that "Bring Him Home" was a good match for his voice. It was out of his comfort level and I found it to be lacking; however, it did not seem to be a big theatre voice moment to me. Colm Wilkinson on the other hand has a big theatre voice. I don't care for his voice much either, but that is neither here nor there."

Let's agree to disagree then. Because in my opinion Colm Wilkinson sounds very natural on film. It was completely believable. It might just have to do with natural singing talent. Because aside from "bring him home", the rest of the film didn't feel like a good match for Hugh's voice either. I remember I cringed when he walked into the factory and spoke/sang: This is a factory not a circus, now come on lady's settle doooooooooooooooooooooooooooown. Extremely theatrical, it almost sounded like a parody on musical theatre. Every other Valjean I have heard and seen kept it very natural.

The more I talk about it, the more I realize that it just comes down to natural singing ablity and finesse. Only then it works on film. (except crying scenes, they can work with bad singers too).





Updated On: 1/10/14 at 09:38 PM
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:45pm
...according to you. To the millions who saw the film and enjoyed it as is, not so much. Look, you can't please everyone with a film. You obviously love Les Miserables very much, and we get that. You didn't like the film, we get that too. We just don't care. Perhaps we would care more or be more sympathetic towards you if you hadn't been so belligerent about this since BEFORE the film was ever released. The problem is that you decided you didn't like this film before you had even seen it, before the soundtrack was even released. The instant a clip recorded with from a computer screen with an iPhone was leaked you started trash talking, then you recanted your rave about that specific song once you had seen it, further negating your point.

You hate the film, you hated it prior to it being complete, and you continue to hate it now. It has been more than a year, man. Just let it die. Enjoy the crappy fanedits if you must, and let the rest go.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 09:54pm
Remember, he also claimed that B.D. Wong was a bigger than Hugh Jackman.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:00pm
Of course many people loved it, but also many people made fun of it. Those things are unavoidable. The thing here is, how can we make it more beautiful and let the singing feel real for everyone/more people? The discussion here is about the way of singing. We clearly agree that some things don't work. There is nothing wrong with discussing that on a forum because there are many more musicalfims in the pipeline.

"Remember, he also claimed that B.D. Wong was a bigger than Hugh Jackman."
Yep, in Europe he was at the time.

And this is not about claiming, this is about comparing talent and singing styles, to see what works best on film. Thanks for your input.

Updated On: 1/10/14 at 10:00 PM
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:03pm
Part of me just wants to block his @$$, but with at least three movie musicals coming out this year, it may be exasperatingly entertaining to hear him b!tch and moan about those too.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:05pm
Whatever works for you.
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:06pm
What works best on film is what brings in an audience and satisfies them enough to turn a profit. Therefore, the current version worked best on film. If the movie had tanked, you would have a point; however, the film did not tank. It was quite a success, what we have worked, and worked very well.
Dave19
Broadway Star
joined:12/23/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:12pm
So it worked in spite of the flaws, that's great. What's your point? That we can't discuss them for ideas for future films? That this way is the only way to go?

Updated On: 1/10/14 at 10:12 PM
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Marianne2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/28/08
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:26pm
How about we stop hurting the poor dead horses?

And news flash: Most movies have people who love or like it and people who hate it. Get over it.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
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jimmycurry01
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/05
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:36pm
Your point was worked best on film. We have seen what worked best for this film, film actors doing their best to sing. It worked well for Chicago, it worked very well for Mama Mia!, Dreamgirls, and it worked very well for Les Miserables. There are a handful that this did not work well for, but a lot of Phantom's problems lie in terrible direction before they lie on performance. The same is true for Nine.

Stage performers recreating their roles on film, using their bigger stage performances have had a less successful track record. RENT blew and tanked, The Producers tanked. Right now the trend of Hollywood actors doing their best is what is working best for the production companies. That is my point. The point is that this trend will continue for future films because it works best. Your ideas are flawed because it does not actually take the film industry and into account. Business first, artistic integrity second.
Working with kids in Podunk wherever, or what ever you do, is very rewarding, I'm sure. You can focus on art and technique that makes them sound great. It won't likely get them anywhere, but I'm sure they sound super. That doesn't help in the real world where business comes first. The Broadway stage and film are two very different audiences. They cater to different crowds. Your ideas that you want to discuss for film simply do not work for film. Your ideas are for the stage. You want in films what stage audiences want to see on stage. That won't currently work in that medium. It isn't what film audiences want right now. Maybe that will change in the future, but Hollywood doesn't want to take that bet right now. They want to play it safe and earn a profit. Discuss what you wish, but do it with reality in mind, and remember that your movie of choice to bring up to prove your points actually negates your points. Les Mis was a success. It does not work well to prove your point that it would have worked better if it had been done differently.
Jeffrey Karasarides Profile Photo
Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
Les Miserables film with good singing
Posted: 1/10/14 at 10:59pm
I agree with you Jimmy, all the way!

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