My pick for this category is: Star Wars. Few scores give me a sense of joy as the ones for (most of) the Star Wars franchise. They are ones (along with Harry Potter) that I could put into my playlist and not blink an eye. They are universal. So, for my personal connection to Star Wars, I choose it as the best score.
Official rules are all the way at the bottom (if you are curious and you like a long winded read).
Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk. This is his eleventh nomination in this category, winning once for the Lion King.
Johnny Greenwood – Phantom Thread. This is his first nomination in this category.
Alexandre Desplat – The Shape Of Water. This is his ninth nomination in this category, winning once for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
John Williams – Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This is his fifty first Oscar nomination, including five wins: Schindler’s List, ET, Star Wars (1977), Jaws and Fiddler On The Roof.
Carter Burwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. This is the second nomination for him in this category.
RULE FIFTEEN – SPECIAL RULES FOR THE MUSIC AWARDS
A. Original Score: An original score is a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring and is written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer(s).
B. Original Song: An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the motion picture.
There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits.
C. Original Musical: An original musical consists of not fewer than five original songs (as defined in Paragraph I.B above) by the same writer or team of writers, either used as voiceovers or visually performed. Each of these songs must be substantively rendered, clearly audible, and intelligible, and must further the storyline of the motion picture. An arbitrary group of songs unessential to the storyline will not be considered eligible.
A. The work must be created specifically for the eligible feature-length motion picture.
B. The work must be the result of a creative interaction between the filmmaker(s) and the composer(s) and/or songwriter(s) who have been engaged to work directly on the motion picture.
C. The work must be recorded for use in the motion picture prior to any other usage, including public performance or exploitation through any media whatsoever.
D. Only the principal composer(s) or songwriter(s)responsible for the conception and execution of the work as a whole shall be eligible for an award. Expressly excluded from eligibility are all of the following: 1. music supervisors 2. partial contributors (i.e., any writer not responsible for the overall design of the work) 3. contributors working on speculation4. producers and/or arrangers not responsible for the creation of the original song or score
E. A score shall not be eligible if: 1. it has been diluted by the use of pre-existing music, or 2. it has been diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs or any music not composed specifically for the film by the submitting composer, or 3. it has been assembled from the music of more than one composer.
F. No more than one statuette will normally be given in the Original Score category. A second statuette may be awarded when two
credited composers function as equal collaborators, each contributing fully to the original dramatic under score for the film. In cases where three or more credited composers function as equal collaborators, a single statuette may be awarded to the group. Each composer must agree to the single “group statuette” option by signing and returning a Group Award form prior to the submission deadline. Final determination of the awardable composers in the group will be made by the Music Branch Executive Committee.
G. No more than two statuettes will normally be given in the Original Song category. A third statuette may be awarded when there are three essentially equal writers of a song. The Music Branch Executive Committee has the right, in what it alone determines to be a very rare and extraordinary circumstance, to award a fourth statuette. In cases where an established musical group has authored a song, a single statuette may be awarded under the group name in place of individual statuettes for each songwriter. Each of the credited songwriters must agree to the single “group statuette” option by signing and returning a Group Award form prior to the submission deadline. Requests for a group statuette are subject to final approval by the Music Branch Executive Committee.
H. In the case of an original musical, the composer or adapter of the instrumental score may qualify for an award if his or her contribution is deemed relevant and substantial.
I. The Music Branch Executive Committee shall resolve all rules interpretations and all questions of eligibility.
J. It is within the sole and confidential discretion of the Board of Governors to determine what awards, if any, shall be given.
A. For an achievement to be eligible for nomination in any of the Music categories, the submission must be initiated either personally by the songwriter or composer, or by their authorized representative, such as a manager or an assistant.
B. Submission forms must be signed by all submitting writers and must be accompanied by a complete final music cue sheet listing all music cues. Original Song submissions must further be accompanied by a vocal lead sheet and a video clip (DVD, Digibeta or digital files are acceptable) of no more than three minutes of each song, showing how the song is used in the motion picture.
C. The composer’s on-screen credit and submission form , as well as the actual cue sheet for the music as used in the film and supplied by the film company, shall be used by the Music Branch Executive Committee to help determine the eligibility of the score.
D. Submissions may be made prior to the film’s Los Angeles County qualifying run, but must be made no later than 60 days after such opening, or by 5 p.m. PT on Friday, December 1, 2017, whichever comes first.
E. The Music Branch Executive Committee has the right, but not the obligation, to submit any eligible works in all three categories, but must do so no later than Friday, December 8, 2017.
A. Works shall be judged on their effectiveness, craftsmanship, creative substance and relevance to the dramatic whole, and only as presented within the motion picture. Extended, revised, enhanced or alternate versions outside of the film shall not be considered.
B. A Reminder List of works submitted and a nominations ballot for the Original Score category (and Original Musical category, if activated) will be made available to all members of the Music Branch, who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in each category.
C. A Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Song category and a compilation of the song clips will be sent to all members of the Music Branch, who shall watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category.
D. In all three categories, the five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.
E. A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film. If more than two songs from a film are in contention, the two songs with the most votes will be the nominees.
F. If there are 25 or fewer qualified works submitted in any category, the Music Branch Executive Committee may recommend to the Board of Governors that nominations be limited to three. If there are nine or fewer qualifying works submitted in any category, the Executive
Committee may recommend to the Board of Governors that no award be given in that category for the current Awards year.
G. The category of Original Musical may be activated only by special request of the Music Branch Executive Committee to the Board of Governors in a year when the field of eligible submissions is determined to be of sufficient quantity and quality to justify award competition.
H. Final voting for each category shall be restricted to active and life Academy members