The film was rubbish, to be sure, but nevertheless had offered Geraldstein a broad canvas. He’d written several long-lined cues for the battle sequences, basing them on a pair of contrasting themes: an oboe-led five-note phrase for the heroes and snarling brass sixteenth notes for the villains. There was a tacked-on romantic subplot as well, so Geraldstein wrote a string love theme that was interpolated into many of the action sequences, taken up by brass or woodwinds depending on which side possessed the utterly helpless heroine, football-like, at any given time.

Of course, in that era of CGI, Geraldstein had worked mostly from storyboards and a print with green screen where major special effects would still be added. The director and producers demanded daily updates, as well, so the orchestrators converted whatever DAT tapes were finished at the end of each session on the scoring stage to CD and mailed them across the lot to the admin offices. In retrospect, the comments that came back–“scale it back,” “less noise,” “too old-fashioned”–should have been warning signs.

Then, one day, Geraldstein and his orchestrators had arrived for a scoring session to find the orchestra already warming up, with Calvin Zukovsky conducting it. Geraldstein liked Zukovsky; the boy was classically trained and had apprenticed under Konstantin at MGM. But he had a tendency to cave into whatever the producers wanted for a film, musically, and had been typecast in urban thrillers and romantic comedies as a result. He was apologetic to a fault, even offering to take Geraldstein to dinner, but the message was loud and clear.

His music had been rejected from the picture because it didn’t match a focus group’s impression for a movie starring a rapper, and Zukovsky had been brought in to give it a “contemporary” sound.