I'm trying something new: crowdfunding to boost the music budget on my next short film project, 'Birdsong', so that a small orchestra is affordable. Check out our great little campaign video and find out how to support the cause at https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/1056
Hotspot will have its worldwide premiere at the London Independent Film Festival 2013. It will screen on Saturday 13th April at 19:30 at Shortwave – tickets can be bought here: http://www.londonindependent.org/tickets2013.htm
Hotspot: Log In at Own Risk is a feature film about the dangers of social networking. It was written and directed by Vitor Vilela and produced by Natasha Marburger being shot mostly in the UK, with some parts in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Cape Town (South Africa). The final version of the film was completed in April 2013 and features the experienced actor Nick Meaney (Titanic, Gone in 60 Seconds, Beethoven IV), and Patrick Alexander and Marco Marfia
I composed and conducted the dramatic orchestal score for Hotspot in recording sessions at BSS Studios, Royal College of Music, London. The soundtrack caught the attention of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra and an 8-minute medley was performed by them to the public in June 2012 at Auckland Town Hall and the Bruce Mason Centre.
For more information about the movie, see Hotspot's newly redesigned website at http://www.hotspot-themovie.com. Audio excerpts of the score are on that site and also the audio page of this site.
El Tiempo de la Luz, a short film I scored in late 2011, is soon to have its third festival screening, at the European Short Film Festival. The screening will take place at MIT, Cambridge Massachusetts, on April 21 at 7pm. Previous festival screenings for this successful little film have been at The Three Minute Film Fest in Santa Fe, and the Zero Film Festival in London. The blurb for El Tiempo de la Luz at the latest festival reads: "In a light bulb forest there is a man who has no more time to lose. His time is running out but he has a plan: find the light." An audio excerpt from my score can be found on the audio page of this website. Enjoy!
Park Road Post Production is the centre of Peter Jackson's plush post-production facilities in Wellington, New Zealand, and is the building in which Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and King Kong were all finished off (to name a few). It was my pleasure to have my first involvement with the wonderful team there earlier this month, when I recorded my score for Shekar Dattatri's conservation documentary Chilika: Jewel of Odisha. Fourteen members of Orchestra Wellington played superbly. Engineering the recording expertly were Nigel Scott and John Neill, who's credits in sound and music editing include all of the aforementioned films and many more. It was a superb way to start off my film composing work in Wellington, after leaving a record-breaking English winter for a record-breaking New Zealand summer at the start of 2013. You can hear four of the cues I wrote by clicking on the audio link to the left and then clicking on any of the four nature images at the top of the page. Enjoy!
Two short films which I've scored recently will be screened on the same evening at BAFTA in London. They are "Internal", directed by Oliver McGuirk, and "Odd", directed by Karim El-Shenawy. "Internal" tells the story of Elizabeth, a woman who is struggling to control her alter-ego that could destroy her, or bring her eternal serenity. Odd is a social satire about feeling inadequate in what one considers to be their home. Adel Iskandar, a Christian Egyptian, comes home one day to find that his neighbours have just fixed the building elevator and decided to incorporate a speaker with an Islamic prayer. They invite him to try it for the first time with them. While Adel is unconfortable, his neighbours are very happy with the new invention. This elevator becomes a tight space where religion, politics and life are discussed.
Tuesday the 22nd of January 2013 at 6:00pm.
195 Piccadilly, London, W1J9LN
Reserve your seat at firstname.lastname@example.org
Each year, the annual festival "Soundtrack Cologne" runs a competition for young film composers and sound designers. This year I entered, as a composer in partnership with the brilliant sound designer Robert Ashbridge. Our entry is one of 14 that have been nominated to win! All entrants were asked to put new music and new sound to the award-winning 6 minute animation "Apollo", by Felix Gonnert. All 14 nominee soundtracks will be screened at Soundtrack Cologne 9.0 on Novermeber 17, and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards. With the hard work all done, all Rob and I can now do is wait patiently and hope for the best! Rob and I have previously worked together on my feature film score, which Rob mixed. It's great that our teamwork can be rewarded by this exciting nomination. STC 9.0 will host special guest Michael Nyman, most famous as composer of the multi-platinum soundtrack album of Jane Campion's 1993 film, The Piano. It's shaping up to be an exciting event! For more information on STC 9.0, please visit: http://www.soundtrackcologne.de
For those in the UK, I highly recommend watching Treasures of Ancient Rome at 9pm tonight (Monday 10 September) on BBC Four. (Also available on iPlayer for a while.) It's the second episode of a wonderful documentary series on Roman art and architecture, presented engagingly by art critic Alastair Sooke. The score is comprised of many stirring and evocative production library tracks by a handful of composers including myself and two of my colleagues from the Royal College of Music. The third and final episode features my music most prominently, and is scheduled for broadcast on Monday 17 September, 9pm on BBC Four. Enjoy!
I've uploaded a four minute documentary about the music of Hotspot, including a truly EPIC snippet of the Auckland Symphony Orchestra's performance of the concert version of the score. Enjoy it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxDHN5aDpbc and leave a comment if you feel so inclined. Enjoy!
Two separate problems are addressed here: 1) the NZ Symphony Orchestra is currently financially unsustainable and 2) NZ's thriving film industry lacks a suitable venue for recording a live orchestra.
There is one solution for both problems: "The NZSO identified the proposed creation of a purpose-built scoring stage as the single biggest contribution to its future financial well-being." (Quoted from page 19 of the public discussion document at http://www.mch.govt.nz/files/Orchestra%20Review%20Discussion%20Paper%20FINAL%20(D-0431153).PDF ) The Scoring Stage would mean that the NZSO earns a steady revenue stream from film score and other recordings, serving both local and foreign films and making it financially less reliant on the government in the long term. It's a win-win for the NZSO and the film industry alike.
But who's going to pay the massive upfront cost for this expensive recording facility? The government thinks it's a gamble. (And 34 million spent on an America's Cup boat that might lose isn't a gamble?) In my opinion the government should fund a sizable proportion of the upfront cost, AND/OR foster cooperation between the film and orchestra sectors so that those with the money in the film industry get behind the Scoring Stage plans. If you agree, please mention this in your submission to the discussion document. Linked above. (Submissions close on August 20).
The score for Hotspot is leaving the screen for the the concert hall on August 12, encapsulated into a 7 minute medley and super-sized for the 80-piece Auckland Symphony Orchestra. Conductor and old friend Peter Thomas commissioned the re-working of the score especially for the upcoming concerts of Stage and Screen music which are detailed in the link below. Do please go to one of the performances if you are in Auckland, as it will be a treat for film music lovers! http://www.facebook.com/events/480701898624619