Birdsong, a short film I scored earlier this year for Wellington filmmaker Ben Childs, has won "Best Foreign Film" at Indie Fest USA International Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film featured a live-recorded orchestral score which was funded in part by a successful crowdfunding campaign. To listen to a two minute excerpt of the score, click "Audio" to the left and select "Brainwave".
The Google Lunar XPRIZE aims to incentivise the first moon landing since 1973. An upcoming planetarium film about this project has been given a powerful cinematic score by award-winning composer Rhian Sheehan, and it has been my pleasure to be involved as orchestrator and conductor. This is Rhian's seventh and most elaborate planetarium soundtrack and in November the show can be seen in a planetarium near you! For more info, see http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/files/xprize.org/domeshow_overview.pdf
Pictured here are the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra players at the recording.
Beyond the Edge, the film scored by David Long with myself in the role of orchestrator, has had a hugely successful opening at the Toronto International Film Festival. This success has involved a number of rave reviews, and today it has been announced that the film was runner up for the People's Choice Award for Documentaries. This is a stellar achievement for director Leanne Pooley, producer Matthew Metcalfe, composer David Long and the whole cast and crew. The film documents the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. I am humbled and honoured to have had the opportunity to play a small part in this important film.
A boy's tale is my second collaboration with London filmmaker James Cork, and has been just as smooth a process as when we were living in the same city. It's a touching story about a young boy and his workaholic Dad. I tried something new on this score, which was to co-compose the music with one of the instrumentalists, in this case guitarist Mark Compton. It was a rewarding collaboration!
It has been my pleasure and honour to work with hugely talented composer David Long as his orchestrator on the film Beyond the Edge 3D. This docu-drama documenting the first ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary is due to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, before being released in cinemas on October 24.
The score was recently recorded by sections from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and mixed at Park Road Post Production. Composer David Long, better known in New Zealand as a former guitarist from the great band The Muttonbirds, has been a prominent musical contributor to the films of Sir Peter Jackson, recently writing the "Misty Mountains" song from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
To quote the film's website: "One of the greatest adventure stories of all time will come to life on the big screen to be ‘re-lived’ as never seen before using original colour footage and photographs from the time as well as dramatic 3D re-creations of the assault. BEYOND THE EDGE – 3D will document the epic journey of a young Ed Hillary. Produced by Matthew Metcalfe (Dean Spanley; Love Birds) and directed by Leanne Pooley (The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls; Shackleton’s Captain), the film will allow you to experience the extraordinary and inspiring journey to conquer the highest peak in the world."
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
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