May in LA has been packed with composer goodies. Highlights include the Sundance Composer's Lab, Bruce Broughton's talk at the Academy of Scoring Arts and a last minute call to conduct Joseph Carrillo's "Follow The Drums" @ Professional Musician's Local 47. On the 25th I'm attending Crush Fanzine 's launch party for their 'Women We Love' edition, featuring Darryl Hannah. This is the mag associated with "THE THINGS SHE DID" (see April news). Good times.
Been back in LA all of a month and already the career trajectory's had a swift kick up the proverbial. This week Jarrie Gurrie's short "THE THINGS SHE DID" was released in association with NYC-based Crush Fanzine. It features a still stunning Darryl Hannah and my score: http://vimeo.com/62881739
The upcoming HMMA (Hollywood Music in Media Awards) Success Summit will be a pitching/feedback bonanza. What's REALLY exciting is that I somehow used Social Media to win HMMA's Scoring Session Day with Jeff Beal - currently working on the Netflix hit "HOUSE OF CARDS" but also a music hero of mine since his work on the HBO series "CARNIVALE". So yeah, frikkin' COOL!
More good news - made it onto the Top 20 Shortlist for the APRA Professional Development Awards. Given the calibre of the other Film & TV composers, many of whom I know, I'd be an outside chance to win but great to get this far! Meanwhile, Australia Council have put up more details of the upcoming JUMP mentoring...including my RETURN TO AMERICA: http://jump.australiacouncil.gov.au/mentees/
The end of 2012 was HUGE for 2 reasons: (1) Just after returning from another US trip, I attended the Australian Screen Industry Network Awards in Queensland...and won Best Composer for my score to 'Daddy's Little Girl'. Details and photos here: http://www.australianscreenindustrynetwork.com/events.html
(2) Christmas came early from the Australia Council - they approved my $10K Grant to be mentored by Jeff Cardoni (CSI:Miami) in LA for 10 months, commencing 1 March. So as well as working on a great little short for Jarrah Gurrah (These Empty Streets) and some rescoring for the DLG American cut, I've been busy planning the relocation logistics for a big year ahead...
Daddy's Little Girl has secured global distribution! Chris Sun and crew were hugely successful at the American Film Market and YES, DLG is going world wide. The company that's taking on DLG hasn't been released yet, however they work closely with Lions Gate, the Weinsteins and many more.
Chris's NEW HORROR FRANCHISE "CHARLIE'S FARM" has also been taken on and will most likely be shot in either Canada or the USA. Chris is pushing to have Charlie's shot in Australia but it's looking like he will head Overseas in 2013 to start the first of a 4 film franchise.
Daddy's Little Girl has won BEST FILM, BEST DIRECTOR and BEST ACTOR at the Pollygrind Film Festival in Las Vegas. So happy for everyone involved in the making of DLG. Check out Director Chris Sun's phone interview from Vegas: http://soundcloud.com/mark-and-caroline/m-c-int-chris-sun-polygrind
Earlier in the month, Helen Webby released her NZ Harp CD 'Pluck' at the Otago Arts Festival in Dunedin. My piece 'Mojo Moto' got a mention in this article: http://www.odt.co.nz/entertainment/arts/228745/making-ancient-modern
The CD can be purchased via Helen's website: http://www.harp.co.nz/music.asp?
No news for 3 months = busy times in composerland. The first chunk of June was taken up with a Documentary for the Coalface Group about the ill-fated Hotel Grand Chancellor in Christchurch, New Zealand. Then I finally got my hands on the full lockoff for Chris Sun's "Daddy's Little Girl". WOW. This film doesn't pull an punches, but may surprise many with its transcendence of genres. Scoring was completed July 20 and I was lucky enough to attend the Sunshine Coast premiere on August 24. On September 1, DLG was the closing film for the Melbourne Underground Film Festival and picked up awards for Best Special FX (Steve Boyle) Best Actress (Allira Jacques) and the Special Jury Prize...no award for music but hey, MIFF didn't have one either. More festivals and a cinematic release are in the pipeline, but meanwhile here's the popular trailer again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs-PZiSg07Q
The trailer for "Daddy's Little Girl" is now up on YouTube - 21,000 views in 3 days, and counting... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs-PZiSg07Q
Finally scoring another feature film: Director Chris Sun's "Daddy's Little Girl" has already garnered nearly 3000 likes on Facebook and has only just wrapped shooting. A harrowing journey of loss and retribution, the film will be released independently in Australia in 2013. See more on the official Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/DLG666
Finished 'Moto Mojo' harp commission for Helen Webby; she's recording this month for NZ CD release later in year. Will also be scoring an independent Aussie feature currently in production; official announcement and FB link coming once filming's completed in April.
Back in Melbourne town since November; scored yet another Ad for Auckland Uni. Now revisiting projects with an end of year deadline: final cues & sound design for "Starring Esther", then the harp commission. I'll fit Christmas in somewhere...
Attended the Billboard Film & TV Music Conference; insightful panels and a bit of a networking mecca. Returning to Oz end of month so making the most of Tinseltown before I go.
Returned to LA to follow up contacts from last visit (and make a few more). Also whipped out two Ads for NZ clients; BUPA and Auckland University.
Details of the NYU Film Scoring Workshop are now on the ASCAP site: http://www.ascap.com/eventsawards/events/fsw/NYU/2011/index.aspx
Made a lot of musical friends in the US and look forward to seeing them again soon. Meanwhile, working on additional cues/sound design for "Starring Esther" then moving on to a commission from NZSO harpist Helen Webby - she's putting together New Zealand's first harp CD featuring works by NZ composers. On the screening front, "There Once Was An Island" is currently showing in NZ cinemas to rave reviews. Nice.
Heading back to Melbourne tomorrow, June 7 after a US film music odyssey from LA to New York and back again. Scott Smalley's film orchestration course was most enlightening in many ways, as was today's Gamesoundcon. But by far the highlight was the ASCAP/NYU Film Scoring program - an intensive 9 days of spotting, mockup ideas, refining, orchestrating, refining some more and finally conducting 23 members of the New York Philharmonic. All this was critiqued by screen music luminaries such as Mark Snow (X-Files), Sean Callery (24, Bones) and Ira Newborn (Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Ira was a fountain of knowledge and humour. The final result can be viewed in my updated Video section below. Meanwhile, on Friday I head to New Zealand for the Baroque Voices concert - premiere of my electric guitar/choir piece 'Nox Noxis' and performance of 5 others. Time to get some new guitar strings...
Off to the USA ! Received a travel grant from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust to attend the Scott Smalley Advanced Orchestration Course in LA (May 14-15) and the 2011 NYU/ASCAP Foundation Film Scoring Workshop in Memory of Buddy Baker (May 24-June 2). NYU only accept 20 participants, so pretty happy to get in. Also going to their Music & the Moving Image conference (MAMI) May 20-23. Full details here: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/music/scoring/ascap
Also been working on a new piece for electric guitar and choir; Baroque Voices will premiere it in Wellington, New Zealand on June 11.
Finished 'These Empty Streets' and moving on to final scoring and sound design for 'Starring Esther' from mid-March. Also composed trailer music for an upcoming visit by Lama Ole Nydahl. The trailer's currently on the big screen at Federation Square; here it is on vimeo: http://vimeo.com/20812322
2010 was creatively fantastic, but already 2011 looks like a year for scaling greater musical heights. The Aria for Jo Buckman's 'Starring Esther' was recorded in December with Brigitte De Poi, a young VCA Graduate with a voice that belies her age. Rehearsals for the shoot on January 15th have gone to plan; looking forward to seeing the end result in post for final scoring. Meanwhile, have started prelim sketches for 'These Empty Streets', a 30 minute short by New-York based Australian director Jarrah Gurrie. Sumptuously shot in coastal Victoria and starring Libby Tanner (All Saints), the film portrays a mother's struggle to reconnect with her wandering son.
Scored 6 short promo films for Auckland University (NZ) and a website track for German-born director Florian Boehm: http://www.florianboehm.com.au
I'll be working with Florian on some exciting projects in 2011. I've also joined the freelance composer team for virtual world company Morf Dynamics: http://http://www.morfdynamics.com/
Meanwhile will round off 2010 doing preliminary scoring for the short film 'Starring Esther', directed by Jo Buckman - slated for completion January 2011.
Scored promo films for Celadon City (Vietnam) and Quitline here in Oz. In the works: a local feature drama and a doco set in Cambodia; further details once confirmed. Meanwhile, completed a 12-week Advanced Orchestration course @ Berklee College (USA; online) with Ben Newhouse. Great to fine tune full orchestral sequencing and scoring chops for future projects. Samples now on the site: "Niebelungenlied" and "Shifting Chopin".
Went to the New Zealand premiere of 'There Once Was An Island' in Auckland on the 18th. Great to see it on the big screen at last, to a full house. After the screening, Director Briar March and Producer Lyn Collie held a Q & A forum in the Civic Theatre Wintergardens with the two Australian scientists in the film. Currently screening in the New Zealand International Film Festival; further screenings this year include the Brisbane International Film Festival in November.
Two films I scored last year are both doing well internationally: "There Once Was An Island" received ANOTHER award at the Millenium International Documentary Film Festival in Belgium: http://www.festivalmillenium.org/en/presentation/the-2010-jury.
That's 3 awards now for Briar and it hasn't even premiered in NZ or Australia yet. An excerpt from the film is now viewable below.
Meanwhile, Jenni Nelson's "Tightly Knit" was selected for the LA Film Festival; screening June 20th & 27th: http://www.www.tightlyknitfilm.com/
Was in NZ earlier in the month; attended the Baroque Voices concert that included the premiere performance of my new choral work 'De La Cuna Que Se Mece Eternamente'(Out Of The Cradle Endlessly Rocking) and 2007's 'Alleluia'. Also did a talk at Scots College, Wellington on Film Music. Their Director of Music, Andrew Stopps has included me in the Year 12 syllabus. Photos of both events on my Flickr page.
Katie Mitchell's VCA award-winning documentary "This Is How You'll Make Your Bed In Prison", scored in September 2009 is in the Top 100 Films section of this month's St Kilda Film Festival. Full screening details here: http://www.stkildafilmfestival.com.au/details/21/
Also looking forward to the premiere of my new choir piece, De La Cuna Que Se Mece Eternamente (Out Of The cradle Endlessly Rocking) in NZ on the 30th.
Completed another choral work for NZ chamber ensemble Baroque Voices; writing six vocal parts rather than the usual four and using a spanish translation of Walt Whitman's 'Out Of The Cradle Endlessly Rocking' for the text. Premiere performance May 30th in Wellington alongside works by NZ composers Pepe Becker, Carol Shortis, Jason Kaminski, Rhonda Berry, Ross Carey & Gillian Whitehead.
Briar March's "There Once Was An Island" (scored Sep-Oct 2009) continues to do well on the international festival circuit, with screenings at the Belgrade & Atlanta Film Festivals.
It's been an extremely busy two months, with completion of "Not So Straight" in February then straight on to a UK Documentary for UK/Vietnam-based director Nick Fernandez. "Not So Straight" premiered at ACMI on March 21st; on the 22nd I attended the media launch of HRAFF 2010 (Human Rights Arts & Film Festival), which I've been scoring trailers for this month. Film Festival details and main trailer can be viewed here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108572295834970&ref=ts/