I had the pleasure of being asked to judge the music category for Wildscreen 2020, which was a real honour as well as being super fun and informative in equal measure. My co-judges were none other than Nainita Desai and Segun Akinola, two incredibly talented and respected composers, and we spent a good 4 hours over Zoom debating the final 10 films out of the 56 that we’d had to watch and whittling them down to a list of 3. I’ve got to say the standard of composition overall was superb and we had real trouble deciding on the 3rd place spot, but the first 2.. there was no question that they’d go through, they stood out a mile from the rest of the scores. I’m not allowed to name anything yet as judging is still taking place, so you’ll just have to keep your ear to the ground for when the finalists are announced, but it was a fantastic experience and great to chat music with some amazing composers whom I hope to meet in the flesh one day. Thanks, Nainita, Segun and the Wildscreen Team!
I’ve had the pleasure of being asked by National Geographic to score a two hour special of their 5-part series “The Hidden Kingdoms of China”. This was originally produced by Brian Leith Productions here in Bristol Town, and I can tell you it’s one heck of an awesome show. The visuals are stunning and some of the animals you get to learn about, such as the golden snub-nosed monkey, are not the sort of animals you would normally encounter in a wildlife documentary. It’s fascinating to really get into the fauna of China, and I hope to be able to share some clips of it with you once it’s done. 干杯 !
Echoes, the awesome short film I scored for my old friend Luisa Lazzaro is up for an award at Cinedanza, one of the world’s premiere festivals for Screendance. I’m so excited for her and her team! This film is a culmination of years of dancing.. she was already dancing big time in school, so I’m really happy for all her hard work to be recognised. Go Lou!
There were so many good films at Jackson Wild.. I know because I ended up having to watch about 40 hours of documentaries as I was judging the “Long Form – People & Nature” category. One film that I had no idea was going to be shown, however, was a short I scored a while ago for Nardine Groch. It’s a beautiful little film that was made as part of Nardine’s final project for her UWE Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking course, and documents new animal behaviour of the impressive Lyre bird. I had a great time scoring this and loved the final piece; it’s interesting but not too heavy, with real human sentiment throughout. Nardine couldn’t make it to Jackson Wild unfortunately, but I went along to the screening of it and answered the Q&A to the best of my abilities. At the awards ceremony, I wasn’t at all prepared for it to win but win it did! I was so caught off guard (and far from the stage, as I was in the bar area having just returned from the little boy’s room) that I never made it to the stage in time to collect the award, unfortunately. But massive thanks to the judges who picked this film to win and BIG UP to Nardine who believed in this project right from the start.
Super stoked to have been picked to be a preliminary judge for this year’s Jackson Wild festival, the other Oscars of Natural History documentary film-making (the other being Bristol’s very own Wildscreen). I’ve had to watch 25 hours of documentaries in the People and Nature Long form category and I can honestly say that there are some truly outstanding films coming your way from such diverse production companies as Terra Mater, Plimsoll, National Geographic, Smithsonian, amongst many others. It’s been an incredible experience to watch these films, and two themes really stood out as running through them all in one way or another; conservation of our planet and it’s ecosystems, and how interconnected and intertwined ecosystems are (termites being the backbone of the Okavango Delta, forests affecting the oyster population downstream in the bays of Northeast Japan…). Stay tuned!
I’m back in the States for some meetings and stuff, and have been offered the chance to work with Emma Rigney again on an awesome looking Nat Geo special called “The Whale that ate Jaws”. It was the highest rated show for Nat Geo’s ‘Shark Week’ and it’s getting a CSI-type revamp, and I’m super stoked to be involved in re-orchestrating the music. Will let y’all know transmission dates!
Happy New Year to all of you! To kick the year off I’ve uploaded a couple of new clips (a snippet from Nat Geo’s “Clash of Tigers” and a clip for a Hewlett Packard ad I did in October) and a couple of old clips (short animation by Sasha Zikvovic and a bit of Wildlife on One’s Cane Toads episode). Hope you enjoy them! I’ve been working on getting my music library online recently for Off The Fence as they want to use it for this 5-part co-pro with France 5. Can’t talk too much about it but it’s a real eye-opener. Will give more details when I can.
So I’m sweating, in Providence, Rhode Island.. I’m there for my bro’s 40th birthday (which was amazing by the way, thanks, bro!) but only have a couple of days left and it is HOT. So muggy, too, so I’m trying to find a way to cool down, so I sit down next to the air-con in the place I’m staying at. Anyway, I get this email out of the blue from this lovely lady I collaborated with AEONS ago, when she was still at the BBC NHU in Bristol. She’s this great director from Australia called Emma Rigney, who has been living in DC for years and working for Nat Geo; we worked on a Wildlife on One together (Citizen Cane Toad) and a great series called Great British Eccentrics which was really fun. She’s working on this one hour show about Tigers, a really REALLY cool story, with a total twist to it.. several, in fact. And she’d like me to write the score. AWESOME! So that’s happening right now, but all the music has to be done by the end of the month (and we’re looking at 38 minutes of music…). Good luck, yo!
The lovely folk at BBC Publishing invited me to join them at the 63rd edition of the Ivor Novello Awards in the Big Smoke (AKA London). I bumped into some old faces and made some new acquaintances, as well as hanging out with some friends and quaffing much wine. What an amazing event to have been invited to! The speeches were incredibly touching, particularly Billy Bragg’s and Lionel Ritchie’s, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house for Billy Ocean’s speech who was recognised for the International Achievement Award. All in all a fantastic day out, thanks again BBC for having invited me, you guys rock.