Cinemagic has been operating for 21 years. Inaugurated in Belfast as a dynamic cross-community initiative to educate young people with each aspect of film. Over the years Cinemagic have expanded to other parts of the UK and Europe and more recently to the USA. I’ve worked with Cinemagic since 2001, helping in various guises and most especially in coordinating their film music workshop. Award winning film music professionals like David Arnold, Stephen Warbeck, Maggie Rodford and David Julyan have been recent visitors, sharing their exceptional skill and craft when enhancing film with music. 2011’s festival saw the immensely talented, Patrick Doyle take a break out of his hectic schedule to speand time in Belfast with the 15 – 18 year olds. This is what the official programme contained:
Music Composition in Film with Patrick Doyle
“Patrick Doyle’s musical output in 2011 has been prolific. Scoring two of the year’s biggest Box Office hits Thor and Rise of the Planet of the Apes further cements his outstanding contribution to film. It’s not just the Hollywood blockbusters he’s contributed to though, the French drama La Ligne Droite and documentary Jig are also graced by his craft. It is precisely this that students will be able to experience, a unique and intimate insight into the world of a top grade film composer. Students will view exclusive footage of scenes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Thor. Participants will also get to view a special screening of Disney Pixar’s trailer for Brave (Patrick’s next film music assignment, due for release Summer 2012).
This one-day workshop was coordinated and hosted by IFMCA member, Tim Burden from Film Score Monthly & the Q Radio Network.”
The one day workshop started with my introducing and welcoming Patrick to the students and presenting a 12 minute video showreel which highlighted some of Patrick’s finest moments, including Henry V, Carlito’s Way, Frankenstein, Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, A Little Princess, Hamlet, Thor and Much Ado About Nothing. I then conducted a short Q&A which gave the students and insight into Patrick’s career from his small beginnings, to his top league Hollywood status. To anybody who knows Patrick, he can talk and wherever there is laughter in the room, you can be sure that Pat will be there! His naturally entertaining demeanour was immediately embraced by the teenagers and they were genuinely engrossed in all that he had to say (some of which couldn’t be printed here!)
This was a very interactive workshop, I always ensure that the students are as involved as possible. With this in mind, our students were tasked with bringing along their favourite moment of film music on a USB stick or disc so that we could showcase to the whole group and that individual was to explain what the music and scene it accompanied meant to them. Some examples were The Godfather, Leon, Kung-Fu Panda 2 and Gladiator.
The day continued with Patrick explaining his compositional approach and process, in 4 key stages. The score in question was ‘Thor’.
Continuing on the Norse Myths theme, I produced a 5 minute video that told an interesting story of the 3 different compositional approaches to the seminal Thor Kills the Destroyer scene. Essentially this gave the students a unique insight into the demands asked of a composer to adapt their music in accordance to various demands from producer’s and director’s. It was revealing to note how many of the group highlighted that the unused version that Patrick originally wrote (utilising the Sons of Odin theme more that the percussive heavy film version) was more to their liking. Proving yet again that the target audience should never be underestimated when it comes to music and the ‘dumbing down’ of the same.
The final couple of hours of our workshop focused on Pat’s other major film of 2011. Robert Kraft at Fox Music was very helpful and sent me some of the scoring session footage from Rise of the Planet of the Apes, so the student’s were able to see the fun (yet hard work) that all of the music team pour into the final result. Two scenes from the movie in full 5.1 surround sound were also presented so we could chat about the marriage of the final mix of music and sound. The finale of Hamlet was also shown, displaying the dramatic orchestral and choir tour de force, coupled with the sound of Hamlet’s head of stone being destroyed with SFX of hammer crashes. In the case of ‘Apes’ a couple of moments during the Golden Gate Bridge scene featured some deliberate dialling down of strings. Those who know the album well will know the moments i’m referring to.
We ended the day with a further Q&A about advise and tips for the students on how to break into film, tv and game scoring. Patrick and Maggie Rodford (his producer and agent) very much promoted the ‘follow your dream and instincts’ approach and to never be nasty to anybody, as it worked for him and many others!
Many wished to have pictures with Patrick and have CD’s signed (which I arranged for each student courtesy of Varese) and the students felt suitably inspired after seeing the latest trailer for Pixar’s Brave which features some thrilling music that Patrick wrote especially for the trailer (a rare occurrence these days) as a coda to their music-filled day.