Composer Steven Price has been presented with the 2020 International Film Music Critics Association Award for Best Original Score for a Documentary by IFMCA member Ley Bricknell. Price’s win was for his outstanding score for the nature-themed documentary David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet. This is Price’s third IFMCA Documentary award, having previously won in 2015 for The Hunt and for Our Planet in 2019.
The other nominees in the Documentary category were Elephant by Ramin Djawadi, Harbor from the Holocaust by Chad Cannon, Rising Phoenix by Daniel Pemberton, and Sadan Hanım by George Kallis.
Price was born in Nottingham, England, in April 1977. A guitarist from the age of five, Price has a First Class degree in Music from Cambridge University, and he began his career as an assistant to composer Trevor Jones, and worked with him on projects including Thirteen Days, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Around the World in 80 Days, and Dinotopia. Having become a regular in the studios, Abbey Road recommended Price to Howard Shore, which led to his role as music editor on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Price went on to music edit for directors including Christopher Nolan and Edgar Wright as well as a number of other films and TV series, before making his feature debut in 2011 on the cult British sci-fi adventure Attack the Block.
Price won the Academy Award for Best Original score in 2013 for just his third score, Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron. His work since then has included critical and commercial successes such as Fury (2014), Suicide Squad (2016), Baby Driver (2017), American Assassin (2017), and Last Night in Soho from earlier in 2021. Price was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Documentary Series or Special (Original Dramatic Score) for Our Planet in 2019, and has received nominations at the BAFTA Awards, the Golden Globes, and the Grammy Awards.
IFMCA member Jon Broxton said that David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet was “a score about how much of the natural world has been lost, to humanity’s stupidity, recklessness, and greed. It’s almost funereal in tone at times, with a soft and solemn air of regret and profound sorrow. That’s not to say that there are no moments of epic majesty, because there are, and it’s also extremely beautiful at times, especially when one or more of the solo instruments is spotlighted. But, for the most part, Price concentrates on the seriousness and insightfulness of Attenborough’s grave message, before making a surge in its final third as the venerable host pleads for change, progress, and hope.” IFMCA member James Southall echoed the sentiments, saying “This is a very fine album of music indeed … Steven Price’s excellent score is very highly recommended.”
See below for the acceptance speech and audio interview conducted by Bricknell: