2013 in Review
SO, I thought it would be nice to do a big review of 2013 and look back on what’s happened this year, if not just so I can condense it into some readable form instead of the jumbled up, mish-mash inside my head. I’ve been pretty rubbish at doing updates on things so a nice big review of the year seemed like a good idea. (It’s quite long, but stick with me)
We’ll start with Film stuff.
New content has been a little bit slow this year, with only 4 music video’s across the entire period, however I have to say that I’m quite proud of the work I’ve done with Deaf Havana and my video’s for Boston Square and Mildred (Lost A Friend). The latter was my first proper chance to create the type of music video that I’m most interested in making, narrative music video’s more akin to short films than promo’s. I was really pleased with the outcome and Deaf Havana’s emotive, lyrical style of music fits in perfectly into my style of filmmaking, so I can’t wait for the next one, which is already in the works! And it’s so nice to work with them as they are such a lovely, kind and genuine band and that really makes them a pleasure to work with. 4 video’s may not feel like much but I think that’s fine really. I’d rather do less of them and spend more time perfecting and crafting the ones I do work on than just churning out okay pieces of work regularly that are just alright because I haven’t had the time to properly flesh them out and bring something exciting and new to it. The work suffers for that I think, so i’d rather be less prolific and just do a few really great videos I can be really proud of.
I really wanted to get a short film or two done this summer but it didn’t happen unfortunately. My own fault really, as I wanted to spend more time developing a really good script but then the summer came and went and I missed it. So that’s two projects for next year.
Moving away from music videos, Pantheon (my graduation film) had a good year at the festival circuit. After we completed the film we got off to a bit of a slow start with festival submissions with only a couple in 2012, but it all kicked off at the start of 2013 with award nominations and official selections at some great festivals. We won Best Film, Best Production Design and Best Score at Screentest Film Festival and got nominations at the Royal Television Society Awards, Watersprite Film Festival and the Learning on Screen Awards. Most exciting was our selections in America, particularly NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth) in Seattle which I was lucky enough to be allowed to fly out there for the festival weekend and had an amazing time and met some great young filmmakers who I am proud to call my friends now. We released the film online in June/July, a whole year after we finished making it, so if you haven’t seen it you can see it here : (CLICK HERE)
The last few festival submissions are rolling in and I’m pleased to say we have an Official Selection at the 2014 London Short Film Festival so I’m really looking forward to that too. For a full list of where its been, check out the Facebook page.
On the music front, I’ve been really lucky to have been really busy making new music and working pretty solidly through the year. In June I flew out to Los Angeles for some meetings with Pusher Music who are the company I exclusively make trailer music for. They are a very unique company and so accommodating of me and I am so proud to be part of their family (which is exactly what it feels like). I met up with them and we visited some Trailer Houses which were amazing and it was so interesting to see the process they go through and get the industry know-how on these things. So I had an amazing time in LA and as it happened halfway through the trip I found out I had landed my track ‘Ark Ascending’ into the theatrical trailer for ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ which I was so happy and pleased about! And not too long after the trailer debuted I found out I had some of my music on the #2 trailer for ‘Captain Phillips’, this time some of my unused Pantheon soundtrack, so those were a good couple of months.
Pusher wanted to do a covers project release In September whereby a few of their artists would do a cover of a track in their own style of trailer music, so I contributed my version of Do You Realize??? By the Flaming Lips and it has apparently been received really well. They did a physical release of it too, so I was lucky to get my hands on the whole album of covers.
Music got ridiculously busy towards the October/November time. I was working on a soundtrack for my good friend Chris Thomas and his new short film ‘The Nightman Of Nevermoor’. The film is very much inspired by Shyamalan and Spielberg so it was really fun to bring across a really big orchestral score for it. On top of that I was having to create new tracks for trailers and submitted one to the next Pusher volume and called it ‘One Last Moment Of You’ and was really pleased with how the track turned out, by far some of my best work so far I would say. Then the week after, I was doing a custom cue for another big trailer within a tight deadline and on top of that also I was trying to compile some new tracks for an E.P release to go out in 2014. A bit of trailer-esque stuff and more quieter soundtrack work, so a lot of work going on. Either way, I think my music has come on leaps and bounds through the year, and when I think back to the stuff I was doing earlier in the year, I feel I have vastly improved. Still need to keep getting better.
It’s a shame really that the busiest part of the year work wise was also the most difficult for me on a personal level and it really made it much harder. I’d been having health issues since the summer and was trying to get those sorted and try to find out what the problem was, which was quite frightening actually. Hoping I’ll be okay again soon, but it’s been very depressing having constant issues and feeling a little rubbish all of the time. And since November I’ve been feeling very sad and heartbroken and it still hurts everyday no matter what I do and, if I’m honest, that’s putting it lightly. Truly a fire truck that’s lost a wheel. Feeling very alone and lost, but i’m focusing on becoming better for it and getting life on track. I’m moving in January time so that is something to look forward to. Regardless though, the last couple of months have been really, really fucking tough.
Moving on, Plan for 2014 is very much more of the same. Plenty more music with, hopefully, some really big projects coming in the not too distant future. There is one I hope I get which would be huge, so I have everything crossed for that. A few music video’s are in the works already, some of which are looking to be very interesting, and then I’m also planning 2 shorts of my own if I can get them ready in time. As mentioned earlier also trying to get a release sorted for early next year which will feature my track ‘Ark Ascending’ which featured on the Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer and I had a lot of requests to put it up for sale. So there will be that among a bunch of other stuff I’ve been working on.
Just also wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone that has listened to my music or watched one of my videos this year. Some of the feedback and comments i’ve had have been really humbling. I’ve had so many new listeners on Soundcloud and lots of people have been getting in touch via email to say nice things which is really lovely so thank you so much for all of that. I really appreciate it and it means a lot. I hope I can continue to make things that you will enjoy.
If anyone is curious, all the content i’ve been talking about and everything i’ve done can be pretty much all be seen on my website HERE.
So that about rounds it up for 2013. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope it brings you everything you’ve ever wanted.
P.S – Yep, another end of year list..
Top 10 Films (kind of (In no particular order)):
I’ve seen and enjoyed a ton, and also haven’t seen a whole load that I really, really want to see. Nevertheless, these are the one’s that stuck with me.
- Prisoners – Dir. Dennis Villeneuve
- Gravity – Dir. Alfonso Cuaron
- Before Midnight – Dir. Richard Linklater
- Breathe In – Dir. Drake Doremus
- The Hunt/Jagten – Dir. Thomas Vinterburg
- Ain’t Them Bodies Saints – Dir. David Patrick Lowery
- The Grandmaster – Dir. Wong Kar Wai
- Frances Ha – Dir. Noah Baumbach
- Insidious Chapter 2 – Dir. James Wan
Indie/Coming Of Age/Drama/Comedy/Romance Tie:
- The Way, Way Back – Dir. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
- The Kings Of Summer – Dir. Jordan Vogt-Roberts
- The Spectacular Now – Dir. James Ponsoldt
Pacific Rim - Dir. Guillermo Del Toro
I’ll be honest I saw trailers for this and thought the hype was ridiculous and it would just be another rubbish, underwhelming blockbuster. To be fair, thats exactly what it was, but it was so much fun and I really loved it. I was making robot noises and punching stuff in slow motion for days afterwards.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t listened to nearly enough music as I should have this year. Most of what I listen to is Soundtrack or Score based music, but the albums that have stood out for me personally from what I can remember are as follows:
- The National – Trouble Will Find Me
- Volcano Choir – Repave
- Boards Of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest
- Mountains – Centralia
- Nils Frahm - Spaces
- Burial - Rival Dealer EP
- Keaton Henson - Birthdays
- Darkside - Psychic
- Jon Hopkins - Immunity
Thats about it for now.
A few notables from the Soundtrack side of things. All of these I thought were outstanding bodies of work. Really beautiful and perfect in their context. There are a ton more, but i’ll just leave it at these ones.
- Steven Price - Gravity OST
- Gustavo Santaolalla – The Last Of Us OST
- Johann Johannsson – Prisoners OST
- Roque Banos – Evil Dead OST (really)
- Hanan Townsend – To The Wonder OST
- Lorne Balfe and Hans Zimmer – Beyond: Two Souls OST
- Dustin O’Halloran - Breathe In OST
- Hans Zimmer - Man Of Steel OST