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Film Scores – ‘Common Ground’ and ‘Being Baptist’

We’ve been shamefully lacking on the blog-post front of late, but for very good reason! We’ve been exceptionally busy in the studio – probably our busiest time ever – working with some excellent songwriters and musical theatre performers, taking the mobile studio out here, there and everywhere recording CDs and live performances for schools and choirs, and excitedly beavering away at a new website for musical theatre lovers which we’ll be launching soon. In between all this, we’ve been working late into the night on compositions for a couple of film scores.

baptist unionFirstly, we were commissioned to compose a bespoke soundtrack to a short film made by the Baptist Union of Great Britain in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Baptist Church. The emphasis of the film was to look back at the history of the denomination and to see how it has influenced today’s Baptist Church, so in-keeping with this theme, we decided to take some traditional hymns and bring them up-to-date with modern instrumentation and production. Here’s a little show-reel of the final film score:

The second project was more than a bit hectic for us, as we got a call from the True Volunteer Foundation frantically trying to find someone to compose a film score for their feature-length film documentary “Common Ground” which had it’s red carpet premier in 10 days time! They managed to persuade us with a little bit of flattery (apparently 3 separate people had recommended us!) that we were crazy enough to take on the challenge, and armed with a fairly vague cue-sheet brief, a not-quite-final cut of the film and a LOT of red bull, we settled in to the studio night after night to write.

Common GroundThe film exploring the history of sport in Wimbledon has been made as part of the Wimbledon Sporting Project run by TVF, to be screened in all the schools across Merton, along with a package of free professional sports coaching, aiming to get kids in our borough excited and passionate about sports, ready for the Olympics (big sporting event coming to London this year, so they tell me…). In the process of scoring the film, we’ve learned loads of fascinating facts about our home town. We all know about the deeply ingrained tradition of tennis in Wimbledon, and there were some great features on the histories of the Wimbledon Rugby Club and our local football team, the Dons, but did you also know that The Rose & Crown pub was the home of the Rugby Football Union, which was founded in the pub in 1865 with matches played on Wimbledon Common? And that the National Rifle Association was officially started on Wimbledon Common, with Queen Victoria taking the very first shot at scoring a bulls-eye? Or that legend says that Cricket Green is so called because the first ever game of cricket was played there? Well, there you go… a little education thrown in for free with your entertainment – all part of the service at AJM!

In terms of music, our brief was to create a film score including a ‘theme tune’ inspired by the themes to Grandstand, Match Of The Day, Question of Sport; a classical and peaceful piece for a section on Wimbledon Common, five background beds with hopeful and upbeat rock-pop to go underneath interviews with the various celebrities, and an old-fashioned comedy piece to accompany some animations and the out-takes after the credits. Here’s what we came up with:

common ground red carpetThe film has been supported by the BBC and Sky Sports, with lots of sports and entertainment starts making appearances including Jacquie Beltrao, John Scales, Greg Rudeski, Andrew Castle, Eamonn Homes, Lawrie Sanchez, Sean Kerly, Annabel Croft, Victor Ubogu, Will Greenwood and Mark Butcher, most of whom attended the red-carpet premier at the Wimbledon Odeon. Unfortunately we were away for the big event, so we’re still looking forward to the day when we hear one of our own film scores played in a cinema – film producers… get in touch!

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