We were delighted to be asked to work on Very Christmas this year.
When we saw the early animatic it was obvious this was going to be a beautiful film with a really heartwarming story. Having previously worked with againstallodds and Passion Pictures on BBC Rio Olympics, we also knew that the visuals would eventually be stunning and magical. We worked with composer Guy Farley, one of the most talented and trusted composers we work with, to help bring the little girl’s (Anna) adventure to life.
From the outset Guy had nailed the tone that the agency wanted to convey. His skill to re-intepret the melodic refrain in different ways throughout the film really helped the cohesion and flow of the score, whilst hitting the right tone for each moment. The 90 second edit has a lot of scenes that move quite quickly from one to the next, and they change in scale as the film progresses, and to make this feel seamless musically is no mean feat.
We worked closely with the agency creatives Marcus, Tom, Alan and Julian, and producer Chloe – to address any client comments and arrive at a score we are all incredibly proud of.
The session itself was a joy. To have the opportunity to work with the best players and best studios (we recorded in Studio 1 at Abbey Road) is what enabled us bring the high end finish to the production. Working with engineer Sam Okell, we crafted the score to sound like a modern mix, using a lot of close mics and as opposed to too classical which would use mainly the room mics.
The agency and client were also very involved on the recording day, as we tried slightly variations on percussive hits to sync with picture live with the players, and discussed how best to achieve the emotion in the final scene, covering off a few options.
The composer, Guy Farley wrote a few words about his experience below:
'I knew this film was right for me the moment I saw the first animation and that there would be great opportunities to write a film-like score for it. I wrote the theme, Anna’s theme, at the piano, which allowed me to play to picture scoring all the drama using the theme in major and minor keys, intimate and big, keeping it as a thread through the story telling, binding the music together start to finish. There is a lot going on in the story so it was important for the music not only to enhance the drama and emotion but also to keep it easy and smooth to follow.
With a live orchestra and choir at Abbey Road we recorded the music for the final films with the client present and very much involved in the process. Collaborative work like this, where you work hand in hand with the creatives and the client from the start is so productive and important and the final result is very much the product of the team.
An absolute pleasure to work on and be a part of.'
Guy Farley Nov 2017