News Archive to September 2015

BEN SALISBURY & GEOFF BARROW SCORE EX MACHINABen Salisbury and Geoff Barrow have completed the score for the new DNA/Universal movie Ex_Machina. Written and directed by Alex Garland it tells the story of a 24 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company who interacts with the world’s first true artificial intelligence housed in the body of a beautiful robot girl. Producers are Andrew Macdonald and Allon Reich for DNA Films.
Link to the Ex_Machina trailer

‘BEYONCE: LIFE IS BUT A DREAM’ WITH BEN SALISBURY SCORE AIRS BBC1Life Is But A Dream was directed by Beyoncé herself and takes a candid look at her personal life. The feature documentary is a mix of concert footage and personal video from Beyoncé’s laptop brought together by Ben Salisbury’s brilliant orchestral scoring. Aired in the US on February 16 it broke all viewing figures for a feature documentary on HBO since 2004. When asked about the experience of working with Beyoncé, Ben said “She is unbelievably hard-working and amazingly busy. Most of my creative dealings were through members of the production team and she was kind enough not to interfere; albeit she was very hands-on with every aspect of the film.”
Ben is in demand at the moment having just finished an album with Scott Hendy a.k.a. Boca 45, under the name Dolman which is due for release later this year and now starting work on the score for a film starring Michael Madson. The score is being co-written with writing partner Geoff Barrow from Portishead with whom Ben wrote the hugely successful Drokk album last year.

‘BORGEN’ COMPOSER HALFDAN E JOINS SMA TALENTWe are pleased to announce new signing Halfdan E, the Danish composer of the award winning music for ‘Borgen’, which won the Bafta for Best Foreign Language TV series last year.
He has won 3 Danish Academy Soundtrack Awards, 2 Danish Grammys, and in addition his music for BORGEN won the prestigious Fipa d’Or Grand Prize Best Original Soundtrack 2011. Outside Denmark some of his large scale orchestral scores have been recorded in London and Prague with leading orchestras.

Long been established as one of Scandinavia’s most successful award-winning film composers, Halfdan’s signature style fusing electronics with classical orchestral sounds has been featured in more than 20 features, 5 television series and many documentaries and short films.
Borgen is screened all over the world, BBC Four in the UK, and US Newsweek recently hailed it as ”The Best Political Show Ever” following the US broadcast of the series 2 finale on August 5. The third and final series is now with broadcasters.

ALEXANDER BALANESCU TO SCORE NEW GREENAWAY FILMFollowing his richly deserved 2014 BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to Cinema Peter Greenaway’s next film with long term producer Kees Kasander will be Walking to Paris, with a score by SMA’s Alexander Balanescu.

It tells the story of 27 year old Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s walk from Romania to Paris in 1903 and 1904 as preparation and prelude to becoming the most important sculptor of the 20th century. On April 30 at the Royal Festival Hall Alexander will give the first UK performance of Michael Nyman’s violin concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

BALANESCUE, AlexanderThis Romanian born prolific composer is one of the world’s leading contemporary violinists who tours the world’s major concert halls with The Balanescu Quartet. He also writes concert music, ballets and operas. He’s also scored more than 32 movies and tv productions including the new tv drama for Wall To Wall, The Scandalous Lady W, Angels & Insects and The Death of Pentheus as well as many Italian and French movies.

His recorded tracks are featured in many films, including Wim Wenders’ much lauded Pina in 3D about the life and work of the internationally celebrated German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch. His commercials include Faberge, H & M and Talking Pages.

BORGEN DIRECTOR JESPER W. NIELSEN TO SMAThe multi-award winning Danish director/writer Jesper W. Nielsen has joined SMA for representation outside Scandinavia. He is best known for his work on 6 of the 30 episodes of Borgen, DR’s international hit series shown in more than 80 countries. His most successful feature to date is Okay for the Bech Company which remains one of the most popular Danish films of all time.

In all he has directed, written or edited more than 23 features and more than 60 episodes of tv drama. He is currently directing Dicte, a crime series for Misofilm and before that The Seaside Hotel, a major new comedy series for TV2, set in a North Sea resort in the late 1920s – early 1930s.

COMPOSER IAN SMYTH JOINS SMAFirst new signing of 2014 Ian Smyth’s latest feature is Rewind directed by PJ Dillon for Carbon Films. It stars Amy Huberman who won the IFTA Best Actress Award for her performance and Ian’s score was also critically acclaimed by many of the reviewers. He has composed an orchestral score for director Richie Smyth’s The Mulbury Project, a sci-fi horror feature set in the near future, produced by Northern Ireland’s Heaven’s Gate Films.

His many television credits include Seacht, the first Irish language drama for the BBC directed by Rob Quinn for Tyrone Productions; the animated children’s series Schrödinger’s Cat, directed by Nuala Cunningham for RTE; and two seasons of the science series Investigators for Decade Film/RTE.

DANISH SCREENWRITER KIM FUPZ AAKESON SIGNS TO SMAKim Fupz Aakeson was already a successful an established novelist and illustrator when in the mid-90’s he switched careers and enrolled at Denmark’s National Film School to study screenwriting. Since then he has established himself as one of Scandinavia’s leading screenwriters – in all categories his films have won 106 national and international awards and received 195 nominations across a whole range of genres. His 2011 feature Perfect Sense, starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, directed by David Mackenzie for BBC Films, won awards that year at Edinburgh, Philadelphia and Bratislava. He has two projects currently in production; Rosita for Nordisk Film and a tv series Broken for DR. He is currently working on Funny Man for Sigma Films and If You Love Somebody for Hyde Park Films.

DEAN VALENTINE SCORES TRAILERS FOR CAPTAIN PHILLIPS AND HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE  Dean Valentine’s Dark Matter cue is featured in Sony Picture’s trailer for the latest Tom Hanks movie Captain Phillips and more recently he scored the trailer for Lionsgate’s worldwide mega hit Hunger Games: Catching Fire. He recently completed the feature documentary Close To Evil about a Jewish family tragically caught up in the Holocaust, as well as an 80 mins tv special Bottler. Both Bottler and Mad Cows are now out on DVD.

DEAN VALENTINE’S TRAILER MUSIC ON CLINT EASTWOOD’s THE AMERICAN SNIPER  King of the movie trailers Dean Valentine’s latest high profile outing is the trailer music for Clint Eastwood’s The American Sniper. Dean’s other trailer hits include Brad Pitt’s Columbia Picture’s WW2 epic Fury, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, Sony’s Captain Philips starring Tom Hanks and Lionsgate’s worldwide mega hit Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Dean is now scoring the movie Tiger Raid for Story Films.

DIRECTOR JOHN LANGRIDGE JOINS SMA  John Langridge’s acclaimed debut short, Walking Shadows, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was subsequently selected for the Portbello Film Festival, “the biggest celebration of independent film in Europe”. John was writer, director and producer for Big H Films. He later wrote, directed and edited Away, a drama short for Twenty Three Pictures.

He made his feature debut in 2011 with the darkly comic Four, starring Martin Compston, Craig Conway, Sean Pertwee and Keirston Wareing. John also edited the film and the producer was Raiomond Mirza for Oh My Productions. The film received solid reviews and was distributed in the UK by High Flyers and internationally by WTF Films.

DIRECTOR/WRITER SURI KRISHNAMMA TO SMA  We’re pleased to announce that Suri Krishnamma, the award winning film director/writer, has joined us for worldwide representation. His latest movie credit is Vision Entertainment’s dark thriller ‘The Grief Tourist’, starring Melanie Griffith and Michael Cudlitz, which is screening at Cannes. Other recent features include ‘Bad Karma’, starring Ray Liotta; ‘Locked In’ starring Ben Barnes and Eliza Dushku; ‘Good Sharma’, starring Billy Connolly; and the double award winning ‘New Year’s Day’. Earlier he directed Albert Finney in BBC Film’s ‘A Man of No Importance’. He has three BAFTA Nominations.

Halfdan E … Borden Back on BBC4 & Otto Is A Rhino Wins at Chicago International Children’s Film Festival

Borgen was back on BBC4 as series 3 kicked off a new 10 parter featuring Halfdan E’s terrific music. At the same time BBC Radio 4 broadcast a new 10 part series Borgen: Around The Castle. Halfdan also scored Kenneth Kainz’s animated movie Otto Is A Rhino which won Best Picture at the 30th Chicago International Children’s Film Festival on November 3.

JOHN ALTMAN TO WORK ON NEW GLEN MILLER MUSICAL ‘IN THE MOOD’  BAFTA and EMMY winning composer John Altman to be musical supervisor and arranger on new Glen Miller musical ‘In The Mood’ opening in London next spring. He will also write additional music for the show. Written and directed by Rob Bettinson, the producer is David Wilder who has brought together a top team of West End professionals to create a unique tribute to the great American bandleader who lost his life in a flying incident towards the end of WW2.

MICHAEL RADFORD DIRECTING ‘ELSA AND FRED’  Michael Radford is in New Orleans directing ‘Elsa & Fred’, starring Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer. Michael and Anna Pavignano are adapting the original screenplay by writer/director Marcos Carnevale for his 2005 award winning Argentinian Spanish language movie. In the New Year the production moves to Rome. The producers for
LA’s Defiant Pictures are Edward Saxon, Matthias Ehrenberg, Richardo Kleinbaum, Jose Levy and Nicolas Veinberg.

MICHAEL RADFORD EDITING ‘ELSA & FRED’ IN LONDONAfter shooting the film in New Orleans and Rome, Michael is now editing ‘Elsa & Fred’ in London. Movie stars Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer and Michael and Anna Pavignano adapted the original Spanish language screenplay by writer/director Marcos Carnevale for his 2005 award winning Argentinian movie. The producers for LA’s Defiant Pictures are Edward Saxon, Matthias Ehrenberg, Richardo Kleinbaum, Jose Levy and Nicolas Veinberg.

MICHAEL RADFORD TO RECEIVE FEDERICO FELLINI AWARD FOR CINEMATIC EXCELLENCE  Michael Radford attends Italy’s Bari International Film Festival in April to receive the prestigious Federico Fellini Award for Cinematic Excellence for his contribution to world cinema. His films Il Postino, Another Time Another Place, 1984 and The Merchant of Venice will be screened during the festival week. Michael will also be president of the international festival jury deciding the Panorama Award.

NICK GREEN COMPLETES THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE 2 & MOONFLEET  Busy year for composer Nick Green who has completed series 2 of World Production’s ‘The Bletchley Circle’ for ITV and meanwhile PBS in the USA recently completed screening series 1. Earlier Nick scored Trademark Films’ WWI feature ‘The Wipers Times’, written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, and screened by BBC2 as part of the Corporation’s World War One commemoration projects. He recently delivered the score for Company Picture’s tv film ‘Moonfleet’, which Sky broadcasts over Christmas. Stars include Ray Winstone, Ben Chaplin, Phil Daniels, Aneurin Barnard and director is Andy De Emmony.

NICK GREEN SCORES THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE SERIES 2  The Bletchley Circle series 2 started 9 pm Monday January 6 on ITV again featuring Nick Green’s iconic scoring. It is about a group of women who worked at top-secret codebreaking facility Bletchley Park during WW2 and is set in the 1950s as the friends struggle to return to their pre-war roles. The group use their extraordinary skills to solve a murder cases. This new series will be set a year after the events of series 1 and will see the codebreakers come together to help a former colleague who is accused of murder. Over the Christmas period SKY 1 broadcast the 2-part action adventure Moonfleet which featured Nick’s large orchestral score.

NICK GREEN SCORING BIG TALK’S OUR ZOO  Nick Green working on Big Talk’s Our Zoo which airs BBC1 from September 1. The 6-parter tells the story about the family who founded Chester Zoo in the 1930’s. The Producer is Marcus Wilson and director Andy de Emmony. Cast includes Anne Reid, Lee Ingleby, Liz White and Ralf Little.

PHILIP APPLEBY SIGNS WITH SMA  We are delighted to announce the signing of features and tv composer Philip Appleby. Philip’s latest credits are two of the autumn 2012 episodes of the long-running BBC series ‘Inspector George Gently’, produced by Company Pictures – ‘Gently With Class’ and ‘Gently Northern Soul’.

Earlier credits include the BBC costume drama ‘The Wyvern Mystery’ for which he was Nominated for an Ivor Novello and the BBC comedy series ‘Born to Run’, written by Debbie Horsfield and produced by Laura Mackie, for which he was Nominated for the RTS Award. Philip also scored the Oscar-winning short ‘Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life’, written and directed by Peter Capaldi and produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts.

Awards and critical acclaim do not end there for Philip, the British Film Institute gave him a Best Film Music award for his work on Tony Collngwoods’ Bafta-nominated ‘Rarg’ and the US International Animated Film Society commended him for ‘outstanding achievement in the field of animation’ for his music for ‘Daisy-Head Mayzie’, also for Collingwood O’Hare

Other features include ‘P.O.V.’ (Parallel Pictures); ‘Nothing Personal’ (British Screen/CannelFour Films); ‘The Kings Beard’ (CITV) and ‘Alive and Kicking’ for BBC Screen 1.
With a style that embraces everything from contemporary electronic scores to large scale choral and orchestral and quirky children’s drama, Philip was a natural choice for all 94 episodes of the award-winning tv series ‘Tracy Beaker’ as well as the Tracy Beaker feature, ‘The Movie of Me.’ Richard Bodgers Scoring The Last Showing

Richard Bodgers now scoring Phil Hawkin’s latest feature The Last Showing for The Philm Company. Lead cast include Robert Englund, Finn Jones, Emily Berrington and Keith Allen.

RICHARD HARTLEY TO SMA TALENT  We are proud to announce that ‘Great Expectations’ composer Richard Hartley has joined SMA just as Mike Newall’s re-working of the Dickens classic goes on general release with a stellar cast including Helena Bonham-Carter and Ralph Fiennes . This is the sixth time Richard has collaborated with Mike Newell – the others being ‘Dance With A Stranger’, ‘An Awfully Big Adventure’, ‘The Good Father’, ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Soursweet’.

Other major credits include Bertolucci’s ‘Stealing Beauty’, ‘The Life and Death of Peter Sellers’, ‘Rogue Trader’, Nic Roeg’s ‘Bad Timing’, ‘The Van’, directed by Stephen Frears, ‘A Thousand Acres’, starring Michelle Pfeiffer,and ‘Rough Magic’, starring Russell Crowe.

He won an Emmy for his score for Hallmark’s landmark tv film ‘Alice in Wonderland’, and other major tv credits include ‘Murderland’ , ‘Lion in Winter’, starring Glen Close and ‘Don Quixote’ – also both for Hallmark.
He worked with Richard O’Brien’s on his cult musical ‘The Rocky Horror Show‘ for which Richard was music arranger, musical director and principal musician – a role he repeated on the film for which he also wrote original music.

ROME BASED COMPOSER MARCO WERBA TO SMA  Award winning film composer Marco Werba was born in Spain and later moved to Rome where he started his formal musical studies and where he is now based. In addition to Italian films he also scores US and UK movies and has a number of projects in development in all 3 countries.

He won the prestigious Colonna Sonora Award for his music for Zoo directed by Cristina Comencini; his score for Giallo, directed by Dario Argenta, won the Fantasy & Horror Award and the FantaFestival Award; and more recently he was awarded Italy’s Golden Globe and the Premio Cinema Click for his score for Native, directed by John Real. He has written the music for a number of historical dramas and he has also been involved in several horror/fantasy genre movies. Other credits include the thriller Nero Infinito, directed by Giogio Bruno; Le Lacrime di San Lorenzo for director Giampiero Caira; and Bellerofonte directed by Domiziano Christopharo.

Marco has composed a number of chamber and symphonic concert works including Adagio For The Victims of Auschwitz, Symphonic Tango, Cantus Superstium, Misterium, and Dark Symphony. He was recently a guest of the Republic of Belarus and attended a concert of some of the above works performed by the Gomle City Symphony Orchestra.

SAD DEATH OF PHIL STAGG  I am very sorry to tell you that our dear friend and screenwriter client Phil Stagg finally succumbed Friday November 15, to the cancer that took his life. He died at home surrounded by his family to whom we extend heartfelt sympathies.

He was working on two screenplays when his condition worsened earlier in the year and had been unable to work for many months. His last completed script was Wodehouse’s War which dramatically chronicles the circumstances that led to the life sentence passed without trial on one of the world’s greatest humourists. Amid the hysteria of war, Wodehouse’s broadcasts from Berlin caused an international scandal still reverberating today. I have assured Phil’s family that we will continue our utmost efforts to bring this fine piece of work to the silver screen as a lasting reminder of his writing talent.

Phil was an established Fleet Street journalist for more than 20 years but gave that up to become a fulltime writer and director in both theatre and films. He was the founder and artistic director of the North West-based Arena Theatre Company, which gave a platform for the works of new writers. He is the author of five published plays, two of which – The Last Time I Saw Paris and Where The Brass Bands Play – won national playwriting awards.

He wrote and directed two full-length features, Barefooting and Deep Lies, both of which were screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Deep Lies, a co-production made at Pinewood Studios, is currently being marketed by Moving Pictures of America.
A very sad day … Olav

SAD DEATH OF PHIL STAG  We are very sorry to tell you that our dear friend and screenwriter client Phil Stagg finally succumbed Friday November 15, to the cancer that took his life. He died at home surrounded by his family to whom we extend heartfelt sympathies. Please see News Archive for more details.

SCREENWRITER SINA BOWYER SIGNS TO SM  Sina Bowyer is a screenwriter and producer and the CEO of Red Rug Productions. She has recently completed writing and producing Crude, a short eco-thriller with a cast and crew of more than 40, shot in London and directed by Charles Joslain. This is now in post-production and headed for the international film festival circuit.

She is also in pre-production on a Juicy Loot, a crime romantic comedy to be shot in New Mexico. Other completed scripts include White Royal, an action packed conspiracy thriller set between London and the Middle East; The Love Bus, a zany comedy about an implant to cure infidelity that the inventor and his team promote as they drive across California on a bus; Deadlined, a martial arts thriller; and Nefarious, a noir thriller with an Oscar shortlisted director already attached.

STAGG, Phil  Before becoming a full-time screenwriter and director, Phil spent more than 20 years as a Fleet Street journalist, principally with the Daily Mail.

Since entering the film industry, he has written and directed two full-length features, Barefooting and Deep Lies, both of which were screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 and 2009 respectively. His screenplay Wodehouses’s War was optioned by the UK’s Corona Pictures and Olav Wyper is a co-producer on this film. Meanwhile Phil completed the screenplay of The Club 1948, a thriller set during the Berlin airlift, for the Munich based ART-OKO Film GmbH.
He was the founder and artistic director of the North West-based Arena Theatre Company, which gave a platform for the works of new writers. He is the author of five published plays, two of which – The Last Time I Saw Paris and Where The Brass Bands Play – won national playwriting awards.

The latter was made into a feature film, A Summer’s Tale. Set in 1958, it’s the story of a lonely, middle-aged man who belatedly finds love on a summer holiday but with a woman whose tormented past leads them both to heartbreak.

Screenplays In Development

Wodehouse’s War – feature film optioned by Corona Pictures: The film dramatically chronicles the circumstances that led to the life sentence passed without trial on one of the world’s greatest humorists. Amid the hysteria of war, Wodehouse’s broadcasts from Berlin caused an international scandal still reverberating today.

Bluesheart – feature film to be directed by Phil: The world of a passionate blues guitarist is turned upside down when he falls in love with a beautiful East European drug addict. He risks his life to help her escape the clutches of a vicious underworld gang.

The Tenth Wave – feature film to be directed by Phil: Set against the beautiful backdrop of the North Wales coast, this is the poignant story of a couple who, in the midst of a bitter divorce, rediscover their love for one another when their child is kidnapped.

SURI KRISHNAMMA’S DARK TOURIST PREMIERS LA & LONDON  Vision Entertainment’s movie ‘Dark Tourist’ premiered in LA on August 6 attended by stars Michael Cudlitz and Melanie Griffith and director Suri Krishnamma. The movie hit the No 1 spot on iTunes for most popular trailer. Suri spent two days of tv and press interviews before returning to London for the UK premiere at the Empire Leicester Square on August 25 as part of the Frightfest international fantasy and horror film festival. The screening will be followed by a Q & A with star Michael Cudlitz and Suri.

WRITER DOUGIE BRIMSON JOINS SMA  Novelist and screenwriter Dougie Brimson’s 15 books have sold in excess of half a million copies in print and many more as downloads. The Crew topped the Amazon sports book download charts for over two years following its 2011 publication in eBook format, and the comedy Wings of a Sparrow which was initially an electronic release, was recently issued in print. 2014 will see the release of two new novels including the highly anticipated sequel to his best-selling comedy, Billy’s Log.

His first move into films was the critically acclaimed short It’s A Casual Life, followed two years later by the award winning Green Street for Odd Lot Entertainment and Lionsgate. May saw the release of his eagerly awaited second feature Top Dog, which he adapted from his own best selling novel of the same name.

Directed by Martin Kemp for Richwater Films/Universal Pictures, it won Best Feature at the British Independent Film Festival. His next feature, the urban revenge thriller We Still Kill The Old Way, is now shooting and is directed by Sacha Bennett for Richwater Films/Anchor Bay Entertainment.