The 15th Mumbai Film Festival (MFF) saw India’s first-ever composers’ lab launched on Monday.
British composer, producer, arranger and conductor specialising in cinematic music with an emphasis on orchestral, Indian and Middle Eastern influences, Andrew T MacKay, who is directing the lab told dna: “Over 40 young composers had applied with their music samples, which I heard and chose six for the lab. We want them to get a feel of what the international scene is and what are the skills they need to equip themselves with before going out there.”
Starting out in advertising and corporate films, Andrew was lucky to be able to record weekly with a full orchestra for many large corporate companies in the UK. His corporate work includes the launch of the Fiat 500 and Toyota, and many Motor Show launches for brands such as Jaguar, Mercedes, Ford, Land Rover.
Among others conducting the lab is Jonathan Allen Mix Engineer/Producer at Abbey Road Studios, UK. His first job as a recording engineer on a film score was with John Williams recording new music for the special edition of Return of the Jedi. This year he received a BAFTA sound award for recording and mixing music to Tom Hooper’s film, Les Miserables. “The film comes to me after everybody’s done. You know I say, the film never ends, it simply runs out of time and money. While everybody keeps increasing the time taken for their work, finally when it comes to you, you have the least time to make it look the best,” he told dna.
Early in his career, Ilan Eshkeri composed the score to the cult British gangster film Layer Cake, which earned him a nomination for ‘Discovery of the Year’ at the World Soundtrack Awards. His score to Stardust won the International Film Music Critics Association award for ‘Best Original Score’. This violinist and guitarist says that he reacts to the images he sees. “You have to locate a point in the culture, society or geography of the place and adapt it intelligently to infuse that flavour in your work.”
They were joined by Christian Wright - Mastering engineer, Lucy Launder, the Head Of Mastering at the Abbey Road Studios and International Development Manager at PRS for Music, UK, Jatanil Banerjee. Among the excited young composers with them were Shane Mendonsa and Anchal Talesara.