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19 September 2014
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George Fenton

George FentonComposing and conducting

Five-time Oscar nominee George Fenton has written scores for blockbusters such as 'Gandhi' and 'Cry Freedom'. His score for 'Deep Blue', a major feature film from the BBC's 'Blue Planet' team, was recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Here he talks about creating the music for 'Deep Blue', composing film scores and how technology is changing music.


He also talks about how to get the best out of an orchestra as a conductor...


Q1. What inspired you to create the music for Deep Blue?

There isn't really so much music written about the sea or the oceans, and I think part of the quality of the film is that it's really a world that we haven't seen.


Q2. How does this score differ from others that you have worked on?

It's a unique film score for me... because it was written before the film was constructed.


Q3. What advice would you give to someone looking to compose for films?

The first rule is that you've got to realise that you're part of a collaborative process.


Q4. How do you begin the process of composing a score?

First of all I spot the sequence, and I work out where the music's going to begin and end.


Q5. Do you need formal training to write a film score?

The advent of computers has changed film writing in a very positive way... it's meant that people who don't have a formal training of any sort are able to write film scores.


Q6. What's it like conducting a full symphony orchestra?

The best thing about any session with any orchestra is the feeling of togetherness. Everyone has a role to play.


Q7. What's the difference between working with an orchestra and with session musicians?

You can't really divide a symphony orchestra. If you are working with an orchestra they are family. They live with each other all the time.


Q8. How do you deal with a musician who is struggling?

Everyone on some level is insecure and they thrive on encouragement.


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