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Tom McLeod: CUT TO: MUSIC; ...Embedded audio
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When I was asked to create a score for a new kind of film competition – one in which the composer gets to play a pre-emptive role in the creation of the film – I drooled over the limitless possibilities. No story to contend with, no action to hit, no structure to abide by, and a brief as broad as “Pixar meets a light comedy Ben Stiller film” – no problem!
Some considerable hours later, there I was staring at the blank page. Should it be a light-handed romantic comedy or an over-the- top farcical comedy of errors? Was it Meet The Parents or A Night at the Museum? Was it Finding Nemo or Ratatouille?
Well, maybe I could just cover them all. In six minutes. Soaring. Epic. No problem! But really, who can afford to make expensive, epic short films? Surely the score would need to accommodate a more personal, intimate, quirky or simple story? Hmmm. More blank pages. If only I knew what was going to happen, when, where, and to whom. And then it hit me like a John Williams symphonic stab... I could create a six-minute story of my own! I could invent some characters, some action, and most importantly – I would know what kind of film I was writing. Brilliant!
Several hundred attempts later, I realised why they actually have writers. I decided I had to keep it simple. How about we just make it a tale about a hero? A romantic, quirky, intimate, slightly fantastical, epic, farcical comedic kind of hero... film. Six minutes long. No problem…
Commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
This work is also known as "A Hero's Tale".
02 Sep 2009: 2009 NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 2
Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with conductor Luke Dollman at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington.