Epic Video Production of the Week 4th April 2017

I can’t believe its two years since my last track of the week, but as they say time flies when you are having fun.

My original proposition was that each week I would choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree and please feel free to suggest some of your favourites.

This weeks track however is the video for Everglow by Coldplay. Now what makes this special is that it is an alternative to the one put out when the track was first released.

The track is all about loss, about missing your soulmate for whatever reason.
Now Im not a great Ice Skating fan but this performance is mesmerising. Look out for the moments when you think how did she do that.
Tanja Kolbe and Stefano Caruso : for choreographing and performing
Directed by Mr Joe Connor
DOP : Patrick Mellor
Editor : Ellie Johnson at Speade
Grade : George K at MPC
VFX : Cherry Cherry VFX
Colin Offland : Producer
Matthew Clyde : Producer
Alexa Haywood : Agent and for being a legend
Ellora Chowdhury : Grade producer
All at Chief Productions
All at Cherry Cherry VFX !! for their incredible VFX work
Production Comapany : Chief Productions
If you like the simplicity of it just look up the making of video, it was not that simple!

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Track of the Week 12th March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

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This film is a masterpiece. Lester (Kevin Spacey) and Carolyn Burnham (Annette Bening) are on the outside, a perfect husband and wife, in a perfect house, in a perfect neighbourhood.

But inside, Lester is slipping into a hopeless depression. He finally snaps when he becomes infatuated with one of his daughter’s friends. Meanwhile, his daughter Jane is developing a happy friendship with a shy boy-next-door named Ricky, who lives with an abusive father.

The scene I have chosen is the opening sequence. The music by Thomas Newman coupled with Kevin Spacey’ s dialogue make the perfect partnership of someone who’s decent into depression is escalating right from the first frame and the track emphasises that something bad is eventually going to happen.

The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best leading Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography. It was also nominated for three others, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Film Editing and Best Music Original Score.

In total the film has won over 114 awards and according to IMDB.com is 61 in the top 250 films of all time.

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Track of the Week 5th March 2015 (Writing 101 Day 0ne)

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Shooting the Breeze – Dustin Hoffman

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This track featured in the film Last Chance Harvey which was Directed by Hoffman. Not only did Hoffman Direct and star in the film he actually wrote this track a few years earlier. Somehow the track didn’t seem to work without the two actors in the scene. So this weeks Track of the week should really be titled Scene of the week.

The film follows the exploits of a workaholic musician Harvey Shine (Hoffman) who writes jingles for commercials. He is in London for the weekend for his daughter’s wedding. His work in New York preoccupies him and he knows his boss is pushing him aside for younger talent. He meets Kate Walker whilst having lunch at the airport which leads to a brilliant double act that breezes through the rest of the film.

Long divorced and his wife remarried, her new husband is closer to his daughter than he is. The scene were he hijacks the Father of the Bride speech is epic. I watched it through my fingers but it was extremely well done and a very convincing performance by the entire cast.

I did not expect this film to be anything special but the memorable performances from the main actors makes this film a gem.

Dustin Hoffman who plays understated roles to perfection, again finds a vehicle  to show his genius and wonderful acting talent.

Emma Thompson also can do no wrong. Every film she does she plays her character to fullest whether it be a house wife, nanny, or crazy teacher she can do it all. This role for her seemed like it was a fun one and her performance had a lot of heart.

So this is a first for Track of the week because both actors have featured here before in different performances.

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Track of the Week 29th March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Midnight Cowboy – John Barry 

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John Barry supervised the music and composed the score for the film and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme, although he, as well as a few other significant contributors did not receive an on-screen credit.

Fred Neil’s song “Everybody’s Talkin'” won a Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, for Harry Nilsson.

Schlesinger the director chose the song “Everybody’s Talkin'” as the films theme, and the song underscores the first act.

However the movie’s main theme, “Midnight Cowboy”, featured harmonica by Toots Thielemans, is the timeless track that is as haunting today as it was in 1969 even though it is said that Barry himself did not like it.

The film is a very bleak insight into the dark underbelly of New York in the seventies.

Naive Texan Joe Buck (Jon Voight) arrives in New York for the first time. Seeing himself as a real ‘hustler’, he finds that he is the one getting ‘hustled’ until he teams up with a down-and-out but resilient outcast named Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman).

In their efforts to try and survive in an hostile world rebuffing them at every turn, this unlikely pair progress from partners in shady business to comrades. Each seeming to find true friendship.

The final scene in this film is a on the bus to Miami and has breathtaking performances from both Hoffman and Voight with the music making it even more memorable.

The film won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Both Hoffman and Voight were nominated for Best Actor awards and Sylvia Miles was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, in what is one of the shortest performances nominated (clocking at about five minutes of screen time). In addition, the film won six BAFTA Awards.

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Track of the Week 22nd March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.
Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen

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Streets of Philadelphia is a song that was written and performed by Bruce Springsteen for the film Philadelphia in 1993, an early mainstream film dealing with HIV/AIDS. Released in 1994, the song was a hit in many countries, particularly Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway, where it topped the singles charts.

The song was a critical triumph and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and four Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. In 2004 it finished at 68 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

Philadelphia the film, was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.

The film is the story of Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, who is fired from his law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him. After Andrew is fired, in a last attempt for peace, he sues his former law firm with the help of a homophobic lawyer, Joe Miller (Denzel Washington). During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else on the gritty streets of the city of brotherly love, sheds his homophobia and helps Beckett with his case before AIDS overcomes him.

Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Andrew Beckett in the film, while the song “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Ron Nyswaner was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

The end scene in the hospital when his family are gathered around his bed to say goodbye is heartbreaking. A performance that leaves you counting your blessings and shows that even in the bleakest of moments of human existence there are moments of huge humanity.

A film to watch that makes you at times watch through your fingers and shout at the screen at some of the bigotary that is doled out to this poor individual. Hanks best performance in his long career.

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Track of the Week 15th March 2015


Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

“Windmills of your Mind” – Sting

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Windmill of your Mind was written by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman (lyrics) and the music by Michel Legrand and was originally used in the 1968 version of The Thomas Crown Affair which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

The song in the origional film was sung by Noel Harrison and was used in a scene were McQueen was piloting a Glider whilst being watched on the ground by Faye Dunaway. The song beautifully matched the action and made me want to try my hand at gliding.

This version of the Windmills of your mind by Sting was used in the 1999 remake Starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo however the song was used in the title sequence rather than the glider scene. But its such a great track I chose the sting version..

The story is that of a self-made billionaire Thomas Crown who is bored of being able to buy everything he desires. But there are a few things even he can’t get, therefore Thomas Crown has a secret hobby: He steals priceless masterpieces of Art.

After the theft of a famous painting from Claude Monet, the only person suspecting Thomas Crown is Catherine Banning. Her job is to get the picture back, no matter how she accomplishes her mission.

Unfortunately, Catherine gets involved too deeply with Thomas to keep a professional distance to the case. Fortunately, Thomas seems to fall for her, too. The heist in the film is confusing to say the least but is brilliantly executed

Although the film received mixed reviews its worth watching just for the glider ariel shots alone. The soundtrack is brilliant and this track just pipped Nina Simone’s Sinnerman which was used for the Heist scene.

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Track of the Week 8th March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers

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 “Ain’t no Sunshine “ was Bill Withers first hit for Stax Records which was on his first album Just as I am released in 1971. Produced by Booker T and won a Grammy for best song in 1971.

The track was used by in the 1999 film Notting Hill which was directed by Garry Marshall and written and Produced by Richard Curtis. Many saw it as just another vehicle for Hugh Grant to be Hugh Grant and overlooked the stellar performance by Julia Roberts who plays the damaged superstar actress brilliantly.

The other notable performance is by Rhys Ifans who plays Hugh Grants flatmate and essentially steals the whole film.

The story is one of William Thacker, an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner who meets Anna Scott, the world’s most beautiful woman and best-liked actress, in his shop.

A little later, he William runs into her again – this time spilling orange juice over her. Anna accepts his offer to change in his nearby apartment, and thanks him with a kiss, which seems to surprise her even more than him.

Eventually, Anna and William get to know each other better over the months, but being together with the world’s most wanted woman is not easy.

The song is played in the scene which Hugh Grant walks through Notting Hill Market through the four seasons in one shot. It is a masterpiece of scene choreography making it difficult to spot the edits. One point to notice is that at the start of the scene there is a pregnant woman looking at dresses at a stall, by the end of the scene she is seen holding a baby whilst buying flowers.

Another less interesting fact is that the apartment that William lived in was home to Richard Curtis some years previously.

Its a film full of great performances and captures Notting Hill Cafe culture beautifully

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Track of the Week 1st March 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree. 

 
Local Hero – Mark Knopfler

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 “Local Hero“ was written by Mark Knopfler and was the title track used in the 80s classic film “Local Hero”. When watched in conjunction with the fantastic locations in the film the soundtrack dovetails beautifully with the almost mystical landscapes shown throughout the film. 

Many believe that the music helped to make the film the success it was.

The film was produced by David Putnam and written and directed by Bill Forsyth and starred Burt Lancaster. 

 The Story is one of the 80’s Oil Boom in Scotland and how a local village deals with American big business. Lancaster sends his chief negotiator Peter Riegert to the remote Scottish village to secure the property rights for an oil refinery they want to build. However a local hermit and beach scavenger Ben Knox played by Fulton Mackay forces the ill prepared negotiator to negotiate on his terms. 

 It is a masterpiece full of brilliant performances from a cast which make the characters instantly likeable in a setting that makes you want to visit.

The real star of the Movie is the breathtaking scenery which even when watched on a small screen still makes you want to visit Penrin in Scotland were the film was made. 

People who do visit often ask the locals the way to the church on the beach, they smile and then told its about 150 miles on the other coast. Now that is the magic of film making, geography is only relative to the screen. 

 According to film critic Mark Commode it his his all time favourite film and I can agree it is certainly in my top ten. 

 Roger Ebert In his review in the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film his highest four stars, calling it “a small film to treasure.” He gave particular praise to writer-director Bill Forsyth for his abilities as a storyteller. He added, what makes this film really work is the low-key approach of the writer-director, 

Bill Forsyth, who has the patience to let his characters gradually reveal themselves to the camera. He never hurries, and as a result, Local Hero never drags: Nothing is more absorbing than human personalities, developed with love and humour. 

 Forsyth’s big scenes are his little ones, including a heartfelt, whiskey-soaked talk between the American and the innkeeper, and a scene where the visitors walk on the beach and talk about the meaning of life. 

 By the time Burt Lancaster reappears at the end of the film, to personally handle the negotiations with old Ben, Local Hero could hardly have anything but a happy ending.

 

 

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Track of the Week 15th Feb 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great  song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Running on Empty – Jackson Browne

Running on Empty “, was the tile track off the album of the same name, written and recorded by Jackson Browne in 1977. This album was the turning point in his faltering career. He recorded the album whilst on tour which he undertook after his wife’s suicide the year before.  Its a live album which documents life on the road of a touring band. Surprisingly the album made him popular with a more mainstream audience.

The track was used in the the classic Robert Zemeckis film Forrest Gump.

As many will know the film is a story of a simple man with a low IQ but with good intentions. This was one of Hanks best performances by far. His inocence in explaining his life is what brings the film to life.

By sheer good luck he manages to drift through life being witness to every major american pivotal historic event which makes it all seem more real to the audience.

The track is used when Forrest decides to go for a run whilst coming to terms with the loss of his mother and missing his beloved Jenny his best and only friend. In the scene Forrest inspires people to jog, create the smiley, write bumper stickers and songs.

What I like about the film is that it makes you smile and makes you cry in equal measure, when you have watched in you feel like you have lived through every experience. The scenes in Vietnam being outstanding.

The year it was released it won six oscars including best picture, keeping Pulp Fiction from the podium.

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Track of the Week 8th Feb 2015

Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great  song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.

Both Sides Now – Joni Mitchell

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Both sides now“, was a song written by Joni Mitchell and featured on her 1969 second Album ‘Clouds’. Although the Album was well received she never released the track in her own right. It was Judy Collins who released the song and made it a huge hit.

The version of the track which resonated with me the most is the version off the 2000 Album ‘Both Sides Now’. Its a version that somehow with the passing of time has aged beautifully. Mitchells voice once crystal clear now sounding like a ageing jazz singer makes the song even more poignant.

It is said that this was a song that Joni grew into, improving on her original and with the help of a huge orchestra and beautiful swirling string arrangements, this is definitely a track to listen too in the wee small hours when all is quiet.

It was Richard Curtis who re-introduced the track to a new audience in his 2003 film Love Actually. The scene involves Emma Thompson who has just discovered on Christmas Eve that her husband has been having an affair with his secretary. The scene is a masterclass in heartbreak without words and you can feel every emotion as she pulls herself together before they take the kids to the School Christmas concert.

Fantastic song, epic acting.

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