The Brits who are making a big noise in Hollywood

Home-grown success in movie soundtracks is being given a business boost, reports Ian Burrell

Just like British actors, the composers who are resident in these islands have a great track record in their contribution to Hollywood. It's just that they don't get the same recognition for it.

The best-known of all is the Yorkshireman John Barry, who gave us all the greatest Bond soundtracks – "Dr No", "Goldfinger", "Diamonds Are Forever", "The Man With The Golden Gun" were among his 11 scores for 007 films. He won five Oscars and four Grammys, his music adding to the critical acclaim of such films as Midnight Cowboy and Born Free.

But that tradition didn't end with Barry and his lyric-writing partner Don Black. Cutting Edge Group is at the forefront of a new British-led drive to provide the music for Hollywood.

The group is an amalgamation of the key British companies in film music supervision, which is the task of sourcing composers and selecting and clearing the rights to use recorded songs for use in a soundtrack. At its heart is the 40-year old London-based business Air-Edel, where Hans Zimmer (the composer of the score for Gladiator and more recently Sherlock Holmes) once worked making advertising jingles.

Maggie Rodford, Air-Edel's managing director, has worked as music producer, co-ordinator and supervisor of a wealth of hit films including Gosford Park and Pride & Prejudice. She recently produced the music for The Last Station, which featured Helen Mirren.

Within Air-Edel's roster of composers are Dario Marianelli, the London-based Italian who won an Oscar for the soundtrack to Atonement and also composed the score for the recent Robert De Niro movie Everybody's Fine, and Scotsman Patrick Doyle, who created the music for Bridget Jones's Diary, Sense and Sensibility and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Cutting Edge also represents Neil Davidge, a producer for the band Massive Attack who has helped create the score for the new Ralph Fiennes film for Warner Brothers, Clash of the Titans.

Philip Moross, Cutting Edge Group's chief executive, says the contribution of British film composers deserves greater recognition. "The UK is creatively very important and a disproportionately high number of soundtracks on American-made films are produced by composers who either live in Britain or who are British and now live in America," he says.

"Music for film is not about notes on a page, it's about understanding the director's vision, listening to what he wants and combining the audio with the visuals."

Also beneath Cutting Edge's umbrella is Music Supervision, whose founder Liz Gallacher, has worked on more than 40 films including The Full Monty and the recent Oscar-winning The Cove. She is currently selecting the music for Cemetery Junction, a film about small-town Britain in the Seventies being directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.

Gallacher has moved to Los Angeles with Cutting Edge and is also supervising the score to Barney's Vision, which stars Dustin Hoffman. "She is the best-known music supervisor in the UK," says Moross. "We've consolidated the marquee players in our world into one British company and people are starting to take note that a British company is making headway in the American marketplace."

Cutting Edge is about to start working on the music for the new Liam Neesom film Unknown White Male, which is being shot in Berlin. Meanwhile Moross has secured an arrangement with the Hollywood producer Joel Silver and his company Dark Castle Entertainment to supply music for his films. Silver's upcoming comic-book inspired film project The Losers, starring Zoe Saldana (best known as the blue-faced Neytiri in Avatar), will be released in America next month.

The film features the work of Californian composer John Ottman, but the music supervision of the project was overseen by Cutting Edge, which hopes to incorporate a track from the Scottish band Biffy Clyro adapting an Ottman composition into a rock format.

Many of the big Hollywood studios have traditionally supervised their film scores in-house but Moross is hoping that restructuring within the industry will provide new opportunities for Cutting Edge and its British composers. The group often secures music supervision rights for films by investing in nascent movie projects through a fund called Resonant, which it set up in 2008 with the investment fund manager Nicola Horlick.

"Everybody realises music is a very important ingredient in any visual medium. That goes for feature films but also for television programmes, computer games and advertising," says Moross. "We are trying to create an independent provider of music services across the visual world."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Management Accountant

£30-35k + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Management Accoun...

UI Designer / UX Designer

£40 - 60k + Amazing Benefits: Guru Careers: A UI Designer / UX Designer is nee...

SEO Manager / SEO Expert / Head of Search

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: An SEO Manager / SEO Expert is needed to join an inno...

Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?