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Trigger Point screens June 1 and 8 at 9:30pm on ABC1

June 1, 2014

Our documentary series Trigger Point begins tonight at 9:30pm on ABC1, and was flagged by Fairfax newspapers as their ‘Pick of the Week’. Take a look – review below.

Trigger Point

New series
Sunday 1 June, 9.30pm, ABC1
Veteran Fairfax crime reporter John Silvester fronts this excellent two-part documentary examining the issue of police shootings in Victoria. When these stories hit the headlines the focus is – understandably – very much on the victims and their families. What we tend not to see, either in the news or in fiction, is an account of how these incidents affect the men and women pulling the trigger. That’s what this doco sets out to address, along with an intelligent backgrounder on how and why firearms became part of the everyday uniform of Australian police. Silvester’s access is impressive. We don’t just get interviews with a dozen key players (members of the notorious armed robbery squad, the officers associated with the Walsh Street shootings, family members, all the way up to Victorian police chief Ken Lay). There’s also a quantity of disturbing, moving and enlightening archival police footage of crime scenes and investigations. (And a warning: some of it is horribly explicit.) It’s a visceral reminder of the reality of these incidents. Most compelling, though, are simply the accounts from the officers involved who talk frankly about how terrified they are when confronted with an armed villain, how that fear affects your judgment, and the awful and enduring emotional fallout when you realise you’ve taken someone’s life. Popular culture encourages us to believe that police officers are somehow superhuman, a special breed. One of the most powerful aspects of this story is the reminder that, like us, they are simply frail human beings. This episode deals with a number of stories we’re all familiar with, either from the newspapers or the Underbelly sagas. And as Silvester points out, while there’s always concern about police shooting and killing people, the general public isn’t all that fussed when the victims are hardened criminals. Next week we look in detail at the shooting of Melbourne teenager Tyler Cassidy in a suburban skate park: something that didn’t just horrify the public, but devastated the officers involved”.

– Melinda Houston – Fairfax June 1 2014

From ‘The Shadow of Mary Poppins’ to Hollywood’s ‘Saving Mr Banks’

January 4, 2014

saving-mr-banksDid you catch the article on the history of ‘Saving Mr Banks’ by Karl Quinn in Fairfax papers today? I scored the original documentary The Shadow of Mary Poppins which inspired the Hollywood film starring Emma Thompson as Pamela Travers and Tom Hanks as Walt Disney.

Ian Collie, who is quoted in the article, produced our original documentary (which was inspired by Valerie Lawson’s biography of Pamela) and also produced the new film. Quite a connection. There might be more to this story shortly. Stay tuned…

Dingo – Wild Dog at War screens

December 4, 2013

Dingo - Wild Dog at War
Hi everyone. Dingo – Wild Dog at War is screening this Sunday at 7:30pm on ABC1. Great timeslot. I did this one late last year. Didge playing by the criminally underrated Kristan Baker (There you go K-man!)

Here’s the synopsis from the Essential Media and Entertainment website:
“The Australian bush is at war… ‘DINGO’ follows farmer and canine advocate Dave Graham as he hunts for solutions to the dilemma surrounding Australia’s native canine the Dingo. A secretive and stealthy predator, Dingoes are responsible for devastating livestock losses. Farmers, in defense of their livelihoods, have long retaliated with culling. It’s a battle for survival, and it’s escalating. But is the Dingo really a villain? New research shows the Dingo may play a pivotal role in protecting Australian ecosystems. Sadly, this research also shows that the pure Dingo is on the brink of extinction. Featuring stunning behavioral photography and a wide cast of passionate stakeholders, this one-hour natural history documentary will attempt to untangle one of the most complex and emotional debates facing the Australian landscape today.”

Fun music for the next two episodes of Mako

October 18, 2013

mako mermaids - portal

The next 2 episodes of Mako Mermaids have some of my favourite music cues of the series! There are some big signature tunes and motifs in there too that keep reappearing as the series progresses. Moon Pools, tridents, Mako Island for Ep13 (today) and a bunch of tension and slapstick for Ep14. Great fun to write.

Tune in today at 4pm on Network Ten Australia.

Ozdox screening tonight – The Worm Hunters

August 14, 2013

introducing victor - the worm hunters
are hosting a screening and discussion on our documentary film The Worm Hunters tonight Wednesday 14th August at AFTRS in Sydney at 6:30. The Worm Hunters has an unconventional structure for a documentary and as such “Ozdox is showing this film primarily because of its form. In this session we will ask you, the viewer, to decide whether this documentary’s use of animated graphics, fast cutting, layered editing and multi-character stories enhances or devalues its mission of revealing important information about one of nature’s most maligned, undervalued and forgotten animals…
Randall who has a conservatorium degree in music composition and performance believes that “sound is the king and queen” and great music “is the heart and soul” of a film. The brief he gave composer Brett Aplin was to create a score for a “global James Bond spy drama” — so how does such a sonic “soul” fit with serious documentary purpose?”
(from the Ozdox website)

It’s won a bunch of awards so if you love documentary check it out and be part of the discussion

James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenge

August 6, 2013

Yes, this is pretty cool. Along with Ricky Edwards and Amy Bastow I have co-composed the score for DeepSea Challenge, the new James Cameron 3D documentary which chronicles his amazing descent to the deepest point in the world’s oceans, Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.
(No, it’s not the Marinara Trench as one of my friends claims although I can see his logic there…)

You can check out all the amazing details at the official Nat Geo DeepSea Challenger website
Here’s a pic from the film


It was a real thrill, particularly the part where we got to record a string, brass and woodwinds section! Nice to ditch the orchestral samples occasionally. Here’s a couple of pix from the session at Allan Eaton’s in Melbourne

recording-session2 recording-session1

I reckon you’d be hard-pressed to figure out which composer wrote which cue but to point you in the right direction, I did a few of the factory scenes and a number of the dives, including the final dive (Yes, when you hear it that is a 17 minute cue…). You can guess the rest. The score was mixed in 5.1 surround at Trackdown Studios in Sydney.

I’m proud of the score and to have been involved. Thanks to Ray, Lisa, Jim and Peter H in particular. Check out the film won’t you. It’s getting a theatrical release – I have my fingers crossed for late 2013 but you never know with these things. I’ll keep you posted.

Mako Mermaids screens Friday July 26th at 4pm on Network Ten

July 3, 2013

Any parents of school age kids out there? I’ve just wrapped the new children’s TV series Mako Mermaids by legendary producer Jonathan M. Shiff (Ocean girl, Wicked Science, H20: Just add water, The Elephant Princess, Horace and Tina, Pirate Islands and the list goes on). The series is co-composed by the extremely talented Ricky Edwards and is a 26-part half hour series to be screened locally on Network Ten, and internationally pretty much everywhere! I was on board full time from Episode 9 but I also co-composed Ep5. ‘Mako’ is a spin-off from the wildly successful ‘H2O: Just add water’ which went gang-busters internationally (google it!)

It’s a great show. I would have lapped this up as a kid and my son loves it. Sit down with your kids and check it out.

Mako Mermaids screens locally on Network Ten as Mako: Island of Secrets and premières from Friday 26th July at 4pm

Checkout the trailer below (music by Ricky Edwards)