Domino Records host Edinburgh International Film Festival event
Event aims to showcase effective combination of music and film
This article is from 2011.
A good advert can, sometimes, sell more than jeans, or alcohol, or cars. Think of the 1999 number one song, 'Flat Beat', which gained enormous popularity after a puppet called Flat Eric danced to it in a Levi’s advert. Levi’s shifted their jeans, the song stayed on the top spot for three weeks, and factory workers were employed for the next 12 months pumping stuffing into furry, yellow Eric knock-offs.
In that case the advert branched out into several phenomena, demonstrating the power that music can have to enhance an audience’s feeling about a piece of film – a power that will be explored as part of a special Domino Records ‘Cut & Paste’ event at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. Aspiring filmmakers will be submitting 60-second clips to Domino’s head of synchronisation, Lynden Campbell, who will then be choosing some of the label’s tracks to edit to the footage. ‘I usually respond within about half an hour,’ Campbell explains of her normal process with clients. How often, then, is she listening to music to have such an encyclopaedic knowledge of Domino’s back-catalogue? ‘Constantly, it doesn’t stop. Sometimes we’re listening to two things at once.’
Having run a similar event before in Liverpool, Campbell thinks it will open a few minds. ‘Most of the [Liverpool] filmmakers were quite surprised at the choices,’ she says. ‘But when we suggested the music, it was probably better … By the end of the event a third of the audience want to be signed to Domino, a third want me to give them a job, and a third are filmmakers who either have an epiphany, or hate me.’
Beta Band founder Steve Mason will also be joining in the session, presenting some equally staunch opinions, this time from the recording artist’s perspective. ‘Whether it’s something like Blade Runner, or the Sergio Leone films, or the John Carpenter films (for which Carpenter did a lot of the music himself) the music is just as important and just as memorable to the people who love those films as anything else,’ he says. Though he also believes that music can ruin a film, notably Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. ‘Every fucking five minutes there’s a new piece of music comes in, and I know [Tarantino]’s thinking, “This is the bit that everybody’s going to remember” … Getting some sort of kudos from playing an old or rediscovered track – it’s boring now. A return to the great days of John Williams, that’s what I want.’
The event will feature some ‘open and frank’ discussion, not only about choosing music for film, but also the pitfalls of licensing it (‘if you’ve got a film about a terrorist for example, a band might not want to do it’ Campbell suggests). Domino’s involvement also runs to club nights being hosted at the Teviot, plus the label’s act, Pram, will be staging a Shadow Shows event that will blur the lines between the flat reality of the cinema screen, and the 3D reality of a performance. Overall Campbell thinks EIFF 2011 will be an opportunity to try out ‘new creative endeavours.’ ‘After all,’ she says, ‘the film industry is struggling as much as the music industry.’
Domino: Cut & Paste, Festivalhouse@ Teviot – Debating Hall, Thu 23 Jun, 3pm. Shadow Shows, Festivalhouse@Teviot – Debating Hall, Thu 23 Jun, 8.30pm.