Industry Drink: Scoring Flanders
Three respected and influential players on the Flemish music scene: Film Fest Gent, the Brussels Philharmonic, and the Galaxy Studios Group have joined forces behind SCORING FLANDERS, an industry-wide initiative designed to bring more top level film, television and game music recording to a region of Belgium that has always been receptive to the scoring craft. The formal launch of the SCORING FLANDERS initiative will take place at next week’s 40th edition of the Flanders Film Festival, now rechristened Film Fest Gent. The announcement will be made before an audience of industry press, as well as festival guests and honorees who will have come from all over the world to attend the 13th World Soundtrack Awards on October 19th. The WSA is an outgrowth of the film festival that expressly honors creators of music for motion pictures. Past honorees include John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Elmer Bernstein, and Angelo Badalamenti. This year’s festival honors the work of French composer Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo). The WSA also names a Composer of the Year and a Discovery of the Year, and the timing of the announcement is designed to inform invitees about the musical treasure to be found in Flanders.
Speaking for the SCORING FLANDERS initiative at next week’s launch will be ANDY HILL, a former Disney Studios music executive and Grammy winner who is now Galaxy’s Executive Producer for Soundtracks, GUNTHER BROUKE, manager of the Brussels Phil as well as the Flemish Radio Choir, and PATRICK DUYNSLAEGER, artistic director of Film Fest Gent. “Each of the three partners,” says Hill, “brings something unique and substantial to the table. The festival has earned enormous good will from the film music community, because they took the music seriously before almost anyone else did. Brussels Philharmonic will offer the only case I know outside London of a major city symphony orchestra lending its name and its depth of talent to scoring. And Galaxy has a world-class crew and facility—including a full scoring stage—in the middle of the greenest, most peaceful countryside I’ve ever seen.”
An ad hoc incarnation of SCORING FLANDERS has, in fact, existed for a number of years and produced several notable scores, including Howard Shore’s for THE AVIATOR, directed by another festival honoree, Martin Scorsese, and Ludovic Bource’s Oscar-winning score for THE ARTIST. In addition, Galaxy Studios is a full post-production facility, offering not only recording services, but film re-recording (dubbing), ADR, Foley, and mastering. It has long serviced projects from Benelux and the neighboring countries of Germany and France. Hill adds, “The most successful organized efforts often seem to be preceded by a kind of loose knit, ‘trial version’ of themselves that gives everyone the chance to fly the plane and see if it works. This plane will fly. When producers and composers see that there is a serious and affordable alternative to London, backed by the Brussels Phil, in a place they already feel good about and that’s a lot closer than Bratislava...Scoring Flanders will take off.”
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern half of Belgium, an autonomous region whose borders have varied throughout history. Its capitol is Brussels, which is also the unofficial capitol of the European Community. In fact, one of the promotional phrases employed by the SF initiative is “Scoring From The Heart of Europe.” The region has long been associated with both art and commerce, through the renowned painters of the Flemish school and a thriving economy as far back as the late Middle Ages. Ghent (or Gent), home of the festival, was once the richest city in Europe thanks to its wool trade.
The SCORING FLANDERS press briefing and launch party will be held at 5:30 on Friday, 18 October, at the Reylof Hotel in Ghent, Flanders.
PROFILES OF THE PARTNERS
Film Fest Gent
Through the lens of Film Fest Gent and its auxiliary World Soundtrack Academy, the Flanders region of Belgium has been on the film music map since the beginning of the 21st century, and has been a center for the appreciation of film music art since 1985. Each year, top film composers, as well as their representatives and fans, come to Gent for a celebration of their craft. Over the past ten years, in addition to honoring accomplished composers like Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and Ennio Morricone, the WSA’s Discovery of the Year award has identified new talents like Michael Giacchino, Tan Dun, Gustavo Santaollalla, Abel Korzeniowski, and Craig Armstrong. The success of these artists has given FFG a reputation as a creative incubator. Film Fest Gent this year celebrates its 40th edition.
The Brussels Philharmonic
Brussels Philharmonic was established in 1935 under the aegis of the Belgian public broadcasting network. The orchestra has performed with leading conductors and soloists and has created new works by world-famous composers such as Bartók, Stravinsky, Messiaen and Francesconi. Brussels Philharmonic and music director Michel Tabachnik are at home in Brussels, both in Flagey and in BOZAR. The orchestra has a residency at the Cité de la musique (Paris). International visibility in motion picture music came to the Brussels Philharmonic when in 2011 it performed music for THE ARTIST, the film that went on to win five Academy Awards, including those for Best Picture and Best Original Score. The BPO is the resident orchestra for the Scoring Flanders project.
The Galaxy Studios Group
Galaxy Studios is a music recording, mixing, mastering and post-production facility established in 1980 by two brothers; Wilfried Van Baelen & Guy Van Baelen. It is the home of Auro 3D cinema sound technology, invented and developed by CEO Wilfried Van Baelen in 2005. Located in Mol, Belgium, a short drive from Brussels, Galaxy supports various music and film post- production workflows. Galaxy Studios also includes Mollywood, a film finan- cing company knowledgeable in the application of Belgian motion picture tax incentives. Galaxy Hall is the studios’s home base for scoring projects, a 350 meter sq. scoring stage that offers better than 100 db isolation from all outside sound sources and the first console outfitted for Auro 3D.
BIOGRAPHICAL DATA ABOUT THE SPOKESPERSONS
• Ralph Broos has more than 25 years experience in the music industry as a musician, producer and sound engineer and has acted as executive manager of Galaxy Studios for the past 10 years. As ‘head of production' for the picture, sound and music departments in this world-renowned facility, he has helped realize over 70 scores, including the internationally credited BBC / HBO mini drama series 'Parade 's End,' and BBC / STARZ costume drama 'The White Queen'.
• Gunther Broucke is manager of the Brussels Philharmonic and Flemish Radio Choir and has accumulated years of experience in the orchestral performance and recording of film music while simultaneously building an international reputation for his ensembles, which contributed enormously to the Academy Award-winning Best Original Score for 'The Artist'.
• Patrick Duynslaegher built a career as Belgium’s most respected movie journalist from 1972 to 2000, and editor-in-chief of Belgium’s nr 1 media and cultural magazine Knack Focus from 2000 to 2011. He joined the Gent Film Fest in the summer of 2011 as Artistic Director and published in many international magazines (Variety, Sight and Sound, Films Illustrated, Vrij Nederland, De Filmkrant, Man, Filmfan). Patrick has been for many years the Belgian correspondent of the International Film Guide. His most recent publication is a book on filmmaker Martin Scorsese.
• Andy Hill has dedicated his professional life to the study, practice and teaching of music for the screen. He has been a music executive for Walt Disney Pictures, overseeing projects earning nine Academy Awards for music; a Grammy-winning independent music supervisor; an educator, co- authoring and directing post-graduate film scoring programs for Columbia College Chicago and the Berklee College of Music, Valencia Campus. He currently serves as executive soundtrack producer and a team leader for international business development at Galaxy Studios.