Music has the power to inspire, uplift and connect and we wanted to harness that to bring together very different groups within the community using the medium of film.
Our story focusses on the unseen men behind the hits of the late 50s to the early 80s, during a fascinating time of cultural change and when making music was a very different business, borne from a set of circumstances that will probably never be repeated. These days, making music is digital, electronic, and can be immediate, cheap, easy and often solitary. Despite the vast differences in the business, the process and the music itself, the music made then still resonates now and is world famous – hits by everyone from Serge Gainsbourg, David Bowie and Sir Cliff Richard to the Bond Film theme tune, Ella Fitgerald and Jeff Beck – and hundreds more artists in between. Their songs evoke a range of emotions, nostalgia and memories, and remain a vital, current and connecting force for good.
Connecting young and old
Our plan was to bring together young and old, using the medium of film and content to tell these fascinating stories and in doing so discover the points of connection, the mutual joys, to preserve the heritage and provoke a curiosity to learn more.
At one end of the spectrum, are the original stars behind the hits, the session musicians themselves, now aged 60 – 80. At the other end, by example, a 6th form college in North London, Camden School for Girls. We visited the school and gave a talk about the project and the story to about 50+ students who had all self-elected to stay late to join in – a good start!
What we discovered were, as we suspected, young people who were not only familiar with the music, but were fascinated with the process of making music back then, and could sometimes even relate it to their own experiences.
There was clearly an appetite to hear and learn more, and we even had a member of the audience ask to join the film shoot happening that weekend.
Two days later in mid December, with a lot of planning, coordination and a lot of skilled volunteers we were able to reunite many of the original musicians back in one of the few music studios that still exists to reminisce, play and record music as it would have been done ‘in the old days’. Alongside the skilled experts behind the cameras, were 3 young people gaining some once in a lifetime work experience!
The film shoot was a once in lifetime opportunity to get these legends back together again, and would provide an incredible insight into their world, as well as the focal point of our film.
Post Christmas, and the pandemic started to rear its head, and sadly this particular aspect of the overall project has been put on hold ever since. The process of filming more material and editing has been stop-start and like many other things this year, remains a work in progress.
As soon as we are able, we will continue with our plan of using music and film to bring joy and to connect young and old.
Huge thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund for their grant to help facilitate our project for the community.