FAMLAB Highlights

Bringing together musicians, film makers and producers alike, our Film, Archive and Music Lab week (FAMLAB) brought February 2016 to a close in style. Our 16 delegates from the UK and East Asia were able to share ideas, visit venues including HOME in Manchester and the British Film Institute (BFI) and Barbican in London, and take part in discussions around the challenges and possibilities of working with film and music.

“FAMLAB was such an inspirational program for me,” said Aoura Chandra, a film maker from Indonesia. “I never had many exposures regarding archive films and live scoring. However, after the program, I really wish to start a project that will somewhat share the same experience … At the moment I’m developing a feature film. I think, thanks to the program, it will have more musical element on it than I originally planned.”

Live film score events have proved popular in recent years, as well as commissions of new scores for films using archive material, so the timing seemed right to put together a project like this to encourage collaboration between the worlds of music and film. We were supported by our partners PRS for Music Foundation, HOME and BFI.

During the week, delegates were able to see and hear John Altman’s newly composed jazz score as it was performed live alongside a showing of Anthony Asquith’s 1928 ‘silent’ film, Shooting Stars, lovingly restored from archive material by the BFI. Another public event saw singer-songwriter Josephine Oniyama perform songs inspired by, and alongside, archive film footage at HOME, Manchester.

Guest speakers – including Ian Haydn Smith, Mira Calix, Matthew Herbert, Mara Carlyle, Christopher Thomas Allen, Tim Cowie, Bob Stanley, Paul Kelly and Travis Elborough – covered topics ranging from working with archive footage to the world of rights and contracts, sharing their various experiences. In the playlist below, we share some highlights from the session called “The Stylistics” which explored the logistics of creating and selecting music for film. Briony Hanson, Director of the British Council’s Film team, was joined by Mary Burke, Senior Executive at BFI and previously of Warp Films; Jeanie Finlay, a documentary maker focussing on music and performers; John Maclean, a Scottish film director, screenwriter and musician; Ian Neil, music supervisor on films including Lock Stock and Nowhere Boy; and Robert Ziegler, a conductor and arranger whose work in film includes conducting scores by Jonny Greenwood and Howard Shore.


"I always had a fascination towards film, since a very early age. I remember how I was excited just to see the lion roaring on the MGM opening logo when I was really young. With time, the fascination became a kind of passion and as a teenager, I knew I wanted to make films."


– Aoura Chandra