The Serious Stuff
Manchester-based Andrew Phillips is both a film composer & music producer and has worked on numerous independent features and shorts the past seven years. His music has been featured in productions distributed all around the world. Most notable works include The Zombie King (2013) starring Corey Feldman and Edward Furlong, The Turing Enigma (2011) and The Road We Travel (2015). In addition, he has been involved with promos for Unilever, Accelerate, Brother and EA Games.
A graduate of Rose Bruford Performing Arts College and SAE Institute in London, Andrew started composing music from a very early age and hasn’t stopped since.
Andrew likes to take a minimalist ‘less is more’ approach to music creation in order to get down to the emotional core of what needs to be expressed. Also a skilled engineer, arranger and producer, he takes it upon himself to create the best sounding music possible.
Upcoming projects include Emmott & Rowland, a period short about the plague, and Down & Out, a drama about downs syndrome.
“Andrew gets amazing and better results than any other composer I’ve worked with, and he does so in a shorter time. Truly an asset to any team, I will continue to work with him in the future as his knowledge and skill of music production brings my projects to life.” Aidan Belizaire, Director
“Andrew wrote the whole of the score for the feature film ‘The Zombie King’, which was extremely detailed from start to finish. His knowledge was outstanding and the whole creative process was first class. He stuck to all deadlines and was a pleasure to work with. I look forward to working with Andrew again in the future – superb job and he comes highly recommended by us.” Rebecca-Clare Evans, CEO Northern Girl Productions Ltd
The Fun Biog
Most inspirational film score by composer (living or dead) and why? – Alien3 by Eliot Goldenthal – strong mix of real and electronic instruments seamlessly blended together, plus a balance between bombast & intimacy, clear melodies & atonal sounds. Most importantly it does its job in making you feel very uneasy.
5 films you’d take to a desert island? – Next to impossible but maybe: Brazil – Terry Gilliam, Magnolia – Paul Thomas Anderson, Alien – Ridley Scott, The Bourne Supremacy – Paul Greengrass, Hot Fuzz – Edgar Wright
Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman or Chris Martinez? Why? – Hans Zimmer hands down – although I like some of Elfman’s work, I feel he’s gotten stuck with a particular sound that rarely changes, although it’s served him well. Zimmer has a much broader pallet and is constantly reinventing himself; therefore he’s able to apply himself to virtually any genre of film.
Which musical instrument couldn’t you live without in a score and why? – Not really an instrument, as I don’t really operate like that, but as regards frequency I always like a bit of low end. I always feel it helps to reinforce the emotional impact of my music as and when it’s required.
Luckiest break to date? – Difficult one, not sure about the film itself, but working on The Zombie King was certainly an experience. Being able to write music for Corey Feldman and Edward Furlong (John Connor from T2) was a real thrill, and the film has been all around the world.
Trapped in a lift with Ridley Scott for 2 mins. What do you say? –
“Man you sure do make a great proscenium!”
“Why do other filmmakers show their monsters too much?”
“But seriously…Prometheus – looks great but what happened?”
“I still love you though”
Favourite adaptation of a book to the small screen? And the big screen?
TV – The Rotter’s Club by Jonathan Coe Film – The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Martin Scorsese or Alfred Hitchcock? – Tricky. Scorsese, although I love both – Hitchcock was arguably more innovative and used music better. I guess I like Marty’s films more, plus he knows how to end them (a weakness of Alfred’s). Even in his 70s Scorsese still feels like a young director in attitude.
Film most like to re-score? – The film Witness directed by Peter Weir. Maurice Jarre’s score has always been celebrated but I think it’s terrible and doesn’t go with the film at all. I’d dump the synths, which grate against the Amish setting and have everything real and much subtler.
Describe your film-scoring signature style – I suppose I try and make things as simple as possible so I can cut to the core of the emotion I’m trying to convey. I’ve found that the directors I’ve worked with prefer a ‘less is more’ approach and this has significantly informed my working practices.
Do you have awards and if so what are they? – Not yet. Hopefully one day, but that’s not why I do this.
Where do you live and what’s your nationality? – I’m English and live in Manchester – a fine place to call home.
Sitting next to Guy Ritchie on a plane. What do you say? – “So…Revolver. What was that all about then?”
Programmer or dots on a page? – Both – they all have their uses.
And finally… why do/did you want to be a film composer? – I love film. I love Music. Combining the two together is a dream come true. Also, I love how music can control an audience’s emotional state. Just watch ET – The Extraterrestrial without John Williams’ music and you’ll know what I mean.
Longing For Emmott – Emmott & Rowland
Messages – Late Bloomer
The Discovery – The Turing Enigma
There Never Was – Evariste Galois