Film Music Prague 2018 – Festival Summary

A few weeks ago, April 19 to 22, 2018, the 7th edition of Film Music Prague festival was celebrated in Prague (Czech Republic), having SoundTrackFest as a partner. The festival was attended by Gorka Oteiza, who has written a full report that you can read next.

 

VIDEO - SUMMARIES

 

INTRODUCTION

Film Music Prague is an European festival that little by little has gained fame and reputation through the concerts that has organized in the last 6 years, having a guests lineup that was growing edition after edition, highlighting the presence of Craig Armstrong and Joe Hisaishi in 2017 (read the summary article of the 6th edition).

 

This year the festival celebrated its 7th edition, taking a step forward and expanding the number of days and the number of concerts to be performed. Five concerts in total: 4 dedicated to the music of Benjamin Wallfisch, Two Steps from Hell and Clint Mansell, plus a 5th concert, a special closing gala concert on the last day, which included music from many composers.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Stage

 

As a novelty from last year, these concerts were complemented with a program of panels offered by the guests of the festival, giving insight information from different areas of the world of film music: orchestrators, producers, composers, publicists, critics, etc…

 

So, as you can see, the festival offered a very complete and varied program with alternatives for all tastes. But let’s go step by step, and read about the whole festival in this article.

 

DAY 1 – THURSDAY 19/4/2018 - GOOSEBUMPS CONCERT

The first concert of the festival was celebrated at the Forum Karlin, the official venue for most of the festival’s concerts: a very nice venue with nice acoustic properties, which is quite flexible and can accommodate different audience sizes.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Forum Karlin

 

The opening concert, called Goosebumps, was dedicated to the music of Benjamin Wallfisch, complemented mostly with music from Hans Zimmer where Benjamin Wallfisch had also worked on. It was performed by City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the expert baton of Nic Raine, with the accompaniment of the Vox Pragae Choir with Miriam Němcová as choirmaster.

Film Music Prague 2018 - 'Goosebumps' concert - Rehearsals

 

The concert started at 7:10 p.m. with the world premiere of the Fanfare of the Film Music Prague Festival, composed expressly for this 7th edition by Matthijs Kieboom. A very good piece that captures the essence of the festival and of the city; solemn but not overwhelming, with the right amount of intensity. The fanfare also had some Easter eggs hidden in the music; the first one referencing the bells of the many churches of the city, and the second one mimicking the ticking of the main clock of Prague, incorporated in the form of castanets to the melody.

 

Following, Annabelle 2: Creation – Suite came as the first piece of the concert, in a transition that was not maybe the best one to get the audience in the mood of the night, giving way to the performance of Inception – Time, that didn’t get the rhythm needed. IT – Symphonic Suite and The Thin Red Line – The Village were next and had a good development, compensating the dazed beginning. After that, came the fantastic piece Hidden Figures – Suite, with a sweet melody delivering emotion and conflict, and the fantastic voices of the Maranatha Gospel Choir, especially the soloist girl, adding a feeling for overcoming and hope at the end. The last piece of the first half was Gladiator – Suite, providing a strong and very intense performance, leading to the intermission after nearly 50 minutes of music.

 

Film Music Prague 2018 - 'Goosebumps' concert - Beginning

 

The second half started with the world premiere of The Catcher Was a Spy – Suite from Howard Shore, a movie that hasn’t hit the theatres yet, and that delivered a very good suite. The well-known theme The Da Vinci Code – Chevaliers De Sangreal showed a strong orchestra growing through the piece and a powerful choir at the end. But the highlight of the second half was A Cure For Wellness – Suite, a complicated piece for orchestra and choir that delivered the right amount of horror, with a frantic and difficult central passage based on percussion, which was wonderfully performed, and ended with a scary lullaby, making it in overall a perfect suite. Blade Runner – Suite (Vangelis) had a mix of orchestra and pre-recorded sounds, with special effects such as the sound of the rain, or the choir members moving their papers and whistling/breathing heavily to make ambient sounds, complementing the music coming from the orchestra. Special mention to the saxophone passages that delivered a very strong sensation of complicity. The concert ended with two encores, Summer in February and Sherlock Holmes, giving a perfect ending to the night and to a very enjoyable concert after two hours of music.

Film Music Prague 2018 - 'Goosebumps' concert - Ending

 

In overall it was a good concert, with a very good performance of the orchestra and a wonderful conducting of Nic Raine, with a sharp, strong and very precise pulse in every moment, but unfortunately, we missed composer Benjamin Wallfisch’s presence, who finally couldn’t attend the festival.

 

You can find the full program of the concert and the performers, clicking the “+” sign of the following box.

DAY 1 – THURSDAY 19/4/2018 - GOOSEBUMPS CONCERT

INFORMATION

  • Place: Forum Karlin (Praga)
  • Orchestra: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Nic Raine
  • Choir: Vox Pragae Choir (choirmaster Miriam Němcová)
  • Hosted by Marek Šulc, speaker of Classic Prague Radio
  • Special guest: Matthijs Kieboom

PROGRAM

Matthijs Kieboom – FANFARE of the Film Music Prague Festival (world premiere)

Benjamin Wallfisch – Annabelle 2: Creation – Suite

Hans Zimmer – INCEPTION – Time

Benjamin Wallfisch – IT – Symphonic suite

Hans Zimmer – THE THIN RED LINE – The Village

Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch – HIDDEN FIGURES – Suite (feat. Maranatha Gospel Choir)

Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard – GLADIATOR – Suite

– – – INTERMISSION – – –

Howard Shore – THE CATCHER WAS A SPY – Suite (world premiere)

Benjamin Wallfisch – A CURE FOR WELLNESS – Suite

Hans Zimmer – THE DA VINCI CODE – Chevaliers de Sangreal

Hans Zimmer – THE LAST SAMURAI – Suite

Vangelis – BLADE RUNNER – Suite

Lorne Balfe & Hans Zimmer – GENIUS – Suite

Hans Zimmer – INTERSTELLAR – Suite for organ and orchestra

ENCORES

Benjamin Wallfisch – SUMMER IN FEBRUARY – Suite

Hans Zimmer – SHERLOCK HOLMES – The End

 

 

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 20/4/2018 - CONFERENCES START + TWO STEPS FROM HELL CONCERTS

The second day started earlier, having  the first conference of the festival being held at the Festival Center, that was situated in a centric and very touristic place; the Kaiserštejnský palác (Kaiserstenjnsky Palace). The Festival Center also held exhibitions (like the wonderful one provided by the Karel Zelman Museum) and a listening experience organized by festival partner 440 Audio.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Kaiserstenjnsky Palace

 

The first conference, at 5:00 p.m., was “Czech Film Music Through History” with Jan Jirasek (composer), Jan Maxian (composer) and Martin Rudovsky (dramaturge of Prague Symphony Orchestra), moderated by festival’s Artistic Director Nikola Bojčev.

 

Getting back to the music, Friday was a special day as there were two concerts to be held, one at 2:00 p.m. and a second one at 7:00 p.m., both dedicated to the trailer music of Two Steps From Hell, composed by Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergersen. Initially, only one concert was planned (at 7 p.m.) but it sold out very quickly months ago, so a second concert was organized, which by the way, also sold out. Very popular kind of music!

 

The concerts were celebrated at Forum Karlin, and had a mix of orchestra, choir, soloists and pre-recorded sounds, with a very bombastic and energetic Hollywood-blockbuster style of music, as can be expected from a concert dedicated to Trailer Music. In total, 18 short and strong pieces, in a concert that lasted nearly two hours (intermission included).

 

The orchestra was the Praga Sinfonietta conducted by Petr Pololáník, with the Kühn Choir managed by choirmaster Lenka Navrátilová, and they had the accompaniment of two soloist female voices: Merethe Soltvedt and Kamila Nývltová, both very important, being part of nearly half of the pieces played.

 

During the concert, there was a big surprise when composer Thomas Bergersen, who was a special guest of the event, appeared on the stage in the middle of the first half and started to play the violin first and piano later, accompanying the orchestra till the end of the concert. The audience went crazy and the entire hall stood up and cheered and screamed as if a rock star had just entered the place!! People came from many places of Europe for these two concerts, and there was even someone from across the ocean in the room (somebody from the audience shouted Brazil when the composer asked for nationalities!).

Film Music Prague 2018 - Two Steps From Hell - Concert

 

The concert was clearly aimed to fans of Two Steps From Hell, and orchestral music fans could’ve found the concert’s program or development disappointing, but the concert delivered what promised. Talking about quality, the concert had a very good performance of the orchestra, choir, and soloist voices, based on a strong brass section and powerful strings  and percussion giving lots of intensity to most of the pieces, and raising it later when the voices of the choir were added.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Two Steps From Hell - Thomas Bergersen

 

As a curiosity, the orchestra was using headphones with “clicks”, so they could listen to the precise beat of the pieces, as the performance needed to be very sharp. The conductor, Petr Pololáník, also had a big headset on him all the time; something that’s not very usual unless you’re in a recording session. He did a great job keeping the pace and rhythm, in an execution that needed to be exactly synced with the pre-recorded sounds (as that was the way the composer wanted the show to be).

 

 

The sound was well-balanced and very compact, but the loudspeakers were a little bit annoying on the first rows on some occasions. If something has to be pointed out, maybe I’d say that there were too many pre-recorded sounds, and on many occasions you didn’t know if the sound was coming from the orchestra or from the speakers (for example, the piano was not used on the first pieces, and there was a pre-recorded piano/keyboard instead).

 

In my opinion, all the pieces seemed very similar, lacking proper identity, and many times you couldn’t know if you were listening to a new piece or just to a reprise of a previous piece. But that’s the nature of Trailer Music, and many themes just offer strength sacrificing identity.

 

In overall it was a very good concert dedicated to Trailer Music, which lasted less than two hours, and delivered what the audience expected. Fans loved it, as we could see with the final standing ovation and cheers to composer Thomas Bergersen. As a curiosity, after the encore was played and the musicians left, he appeared by mistake on stage a second time to take his violin, and had to explain to the standing crowd that the concert was over!!… But promising that he would do more concerts and would come back again to Prague on another occasion!

 

You can find the full program of the concert and the performers, clicking the “+” sign of the following box.

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 20/4/2018 - ‘TWO STEPS FROM HELL’

INFORMATION

  • Place: Forum Karlin (Praga)
  • Orchestra: Praga Sinfonietta
  • Conductor: Petr Pololáník
  • Choir: Kühn Choir (choirmaster Lenka Navrátilová)
  • Voice solos: Merethe Soltvedt, Kamila Nyvltova
  • Special guest: Thomas Bergersen (piano and violin)

PROGRAM

Thomas Bergersen – Strength of thousand men (feat. Merethe Soltvedt)

Nick Phoenix – Fill My Heart (feat. Kamila Nývltová)

Thomas Bergersen – Protectors of Earth

Nick Phoenix – Everlasting

Thomas Bergersen – Heart of Courage

Nick Phoenix – Fire Nation

Thomas Bergersen – Ocean Princess (feat. Merethe Soltvedt)

Nick Phoenix – Master of Shadows

Thomas Bergersen – Flight of the Silverbird

– – – INTERMISSION – – –

Nick Phoenix – Blackout (feat. Kamila Nývltová)

Thomas Bergersen – Winterspell

Nick Phoenix – Stormkeeper

Thomas Bergersen – Evergreen

Nick Phoenix – Neverdark

Thomas Bergersen – Victory (feat. Merethe Soltvedt)

Nick Phoenix – Fall of the Fountain World (feat. Kamila Nývltová)

Thomas Bergersen – To Glory

ENCORE

Thomas Bergersen – Remember Me (feat. Merethe Soltvedt)

 

 

DAY 3 – SATURDAY 21/4/2018 - CLINT MANSELL SYMPHONIC CONCERT

Third day of the festival had a bigger focus on conferences than previous days. A wise decision, as it was Saturday, a day more likely for people to have free time to attend.

 

The day started at 1:00 p.m. with the conference “Diversity in Film Music – New Voices Matter” moderated by Chandler Paul Poling of White Bear PR agency, having composer Carly Paradis as the main guest, who also played the piano to illustrate some of her work examples.

 

At 2:00 p.m. the conference “Orchestrators, Arrangers, and Conductors – Making Music Work” was held, moderated by Eleni Mitsiaki, having composer and arranger Matt Dunkley with her, who gave a really good insight of his work. The most interesting part was when he showed some videos with the original pieces he had to work with, and the final pieces after they had gone through his arrangements and orchestrations. What a difference!

Film Music Prague 2018 - Conferences - Matt Dunkley & Eleni Mitsiaki

 

At 3:00 p.m. the panel “Scoring Outside Hollywood” was held, with Ilan Eshkeri and Roman Kariolou, moderated by American journalist Tim Greiving, in a panel that was funny, interesting and very interactive.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Conferences - Tim Greiving, Roman Kariolou & Ilan Eshkeri

 

The last conference of the day was at 4:00 p.m., called “Publicity in Film Music – Tips on Promotion” offered by White Bear PR’s founder Chandler Paul Poling, who gave tips on how a composer should promote his/her career.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Conferences - Chandler Poling - White Bear PR

 

At night, and after having two concerts the previous day, the fourth concert of Film Music Prague Festival was celebrated at Forum Karlín. Named ‘Clint Mansell Symphonic’, it was dedicated to the music of Clint Mansell, and was performed by the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Miriam Němcová with the Charles University Choir (choirmaster Jakub Zicha).

 

Unfortunately, Clint Mansell couldn’t attend the festival, being the second big absence in the announced guests, but the concert had the presence of this orchestrator, Matt Dunkley, who was in charge of preparing and supervising the content for that night’s performance. The concert also had the presence of Carly Paradis, regular collaborator of Clint Mansell, with special thanks from the festival going to Nikiforos Chrysoloras, for his help arranging and orchestrating some of the pieces of the night.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Clint Mansell Symphonic - Introduction

 

The concert, which didn’t have any visuals at all (as happened in previous concerts of this edition), started at 7:15 p.m. with an 8-minute suite for orchestra of the movie Noah, joined later by the choir, having a strong central section and an ethnic style pleasant choral ending. The music of Moon and Loving Vincent came next, being the first one quite slow and dull and having the second one a better development, leaving way to Black Swan, a real delicacy, with very nice music that mixed Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece and counterpoint passages, closing the first half of the concert that lasted about 50 minutes.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Clint Mansell Symphonic - Concert

 

After a 30 minute break, the second half started with The Fountain, in a quite long and good suite of nearly 15 minutes, which was followed by a surprise not present in the program, a suite of the music from the movie Mute (2018). But probably the highlight of this second part (and of the concert) was the music from Requiem for a Dream, in a suite for orchestra and choir, which got the right temper after a slow start, being even part of the first and only encore of the night. A big ovation, to close a concert that lasted a little bit more than 2 hours (intermission included).

 

I have to say that the concert was faithful to the original music, having very good symphonic orchestrations by Matt Dunkley (with some last minute help from Nikiforos Chrysoloras), and it had a very good performance by the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Miriam Němcová and the Charles University Choir, but it was probably the weakest concert offered during the festival. Maybe a smaller format concert would have been more appropriate for this kind of music. It pleased Clint Mansell’s fans, but didn’t get that effect and left a cold feeling on the rest of the audience.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Clint Mansell Symphonic - Ending

 

You can find the full program of the concert and the performers, clicking the “+” sign of the following box.

DAY 3 – SATURDAY 21/4/2018 - CLINT MANSELL SYMPHONIC CONCERT

INFORMATION

  • Place: Forum Karlin (Praga)
  • Orchestra: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Miriam Němcová
  • Choir: Charles University Choir (choirmaster Jakub Zicha)
  • Special guest: Matt Dunkley (arrangements), Nikiforos Chrysoloras (special arrangements), Carly Paradis

PROGRAM

Noah – Suite for choir and symphony orchestra

Moon – Suite for symphony orchestra

Loving Vincent – Suite for choir and symphony orchestra

Black Swan – Suite for symphony orchestra

– – – INTERMISSION – – –

The Fountain – Suite for piano and symphony orchestra

Mute – Suite for symphony orchestra

High Rise – Suite for symphony orchestra

Requiem for a Dream – Suite for choir and symphony orchestra

ENCORE

Requiem for a Dream

 

 

DAY 4 – SUNDAY 22/4/2018 - TRUE STORIES GALA

Fourth and final day of Film Music Prague Festival had arrived, and it started with the last three conferences of the program.

 

The first one was at 1:00 p.m. called “Q&A: Spicy Stories Behind the Festival” with festival’s Artistic Director Nikola Bojčev speaking, who was completely sincere about what’s going on behind organizing a festival, with its good and bad moments, and the disappointments that happen, when cancelations that are out of the organization’s control and possibilities appear. He took all the questions of the audience, giving answers to each and every one of them, many times beyond the “politically correct” answers.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Conferences - Nikola Bojcev

 

At 2:00 p.m. the conference “A Life Between London and Hollywood” was held, moderated by journalist Eleni Mitsiaki, with composers Daniel Pemberton and Ilan Eshkeri sharing their stories in a close, funny and familiar ambient.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Conferences - Daniel Pemberton, Ilan Eshkeri & Eleni Mitsiaki

 

The last conference of the festival was held at 3:00 p.m., called “Golden Age: Re-Discovering Scores” moderated by Gorka Oteiza, and had record producer and orchestra contractor James Fitzpatrick as the main figure, sharing his inside experience and his priceless stories about re-recording many classic movies’ soundtracks in Prague.

Film Music Prague 2018 - Conferences - Gorka Oteiza & James Fitzpatrick

 

At night, at 7 p.m., the fifth and last concert of the festival was celebrated, but this time changing the venue to the Rudolfinum, a high-class building with a very special and good acoustics. The concert was named ‘True Stories Gala’ and had music from several different movies inspired by true events. It was performed by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra (Symfonický Orchestr Českého rozhlasu) conducted by Chuhei Iwasaki, with the Kühn Choir (Kühnův smíšený sbor, choirmaster Lenka Navrátilová) and the support of the Pueri Gaudentes Boys Choir in the first half. The concert also had the participation of soloists Olga Sroubkova (violin), Carolina Eyck (theremin), Andrea Kalivodová (mezzo-soprano) and Karolína Žmolíková (soprano).

Film Music Prague 2018 - True Stories Gala - Beginning

 

As special guests, we could find British composers Ilan Eshkeri and Daniel Pemberton in the public, whose music was also part of the concert.

 

The show started at 7:15 p.m. with the fantastic Fanfare of Film Music Prague composed by Matthijs Kieboom, having it performed on the opening and on the closing days, and it was followed by a suite of The Imitation game – Alexandre Desplat, that didn’t get the correct rhythm and pace of the original music.

 

Following, came one of the biggest highlights of the night, a world premiere of a 16-minute suite from Valkyrie John Ottman, especially prepared by Nikiforos Chrysoloras, which narrated the story of the movie from the point of view of the ‘conspirators’. It began ominously, creating tension, moving on to the main theme later, and then having a relief moment with the waltz, anticipating the calm before the storm, that would lead to the end of the suite. A suite that got a well-deserved ovation from the public.

Film Music Prague 2018 - True Stories Gala - Concert

 

Daniel Pemberton’s piece Steve Jobs – The Musicians Play & Circus of Machines also had a world premiere in a fantastic performance, with the perfect balance between orchestra and choir/voices.

 

Next, we had John Williams – The Schindler’s List – Theme, which managed to deliver goosebumps with a heartwarming violin solo. And the first half ended after more than one hour of concert with the wonderfully arranged Chariots of Fire – Theme – Vangelis, where the orchestra perfectly replaced the electronic sounds of the original score, without losing a single nuance or minimizing the sense of the piece.

 

The second half started at 8:40 p.m. with the music of The Young Vitoria – Childhood & Victoria and Albert, performed as it was originally intended by its composer, Ilan Eshkeri, and not as it appeared at the end of the movie. Grand Budapest Hotel – SuiteAlexandre Desplat came next, sharing the joyous and funny spirit of the original piece, with some very good arrangements for orchestra, and without using special instruments as in the original score.

 

Following, Oscar Wilde – Suite – Debbie Wiseman came, in a good performance that was somehow eclipsed by the next piece, a marvelous Titanic – Hard to Starboard – James Horner, which depicted those distressing moments of the encounter with the iceberg, which sealed the ship’s fate. We could literally feel the tension of the moment and sense the heartbeats of the scared people coming from the music, in a superb performance of the orchestra, intensely and sharply conducted by Chuhei Iwasaki. Huge ovation for a piece that really surprised us and that was a fantastic choice for the concert; an original choice, apart from the pieces usually performed from Titanic.

 

The concert finished with a beautiful Lawrence of Arabia – Main Title – Maurice Jarre that filled the hall with its sound and magnificence, giving a perfect closure to the official program. But the evening refused to end there, and there was time for one encore: the world premiere of USS Callister (Black Mirror TV Series) – Suite by Daniel Pemberton, a piece full of melodic and ironic details of space opera music, being a good gift to end a brilliant night.

 

In summary, we enjoyed a wonderful orchestral film music concert, which was perfectly conducted with strength, intensity, and precision by Chuhei Iwasaki. It was a perfect way to end a fantastic festival, which offered quantity and quality, with a diverse set of music alternatives to choose from.

Film Music Prague 2018 - True Stories Gala - Ending

 

You can find the full program of the concert and the performers, clicking the “+” sign of the following box.

DAY 4 – SUNDAY 22/4/2018 - TRUE STORIES GALA

INFORMATION

  • Place: Rudolfinum (Praga)
  • Orchestra: Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Chuhei Iwasaki
  • Choir: Kühn Choir (choirmaster Lenka Navrátilová), Pueri Gaudentes Boys Choir
  • Soloists: Olga Šroubková (violin), Carolina Eyck (Theremin), Andrea Kalivodová (mezzo-soprano), Karolína Žmolíková (soprano)
  • Special guests: Ilan Eshkeri, Daniel Pemberton, Nikiforos Chrysoloras
  • Hosted by Vladimír Žmolík, speaker of Czech Radio

PROGRAM

Matthijs Kieboom – FANFARE of the Film Music Prague Festival

Alexandre Desplat – THE IMITATION GAME – Suite

John Ottman – VALKYRIE – Suite (world premiere, arr. Nikiforos Chrysoloras)

Alexandre Desplat – THE KING‘S SPEECH – Suite

Daniel Pemberton – STEVE JOBS – The Musicians Play & Circus of Machines (world premiere)

John Williams – THE SCHINDLER‘S LIST – Theme (violin solo)

Howard Shore – ED WOOD – Main Titles (Theremin solo)

Daniel Pemberton – GOLD – I Dream of Gold & The Disappearance of Michael Acosta (world premiere)

A Tribute to Jóhann Jóhannsson – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING – Domestic Pressures

Vangelis – CHARIOTS OF FIRE – Theme

– – – INTERMISSION – – –

Ilan Eshkeri – THE YOUNG VICTORIA – Childhood & Victoria and Albert

Alexandre Desplat – GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Suite

Debbie Wiseman – OSCAR WILDE – Suite

James Horner – TITANIC – Hard to Starboard

Rachel Portman – BELLE – Suite (world premiere)

Daniel Pemberton – ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD – All the Money (Rome 1973) & J.P. Getty (world premiere)

Maurice Jarre – LAWRENCE OF ARABIA – Main Title

ENCORE

Daniel Pemberton – USS CALLISTER (Black Mirror TV Series) – Suite (world premiere)

 

 

IN SUMMARY

I have to say that the festival raised the bar over last year’s edition. The weakest point was probably the absence of two big names that had been announced many months in advance: Benjamin Wallfisch and Clint Mansell, but that didn’t tarnish the global quality of the event, having other additional composers in attendance and a very good program.

 

Let’s do a quick recap of the strong points and points to improve of this edition.

 

Improvement points:

 

  • Cancellations. Cancellations should be announced on Festival’s Facebook/Website in the same way as new guests are announced. Many people complained about this and they were right. Even if the composers’ names were not on the online programs when they were updated and published, many people bought tickets earlier thinking the composers were going to be there, and they got surprised when they didn’t appear on the day of the concert. Proper cancellation announcements should be done (with or without the composers’ apology videos).

 

  • Advertisements. Last year many ads were seen on the streets announcing the festival, but not on this edition. It would be a good idea to have some posters at the airport, so people getting to the city would know about the festival. Same happens with the Tourist Office or with main local attractions or main streets in Prague.

 

  • Press conferences. An official press conference to launch the festival was missed, with some or all of the guests in attendance. It could also have been a press conference to close the festival. It is a good event both for local and foreign press, where they can ask questions and the festival can get exposure.

 

  • Videos/images. I’ve always thought that concerts are about music and that visuals can be distracting, but Two Steps from Hell’s concerts really demanded some visuals (even if fans were very happy with the result). It could have been just some slide-show images with special effects, it didn’t need to be a complex and in-sync video.

 

Strong points:

 

  • Conferences. Conferences were a very good addition to the festival and offered a varied and very interesting meeting point between professionals and fans of film music world, or just also between professionals, giving the festival an educational aspect that’s very good. Adding a small workshop could also be a good point for next edition.

 

  • Festival center. It was a very good idea to have all the conferences + 440 Audio listening experience + exhibitions in one place that was centric, touristic, and easily accessible like the Kaiserstenjnsky Palace.

 

  • Gala concert & venues. Having a thematic gala concert to close the festival is also very interesting, and the Rudolfinum was a very appropriate venue for it, giving the night the deserved glamour and presence. Forum Karlin, which was used for the rest of the concerts, was also a very good choice.

 

 

Film Music Prague has grown very much from last year, but has to be very careful with the moves for next year’s edition. It’s not a question of quantity as much as it is a question of identity. The festival should focus on getting a solid presence, with fewer concerts and guaranteeing the attendance of main guests as first objectives for 2019. Panels/conferences have been a fantastic addition to this year’s edition, and should be maintained next year; the quantity and diversity were just perfect for the size of the festival.

 

In summary, Film Music Prague delivered an excellent festival in 2018, and it is ready to surprise us next year with a new edition that could really be a great hit. The date has changed, and February 2019 is going to be the new month to mark in the calendar, so… go and do it!!… As I strongly recommend you to attend Film Music Prague 2019.

 

Film Music Prague 2018 - See you next year!

Gorka Oteiza wants to thank:

 

James Fitzpatrick, Smecky Music Studios, Nikola Bojčev and all the team behind Film Music Prague for their attention and dedication during the festival.

 

Josep Ferré for his help with the photos/videos for SoundTrackFest and Pavel Král for the official pictures of the festival.