A Discussion with RedFive

We spoke with Rupert Hollier and David Fish to get a better understanding of RedFive’s work and delve a little deeper into their new collaboration with Atlantic Screen Music.

By Vicky Bennett / GMS Administrator

This month we caught up with music supervisors, Rupert Hollier and David Fish to get a better understanding of their company, RedFive and look into their new partnership with Atlantic Screen Music.

Vicky: As we venture further into 2020, can you give us a little bit of insight into the film and TV projects that Redfive have coming up?

Rupert Hollier: Well, obviously globally we are entering completely uncharted territory – so it’s hard to tell how the next few months will pan out – productions are being suspended, postponed and cancelled left, right and centre. That said, we have current jobs which are running towards the end of their post schedules, projects coming up which we are already committed to and seem to be pressing ahead which is great. We have a mixture of genuinely exciting (and challenging) Film and TV projects coming up, both US and UK, and a nice mixture of score and creative licensing – so we are still very busy. No job is the same. We will have our first major studio picture coming up as supervisors too, which is a huge milestone – so more news there when we can.

We are also looking more at the production side on an indie level, and to that end, there are some exciting things we are working on which will come to life over the next eighteen months or so. We are building something we hugely believe in, and we absolutely don’t want to limit our creative vision.

David Fish: We’re in an ever-changing situation week on week, as we move forward we’re busier than ever, but it’ll be a tense few months to see how we’re affected by the unfolding events. It still feels like a new company to me hence why we’re still full throttle, but I genuinely love the work. We’ve been lucky enough to work on some really fulfilling projects and our pipeline of work keeps me excited even when things are at their most stressful. It’s a constant balancing act of taking on projects we’re excited by but also making sure we’re in a position to give that project our utmost best, if we walk away from a project not feeling creatively (and emotionally!) spent, then we’ll feel we didn’t do a good enough job.

As Ru mentioned, the production and original content side is something we’ve been experimenting with for the last year. Music budgets are being squeezed more than ever, even with the content boom. Sadly with that, it seems that there are music platforms coming through year on year that seem to give ever cheapening options for music licensing, which has a knock-on effect. Our ethos is that productions having a corner fighting the creative and financial aspects for music from the off is something we’re proactively pushing.

V: The Trip (To Greece) is sadly coming to an end with its final season premiering this month. Knowing it has gained such a large and loyal following over the years, is there a memorable musical moment or highlight working on this final season that you would like to share?

RH: It’s such a fantastic and iconic show to work on, both as a fan and as a supervisor. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon improvise so much of what they do on the show, which, as we discovered, of course, filtered into the songs they would sing, which as you can imagine can make licensing a piece for any particular scene, interesting to say the least… 

I enjoyed re-licensing a piece from an earlier series which I had licensed to the show as a rights holder a few years ago – full circle!

DF: One of my favourite scenes hasn’t aired yet so I sadly can’t say! Whilst we had pre-cleared a vast amount, given the amount of improvisation, there were certainly a few surprises when the rushes came back, which led to some tense waits on some approvals! Keep an eye out for the film version coming out soon.

V: You both supervise a lot of projects you do, how you do approach and manage that process? 

RH: Having worked as both an individual supervisor and as part of a team I have to say both have their benefits..but overall I have always preferred to be part of a team. Creatively having two sets of ears and opinions, two knowledge bases, and differing experiences have enormous benefits for all of the jobs we work on. Really the challenge has been the balance one of us taking the lead on a project and allowing space for both voices and opinions, as well as execution, and we have done it really well, and we know where each other’s centres of expertise are and how to best utilise those for the clients.

DF: It’s a balancing act both creatively and workflow wise. One of us will usually take the ‘lead’ role on a project which covers most interaction with the producers/director and the other supports creatively etc. Usually, it just depends on the project, if a film came in that was a deep dive into the early 90’s rave scene then Ru would no doubt take the lead (given his vast frontline ‘experience’ there!). There seems to be a lot of it at the moment (dual supervision) and I think it’s great, especially in terms of education for the new supervisors coming through. I started out supporting Ru on his films and now feel confident taking on a large studio picture, so you have to give massive credit to supe’s who take on younger creatives and help them build a career. Don’t get me wrong, we bicker on creative from time to time, but it’s all in the pursuit of the best approach for the film. Music is subjective after all, so at least if we both agree, then we know it’s a strong approach to take. 

V: Congratulations on coming into partnership with Atlantic Screen Music Group, I can imagine there are many new and exciting opportunities for Redfive, can you tell us more about this and taking this into account, can you share what you are most looking forward to working on whilst collaborating with ASM?

RH: It’s been great to integrate R5 into ASM. I was working with ASM before, and both sides saw a natural and complementary fit, so it’s been seamless as the roles of each company is very clear. R5 has now given part of ASM’s film music investment model a creative element, whilst allowing R5 to keep it’s autonomy and importantly, neutrality. AS R5 we now have a great string to our bow when discussing music options on any kind of content, which allows us a more rounded conversation on any given project. We have a huge amount to look forward to depending on if the world is still here come the summer.

DF: It fuels our ability to be mostly creative, the biggest costs for us as a startup were accounting, legal (which we use a lot of) and general business expenses. Given the large number of projects we deal with, having the more structural company commitments supported by their talented team, who are hugely experienced in both film production and music, is a real asset to us. I can hold my hands up and say I was of the staunch view of us being lone-wolf supervisors and not needing a supporting team, but having done both I’m a real convert. It’s hard out there for solo supervisors and I have huge admiration for the independent guys that are smashing projects, but given our specific vision for where we wanted to be, including our wider production aspirations, the partnership as a whole gives us a really unique edge as creatives in what is a rapidly changing landscape.

Thank you once again to both Rupert and David to taking the time out to speak with us and we wish you all the best of luck in your future projects and success in your new partnership with Atlantic Screen Music!

To see RedFive’s work, you can go to their website, HERE.

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