By Napsugar Bardocz / Coordinator at GMS
Gary Welch is an independent Film Music Supervisor and his company Eyehear works with some of the best UK production companies.
His two recent works ‘Whitney’ and ‘Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars’ have both just been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Music Film category. On this special occasion we caught up with Gary to hear all about these two projects and what is in the pipeline.
It’s been more than a year since you shared your journey in the music industry with us [read the interview here: https://www.guildofmusicsupervisors.co.uk/blog/17/supervision-spotlight-gary-welch]. What have you been up to since then?
Release wise, the Eric Clapton and Vivienne Westwood docs were both released in cinemas early 2018. The Betty Davis doc in June, Whitney and The More You Ignore Me (written by Jo Brand) both out on the same day, July 6th.
Weinstein and Gaza are both screening at Sundance in January [https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/sundance-film-festival-2018-line-up-highlights-zac-efron-ted-bundy-harvey-weinstein-ocasio-cortez-a8658956.html]. Mrs Lowry & Son (Timothy Spall as Lowry) is due sometime in 2019.
Plus the BBC4 3 part series, Can You Feel It: How Dance Music Conquered the World which was broadcast in September, I’m just finishing up on.
Could you tell us a little bit about ‘Whitney’ and ‘Life in 12 Bars’? Both of them are music documentaries, but is that the only thing in common in the two films or did you have to tackle similar challenges when working on them?
The fundamental difference is that one artist is alive and one isn’t.
Also Whitney has had a lot of people’s versions of her life out out in the public arena as recently as Nick Broomfield’s doc. So taking these things into account for Whitney, it was a real challenge but one which intrigued the director, Kevin Macdonald as I don’t think any of the previous accounts had really got to the core of why things went so wrong. Eric is still active and I get the impression he wanted a film of his life out there now. In many ways I think it made Eric tackle some tough moments of his past.
Both docs were made autonomously from artist/artist’s estate so in that respect they were similar in the making. And both involved a deep mining of material. Although both artists were in totally different musical arena’s and time periods and one didn’t write any of her material. So in a lot of ways, although the processes are the same, both projects are completely unique and have their own set of challenges.
Both films are deeply moving, don’t shirk any topics and take you on a real journey. There are some wonderful music moments too. Whitney’s gospel performance of ‘I Love The Lord’ and outstanding vocal skill on ‘I Am Changing’ are mesmerising. We also managed to get some unreleased studio sessions in the film too. The live Cream footage and performances in Eric’s film are also brilliant and you realise how tight the band were and their knack for improvisation.
What’s next? Are there any new projects in the pipeline that you can already talk about?
An animation adaptation of the kids classic, The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Eternal Beauty starring Sally Hawkins and David Thewlis and a fully authorised Tina Turner doc. Plus a couple of things I’m not yet able to discuss but watch this space.
Could I please take this opportunity to thank all the publishers, labels, artists, writers, managers, composers and their agents and everyone who I’ve worked with this year. Thank you.