The Music Behind Emma (2020) with Music Supervisor, Becky Bentham

By Vicky Bennett / GMS Administrator

This month, we spoke with Music Supervisor, Becky Bentham (Bohemian Rhapsody, Judy, Mamma Mia, Cats) to get a better understanding of her work on the feature film, Emma, and how she worked with the director, Autumn De Wilde to bring Jane Austen’s words to life with music.

Vicky: What drew you in, to work on Emma?

Becky: Autumn de Wilde as Director was a big draw. I was interested to see her take on the novel given her background in photography and music videos

V: After initially reading the script for Emma, Which scene did you look forward to working on the most? 

— Why did you feel that the music you had chosen in this particular scene was most fitting for it?

B: Actually some of the scenes I most looked forward to ended up as underscored scenes but ‘the picnic’ where we used a piece of Beethoven was a favourite. We tried a bunch of other tracks but nothing worked as well and the Glen Gould recording which was a particular request of Autumn’s seemed to capture the tone of the scene so well.

V:: How did you interpret what music the director, Autumn de Wilde, wanted from a scene?

B: Autumn was absolutely clear about her requirements and had done a huge amount of musical research so there wasn’t much left to the imagination. The decision to use some folk material was the result of a number of conversations and although we used some artistic licence with it, we felt it worked really well overall.

V: What were some of the challenges for you whilst working on Emma?

B: The onset period pianos which had to be maintained for live on-set recording were a challenge and bringing in all the music on a moderate budget was also challenging.

V: Is there a personal musical highlight and anything memorable to note during the music supervision process?

B: The on-camera live recordings, the folk songs which are some of my personal favourites, the end song by Johnny Flynn and the entire scoring process were all highlights. 

Emma is now available to stream straight from your homes!

Want to read more of Becky’s work? Click HERE for her work on Cats, and HERE for her work on Judy.

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