Noise International’s Bruce Heald Wins AGSC’s JD Award for My Constellation

Bruce Heald, creative director of Noise International has won the Australian Guild of Screen Composers JD Award for best movie theme for Toby Morris’s short My Constellation.

The film, which features no speaking roles, was a finalist in this year’s Tropfest.

The announcement:

Bruce Heald, the Creative Director of Sydney sound house Noise International has won the prestigious JD Award for ‘Best Movie Theme’ for his score of Tropfest finalist film, My Constellation.

The awards, announced last week at Government House, are organised by the Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC) and take their name from English-born musician Johnny Dennis who migrated to Australia in the late 1940’s where he got his first break in music. Dennis called Australia home for the rest of his life until his death in 1989 and according to the industry, was ‘an essential entertainer to the end’. The awards, named in his honour, are designed to give applied music composers appropriate recognition for their work and raise the profile of their craft.

The JD Awards attract over 1,000 entries annually and are judged by a leading panel of highly respected musical experts. Judging is conducted completely ‘blind’ with panel members having no knowledge of which composer is responsible for each piece.

My Constellation was an ambitious project, filmed over 10 days in and around Narrabri, NSW and used Tropfest’s 2012 signature item of a lightbulb to tell the story of a young boy who embarks on an epic adventure, leaving a trail of lightbulbs everywhere he goes. The film made finalist at Tropfest Sydney this year but has since been chosen by organisers as one of the Top 20 Tropfest films of all time – screening in Las Vegas and New York recently to launch the Tropfest Festivals in the US.

In mid 2011, My Constellation’s director Toby Morris, approached composer Bruce Heald and Sound Designer Kathleen Burrows from Noise about collaborating on the project. After hearing Morris’ vision for the film, the pair agreed to create the sound and music and worked very closely with the film’s team to produce an immersive soundscape and atmospheric score that added real resonance to the end result.

Without dialogue, the film’s sound and music do much of the story telling. To achieve this, Heald created an epic orchestral score alive with rich orchestration and emotive, melodic themes to perfectly compliment the poetic nature of the vision. Equally, Burrows tailored the film’s sound palette and mix to add vital detail to the pictures. She created a warm, organic soundscape with both intimate and expansive moments that builds each character’s story and provides a sense of the wider off-screen environment.

‘Winning a JD Award it a real honour said Heald. ‘I’m very proud of the score for My Constellation and it’s wonderful to be recognised by the AGSC and my peers for my work on it. ‘Every now and then a special piece of work comes along that is truly inspiring to contribute to and My Constellation was just such a project. The creative process was very collaborative and for me, as a composer, the film had real depth – with epic vistas and touching personal moments that were wonderful to work with.’

‘We were extremely lucky to work with Bruce and the Noise team on My Constellation’, said Morris who has over 50 short films to his name. ‘They were involved from the very beginning and working with them throughout the creative journey took the film to a whole new level. Sound and music is a huge part the film’s experience and with the epic nature of the shots, and the fact there is no dialogue, it was vital that the score and soundscape stylistically enhanced and delivered on that.’

Source: Noise International

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