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Hero image for Don McGlashan: On composing for film and television...

Don McGlashan: On composing for film and television...

Interview – 2009

Don McGlashan is one of New Zealand's most noteworthy singer/songwriters. Before going solo, he was in Blam Blam Blam and The Mutton Birds. He first moved into the film world while in acclaimed theatre group The Front Lawn. His many soundtracks include An Angel at My TableNo 2 and The Dead Lands.




In this ScreenTalk interview, McGlashan talks about:

  • The dream team behind the video for The Mutton Birds' version of song 'Nature'
  • How 'Bad Blood' is a song about redemption — and how Sally Tran's stop motion clip avoids the normal music video clichés
  • Why composing the orchestral soundtrack to Dean Spanley was both terrifying and enjoyable
  • Creating soundtracks in different ways for Dean Spanley director Toa Fraser and Jane Campion
  • Condensing three months of composing into six hours of recording
  • The "slash and burn" approach practised by McGlashan and Harry Sinclair when they collaborated in The Front Lawn 
  • The clever plan that got classic Front Lawn short film Walkshort off the ground
This video was first uploaded on 11 June 2009, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview - James Coleman. Camera and Editing - Leo Guerchmann
In some ways it's really enjoyable, it's really freeing ... you've just got dots on the page, so at the last minute you could go 'I'm gonna change that whole cue, ya know? I'm gonna move that whole cue around'. Speed it up, slow it down. Do it on trombones instead of on flutes. It was fantastic.
– Don McGlashan on composing the soundtrack for 2009 movie Dean Spanley