Graham Johnston

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by Graham Johnston July 7th, 2009

Making BBT movies: inspiration and values

Several years ago I had taken an idea for a television series on contemporary British composers to a production company with a track record of commissions from Channel Four Television. The idea was to exploit the belief that audiences are regularly exposed to quite complex and progressive musical ideas through cinema and TV and use this to open a door on what was becoming seen as an area of British cultural strength. The idea received development money from Channel Four but got no further than that. However, the funding gave me the chance to research and meet a range of composers from across the musical spectrum. I was so excited by the subject that, even though a TV slot had melted away, I decided to shoot a documentary by myself and chose to make a short film about Gavin Bryars. That film then became a touchstone to reach out to like-minded people and it was after a tip-off from a mutual friend that I met David Hoskins – who had just set up his own audio media company. David and I shared a conviction that new media could be used to tap into a latent audience interest in classical and contemporary music. Shortly after we met, David made a connection with the BBTrust and found in them an organisation uniquely committed to using new media to communicate their message. Since then, David and I have made around thirty short films for the Trust focussing on it’s values through profiles of the artists it supports – it’s pretty close to the perfect job.

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