Multi-award winning, Bellingen-based composer Scott Collins is passionate about creating music and sound for vision. “I love the way sound can influence a story. How sound can deepen the emotional impact of a scene,” says Scott. Scott has composed the hauntingly beautiful track for this year’s Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF) . Rod caught up with Scott this week to discuss his stunning collaboration with Screenwave and to gain an understanding about the man behind the music.
I was asked by Dave Horsley from Screenwave International Film Festival (SWIFF) if I would be interested in composing the track for this years festival. I jumped at it. He gave me a brief that was basically ‘the music needs to make people feel emotional and must have impact’. I came up with a rough demo and sent it through. Dave liked the opening. That was great. I chatted some more with him about what he wanted and my second draft was the finished product. Georgie Chorley is a vocalist and trumpet player who has just moved to Bellingen. I asked her to sing in the track. She nailed it. Such a great voice. It gives me tingles and brings tears to my eyes.
You’ve had a successful career as a music composer and sound designer. Can you describe a career highlight?
I composed and sound designed an animated film that ended up being nominated for an AFI and won the International 3D festival in 2003, beating entries from Pixar, Disney and Sony. It was a breakthrough. I also won the Australian Screen Sound Guild Award for the same film. It was pretty cool knowing that we were creating such world class content. See Potapych The Bear Who Loved Vodka
You’ve also composed music for TV commercials, documentaries, films and TV series. We must have ‘heard’ your work.
More than likely. I worked at Plush Films for 8 years and during that time I mixed 10,000 TV commercials. I composed the music and created the sound design for a Panadol advertisement that ended up going worldwide. During this time I won the Australia Screen Sound Guild Award two more times, sound designed ‘Peter Cottontail film’ for Ralph Guggenheim of Toy Story Fame and composed and sound designed an animated film that won a BAFTA in the UK.
Which TV show have you most enjoyed being involved with?
I have composed a few shows and series but my fave is The Dukes of Broxstonia. It is a crazy subversive heavy metal animated series for the ABC. I got to channel my inner heavy metal guitar god. Tremendous fun. The Dukes of Broxstonia
A lot of Bellingen Shire locals have enjoyed seeing you perform. Tell me about local band ‘High Lonesome’?
High Lonesome is a new trio we formed in the last 12 months. We play Old-Time and Bluegrass music. It features John Woolhouse on Mandolin, Banjo, Fiddle and vocals, Katie Crane on Guitar and Vocals and me on guitar, mandolin and vocals.
Describe your best childhood memory
Riding a bike in a storm drain with my sisters.
Best university experience?
Paying off my HECs debt at age 33.
Your best sporting moment was?
Coming 22nd in the world in the 1990/91 World Windsurfing Championships and 42nd overall when I was 19 years old. I grew up windsurfing every other day but I haven’t windsurfed in over 20 years.
What would you like to be remembered for?
What are you reading right now?
‘The subtle art of not giving a f#@k’ by Mark Manson.
What are you listening to right now?
‘Birmingham’ by Shovels and Rope.
What secret can you share with us?
When you are walking across hot sand, just stop and wiggle your feet down below the surface where the sand is cold. No more burned feet.
You had to help someone else in order to get ahead in this world.
What really annoys you?
Selfishness at the cost of community and our world.
The best lesson your parents taught you?
Don’t bring a problem to the table, bring two solutions.
The last big belly laugh you had was?
Every other day with my family. My kids are both ridiculous and very funny.
What project are you currently working on?
A film about a Cambodian family fleeing the Khmer Rouge in 1979.
Who inspires you?
People who have found peace by caring about a few things/people wholly.
How do you relax?
With a guitar!
Favourite restaurant in the Bellingen Shire?
The previous career you wish you could forget?
Ummmmm………Too many to comment.
Yes or No. Bellingen weather?
Yes, 10 months of the year is wonderful
Yes or No. Facial hair?
Yes or No. Xmas mince pies?
Yes or No. Wearing your T-shirt as a hat?
Whatever saves you from skin cancer
In the Movie Scottgate, who would play you?
[On your list of Things to Do in Bellingen – check out Scott’s band – High Lonesome who play regularly at haunts around the Bellingen Shire]