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Students on the music production course have produced the soundtracks for 6 short films in a buzzing field trip to the Lake District.

In a fantastically creative collaboration between film and TV students, drama students and us (music production), we took over the entire Youth Hostel in Patterdale in the Lakes to produce 6 films in 3 days.

We squeezed a load of our location studio equipment onto a coach already packed with all the film and TV gear and headed up the A1 to Cumbria, arriving on a dark rainy Monday night. After setting up our pop up music production studios the challenge was set. 6 teams would each script, shoot and edit a film over the next 3 days, and we would produce the music for all of them. The teams were each given a single phrase brief¬† to create their film around (eg “betrayal”) and the added instruction to include the phone box up the road somehow in their narrative!

For music producers, this meant the composing needed to start right from the initial scripting stage, with only the vaguest notions of genre and narrative from each team. The conversations started immediately as the film-makers and music producers talked through their ideas and how best to work together get everything done in the tight time frame.

The project was supported by Screen Yorkshire with the teams each having pro film-makers as mentors. Each team had an edit station set up in the hostel, and the production crews and actors were in and out of the hostel, getting into the great outdoors to make use of the amazing Lake District surroundings to get the shots they needed. Meanwhile we were composing like crazy, and with occasional trips to the film locations to help follow the rapid changes in what was being filmed, and to make some atmospheric recordings for a few specific sound design moments.

We have never produced so much music so quickly in so many diverse ways. The challenge, the camaraderie and the creative buzz of the whole 3 days was amazing, and a great example of what we get up to on the music production course.

The final evening was a joyous screening of the final cuts of all the films, with huge cheers for everyone’s achievements.

Music Production students Rosi and Jack took home awards for best soundtrack, as well as whole load of connections with early career film makers and actors. Then it all got a bit karaoke for the end of project party!

We returned to York 3 days and 6 films later, tired but inspired as we hauled our equipment back into the University studios.

Rosi, a music production student who was part of the project said:

Participating in the Patterdale trip provided me with invaluable opportunities to network and collaborate with film students and actors, as well as to tackle creative challenges in composition. This experience was both fun and insightful, offering me valuable skills and experience to potentially apply in my future projects in film scoring.


Music Production student receive film music award