Category Archives: music production company

Story Of Film, An Odyssey…

Yes indeedy, Story of Film, An Odyssey was screened here in Edinburgh at the Filmhouse this weekend but no, you weren’t invited because it was for friends and colleagues involved in the project- yes, it was just for the special people…and the Bossman, Iain McKinna, was there…no, I wasn’t (sniff sniff)…well to be fair I was away being important elsewhere…

Story of Film is off to Toronto Film Festival and then going out globally in cinema AND the full fifteen hour series is going out on More 4 from Saturday the 3rd of September at 9.15pm, so make sure you catch it because apparently it is STUNNING 🙂

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-story-of-film-an-odyssey

Have I mentioned that The Bossman recorded and produced all of Mark Cousins’ commentary for the series…and he didn’t seem that tall at the time 😉

“Epic…a global vision of cinema” Ian Christie, Sight and Sound

“A brilliant and monumental achievement” Roger Graef OBE, one of Britain’s leading television documentary makers

“Audacious…a treat for movie lovers” Toronto Film Festival

Yes I know you’d like me to interview Mark and frankly I’d LOVE to as well but you know, busy schedules and all that…I mean he’s out there being important and I am too…well ok, not me but look, what would I ask him? You know how my mind works, it hits the Intellectual City Bypass and before I know it I’m off following signs for Random Town and Zany Ville while my mouth is yapping away on rude joke autopilot like a demented terrier in the back of the crazy car…

…and what was I doing that was so important I missed the special screening of Story Of Film? Playing board games…oh yes we did, we really honestly did…while the Bossman was out attending the sceening this weekend, being very cool and sophisticated getting pics taken with the fabulous Mark Cousins… I was embroiled in a tense game of Trivial Pursuits with the three year old sitting on my friends’ dining room table hogging the dice like some kind of overexcited Golem betting at the blackjack table, stroking and kissing the dice and throwing everybody’s turn…I was doing ok too until Match of the Day came on and the fellas did a disappearing act from the table like rats off a sinking ship…

Read more about The Story Of Film on Iain McKinna’s Blog

Ghetto blaster retro cool and other news…

Not to be competitive but what’s your brain like to live inside? Quite often my thoughts resemble nitrous oxide fuelled party poppers- going off like the clappers but sadly mostly pointless…spent 50 minutes speed talking my stream of consciousness whilst circular breathing on a car journey recently…you know the usual when you have a captive audience locked in the car with you? Oh, I see….maybe you’re the captivee rather than the captivator…anyway, generously (I thought) turned to Himself and asked for a download of his thoughts and he actually thought about it for a moment and came out with “I really fancy a beer”…and that was it…oh lovely; simple, uncluttered, minimalist chic that. Yes, ok, I admit I did have a moment of brain envy…

In other news, I am feeling a need to dig my chemistry set out of the cupboard, get my evil laugh on and clone the Bossman and myself because WE JUST DON’T STOP WORKING HERE…I’m so late getting this chalkboard up this week because there’s just not enough Jen to go round, y’know? No, no, it’s ok, it’s better this way, less opportunities for getting into trouble…

Loads of music vid filming which involves me running around with a ghetto blaster in hand (don’t even…), several cameras round my neck, a stepladder over my shoulder and my coffee in a handy thermos mug…oh yeah, I’m a cool dude, me…

Loads of editing said film and working out better shots for these music vids…and I can’t remember why but I insisted on a mug of Grand Marnier during one session- apparently I was quite adamant it would help but I think it just helped me to get lippy…

More Story Of Film soundtrack work with Mark Cousins, lovely lovely man, pleeeeeeeze can I interview him next?

Gavin Blackie in working on a NEW song- but I can’t tell you anymore about it, it’s all hush hush…honestly, secrets are no fun if you can’t share them 😉

An artist who cannot be named was in doing a dirty electronica track…rrrrrr…

Joanne Livingstone’s in again mixing down one of her tracks…

Another Offbeat Rhythm Section cover track into an artist’s dropbox (I think this one may have been in a hotter country, maybe the Bossman can dropbox me over there?) In this case, Iain McKinna playing your very own virtual band for a backing track for live gigs…you see why I need to clone him now?

Maggie Aitken’s been in finishing the Heritage Detectives‘ sound effects…

The Offbeat Rhythm Section is getting revved up for the new album coming out soon…the rumour going around is that there are drums getting recorded and mixed down this week for a track called “Pressure On”…watch this space coz there will be a new webpage going up very soon with sneaky peeks of tracks for this album and more on the ORS with interview footage galore…

We’ve had a few meetings with artists in between sessions and I’m sure they probably wonder why the bags under our eyes are a little alarming but seriously, we’re living on coffee, Grand Marnier fumes and the natural high of being in the music biz…ahaha, or in the style of the new lingo I learnt off the naughty girls in the Prestongrange radio chatroom on Sunday night at Tam Mac’s Sunday service, lmao…oh yeah baby, getting hip to the jive now 😉

How to do the breakfast meeting successfully and other news…

Oh yes yes yes, joy of joys the Bossman took me for a breakfast meeting this morning 🙂 I see a fry-up and my eyes get all dreamy and I start to slaver shamelessly…I gotta tell you I have the requirements for this type of meeting down pat…take it from a pro, this is how you do it;

elasticated waistband for extra room for stuffing in sausage and egg etc and remaining comfy…

a big napkin/apron for collecting said sausage/egg fallout…coz you’re yapping about work at the same time…nobody said it was pretty…

a doggy bag kit for taking extras home…

a travel pillow for compulsory post -meeting snooze on a park bench en route to pick up sprog from holiday club…

rennies for post fry up tummy regrets…never give in to the guilt…

Ahhh, it was goooood, in spite of the scolding we got from Offbeat Kirsty for falling off the veggie wagon…her addition to my list was to take a sick bag but the Bossman and I have tummies that are well practiced in the art of coping with the meat laden fry-up…and I promise I started the day with a healthy apple and carrot juice so it all balances out, right?

In other news, this week we have already had Gavin Blackie in session, laying down a new track…and having a giggle at teabreak 🙂 No I can’t tell you what we had the gigglies about coz it was extremely naughty and rude, obviously…

Filming interviews- remember the rehearsals last week? Well this is it, the beginning of the “for reals” now…the artists are all really well behaved, it’s me who’s driving the Bossman mad 🙂

Then of course there’s all the editing of the interviews…yawn…more CSI chalkduster…

Joanne Livingstone’s in for sessions this week with Tom Findlay, the jazz pianist, laying down jazz keyboards and recording and mixing for gig demos…

Mandy Hinchey In Wales is having Dropbox sessions recording and mixing backing tracks with the Offbeat Rhythm Section, recreating the likes of Bonnie Raitt and Connie Lush tracks. Cool or what? Mandy sends her tracks to the studio by Dropbox, the Offbeat Rhythm Section records and mixes the tracks (while Mandy can do other things like enjoy a cuppa, check her emails, other multitasking taskies…) and then we dropbox the mixes and she can decide on any changes she likes. Mixes then fly back and forth through cyberspace till she’s happy with what she’s got…personally I’d be doing this from somewhere hot and beachlike but Wales is great too… oh yeah and she uses these backing tracks in live gigs…the Offbeat Rhythm Section, your own virtual band…

Maggie Aitken is in from Daisy Chain Associates editing sound effects for the Heritage Detectives performances coming soon…

Iain McKinna, producer fabuloso, is taking a masterclass in studio production…I have to sit there all day listening to how great the Bossman is from everybody- yawn, yawn…no gossip only praise :-p

Actually, to round off the week and seeing as how we’ve been working incredibly hard these last few months, me mainly at working the coffee machine to death, I’m allowing the Bossman some time off this weekend before he gets in trouble with “her indoors”…and before I get into trouble with “him indoors”…my other half got a shock the other night when he saw I had 2 ears instead of a phone permanently glued to the side of my head…

Offbeat Featured Client Samantha E- a 10 out of 10 on the inspirationometer…

Hello Lovelies,

Last week I emailed the mother of a gorgeous girl called Sam who comes into the studio to record every now and again. Her reply had me choked- in the past, in a very different capacity, I have worked with children on the autistic spectrum and I can tell you that it is some of the most challenging and rewarding work I’ve ever done. I wanted to share Sam’s Mum’s email reply with you and, of course, the cover of a song Sam recorded in her last session, “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence- Sam, you and your family are a 10 out of 10 on the inspirationometer, we are proud to have you record at Offbeat.

Samantha E (17) is a young lady who loves to sing. She was diagnosed as a non-verbal autistic with a pervasive communication disorder when she was just 2 years old, somehow music reached into her and gave her a voice.

It was her first way of communicating with the world and it continues to help her expand her communication skills and helps her with speech, diction and gives her confidence to use her voice out with the music.

Working with her vocal coach Sergei Desmond and at Offbeat Recording Studios with Iain McKinna, she has been recording her progress over the last few years, to show that with the right help and encouragement children with autism can be helped to improve and become more comfortable with the strange world they perceive our world to be…

Some of the music has been of a good enough standard to be used to help raise funds for certain causes and children’s charities and most importantly to her and her family to help raise autism awareness. Her biggest achievement to date is to have her song “Never Give Up Your Dreams” on Dr.Temple Grandin’s – A View from the Inside DVD.

Since becoming involved with her vocal coach Sergei at the age of 13, he saw within her that she had the capability to not just sing, but to compose, arrange and produce music too.

Sergei is also a music teacher and he knew she could easily pass certain exams on the practical side but her communication disorder would stop her being able to do so easily.

Through her placement at Teens+ she was enrolled into Drake Music Scotland and with the help of a support worker was then able to work towards become qualified in the areas that she was already adept in.

She received her first ever music qualification when she graduated on 9th June 2011 with a certificate for Midi sequencing SCQF level 5.

 She continues to record and grow musically, occasionally she can be found giving a live performance.

None of this would have been possible without the help of some very good friends who continue to support and encourage her to reach her potential whatever that may be.

This has always been a journey and no one has any ideas of the destination.

Find Sam on Facebook

Find Sam on Twitter

Find Sam on Offbeat Website

Find Sam on YouTube

Find Sam on Bebo

Find Sam on Myspace

Find Sam on Reverb Nation

The chalk duster, Unidentified Beer Injuries and other news…

Blackboard Monitor Jen- Feeling very important and slightly smug as now I will be in charge of the blackboard, the chalk and most importantly the duster…For those of you too young to remember the blackboard, or indeed its evil, weighted little counterpart the duster at school, this piece of equipment was generally hurled at school pupils in the classroom who committed such horrendous crimes as “looking at the teacher funny” and was certainly my first experience of a UFO…ah, the days before I discovered the not disimilar UBI (Unidentified Beer Injury). The difference being the chalk dust of course…

Anyway, here I am, drunk with my own power, to chalk up this week’s shenanigans at Offbeat;

Mark Cousins is in doing the commentary for “The Story Of Film”

Offbeat interview film rehearsals start this week – yes, I will be the interviewer, no you may not laugh…

Joanne Livingstone is in recording some covers for local gigs…

Final mix of a track called “On From Me” with Jenny Savage–  this next track will be a free download on her Offbeat Label webpage (freebie- WOOHOO)…

Iain McKinna and I will be down at Leith FM on Tuesday at midday on the show “Noise Up” to talk about how fantastic we are and why you need to come and join the Offbeat Family (I paraphrase you understand)…

A load of editing for the Scotland Under 18 Hockey Team video- they came in on Saturday, all 24 of them, it was riotous in a good way 🙂

Final mix of the song Vicarious by a band called Dashnelli, more on them soon…

More editing of “the story of film” episodes 7&8 (while I try throwing my blackboard duster from various angles around the studio and make solemn CSI notes about the results, you do know that I do all the important stuff around here, right?)

The Heritage Detectives are in doing their sound fx- apparently lots of gurgles and body sounds and that sort of thing- I can’t wait to meet them and find out what they’ve been up to- I will be featuring them here very soon 😉

The Bossman is in a second session with John Lesley, Ross Bradford & Paul Dickens this week…

and there’s another round of recording & mixing for some mystery artists who I’m not allowed to name…because um…well to retain the mystery I guess…

There’s a bunch of other stuff going on too but, you know, you’ll have to wait for the “behind the scenes” YouTube footage to come out before I can take you there…

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