Everest On The Track

Meet Composer Raj Kamahl

Thanks to the generous support of our Kickstarter backers, we were able to have an original score created for BANNISTER. The man delivering that key element is Rajan Kamahl -- or "Raj" -- an Australian-based composer that connected with the project via an introduction by Boston producer Dan McKinnon, with whom he'd worked previously. Raj's work has run the gamut from commercial spots to television and feature films... many examples of which you can hear at his website. Raj answered a few questions about his story and process, below.


How did you get into composing and, specifically, what drew you to scoring cinematic projects?
I started out playing in bands and touring here in Australia. That led to a gig at a studio that did music and sound design for commercials and I got into composing for TV through that.

Scoring films was something I always wanted to do, but after I won a scholarship in L.A. to study under Mike Post, it became more accessible to me.

Do you remember any particular movie that stoked your interest in composing for film?
There are so many, particularly the films scored by composers like John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrman. But one that stands out for me is Elliot Goldenthal's score for Alien 3. It's still one of my favourite scores that I listen to regularly.

How do you approach the process of composing on a project like this?
I like to watch the film a number of times before writing anything at all, just to let in soak in. Sometimes I find that helps ideas evolve, rather than just sitting down trying to see what works.

What part or parts of this project or story has inspired your choices in composition? The athletic aspects? The historical elements?
The whole story is pretty amazing. When I was at school, I had a teacher who compared Roger's achievement to that of Chuck Yeager breaking the sound barrier: doing something that the whole world said was not only impossible, but dangerous to even attempt.

What I didn't know was the story of Bannister growing up during the British food-rationing period after World War II, and how that must have affected him.

We take it for granted now that most of the records broken since then have had the benefit of science and sports technologies: tracks, shoes, training and diets that are all optimised and researched to give athletes advantages that no one could have dreamed of at the time Roger was competing.

Meet Audio Mixer Kevin Clyde

Thanks to the generous support of our Kickstarter backers, we were able to add audio production expert Kevin Clyde to our team. Kevin is a Berklee graduate with over thirty years of experience working in audio post-production for visual media in markets around the world, in addition to live music. Bonus fact: he's also been a runner since high school. Kevin answered a few questions about his background and his craft.

Kevin Clyde: audio wizard

What brought you to audio mixing?
Years ago, I realized that well-crafted audio was a sort of a ‘match-maker’ between a story and an audience. Done well, the viewer would be captivated by the story without noticing that the ‘matchmaker’ was even in the room; I wanted to help make that happen.

What is one thing people might not know about what audio mixing can bring to a project?
I think it’s this: that in sound and music, sometimes a whisper will be as evocative as a roar.

What do you consider a seminal example of audio production that people should give an especially close listen to?
‘Band of Brothers’ is a reference for me, as are the Pixar animations…. ‘A Bug’s Life’ and ‘Toy Story’ are master classes in elegant but efficient audio design.

As someone who comes on-board in the later stages of the process, what about this telling of the Bannister story has struck you the most?
All projects come into audio post with this or that technical issue; EVEREST ON THE TRACK was no exception. But it was quickly evident that the show’s creators had an incredible respect for the story itself, and that respect became the fuel to power the long hours that ‘technical issues’ (and an approaching deadline!) require.

Anything I missed?
It’s hard to relate just how expensive and time-consuming media production can be; many fine projects collapse due to a lack of funding. But everyone who supported this effort can be proud; you have helped tell one of the most compelling stories in the human experience. For your kind support, I thank you.

Kickstarting The Homestretch

We are into the last stages of making this film a reality... and we're looking for community support to make it as great as it possibly can be. If we can raise $12,500 in pledges by April 14th via a Kickstarter campaign, it will allow us to bring in post-production specialists to make this movie one for the ages. Check out our campaign below... and please consider supporting us!

Production Wrapping Up on BANNISTER

After shooting hours and hours of interviews with historians, journalists, and athletics legends; capturing specialty footage on a cinder track in a bitterly-cold February (even less fun than it sounds); scouring archives for images and news headlines from the 1940's and 50's... we are finally in the homestretch of production.

As we lay out Bannister's inspiring story with an initial edit, we're also into our very last days of shooting as we try to bring some beautiful photos to life in video footage. It's a very exciting time -- to be so close to putting the cameras away -- and we're excited to share a small sample of these final images!

Outstanding Voices On Tap for BANNISTER

The story of the first mile under 4:00 is a well-known one, so we set out to amass a collection of voices that is unparalleled in its insight into and understanding of that feat. We wanted to find unique and untapped angles through which to explore one of the greatest sporting achievements in human history, and will be fortunate to see this story through the eyes of the following:

Sir Roger Bannister – first person under 4:00 for the mile
Sir Chris Chataway – Bannister’s friend and pacemaker
John Landy – second person under 4:00 for the mile
Derek Ibbotson – third mile world record under 4:00
Sebastian Coe – former mile world record holder, 2 x Olympic Gold
Steve Cram – former mile world record holder, 4th-fastest all-time
Peter Elliott – Olympic silver medalist, 1500m
Dave Moorcroft – chief executive emeritus, UK Athletics
Tim Hutchings – athletics commentator for NBC, ESPN and BBC 
David Epstein – Olympic correspondent, Sports Illustrated
Pat Butcher – author, The Perfect Distance
Neil Wilson – Olympic correspondent, The Daily Mail