Beach won both the jury award and audience award for best local film in the 2011 Strawberry Shorts Film Festival.
“One of my biggest gripes with the world is the fairly recent vogue for film soundtracks which take minimalism to a new level of puerile absurdity. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all for simplicity in film music, and dead against film music that tries to upstage the film itself. But when film composers try to emotionally blackmail the audience with ‘subtle distant strings’ and ‘telling chords’ it fills me with a deep desire to start throwing things at the wall.
“Three main reasons: firstly, subtle strings and telling chords are rarely subtle or telling. Secondly, they often completely bugger up scenes which would be far better to rely on the strength of the actors’ performances. And thirdly, you can write an entire film soundtrack along those lines in about half an hour – it’s not profound or clever, it’s just lazy.
“This last point was something I set out to prove in making Beach, which obviously relies very heavily on its soundtrack. Not so much to prove a point as to make efficient use of my ever-dwindling time, I wrote the music at the same time as recording it, editing and layering the different elements very rapidly to create a convincingly moribund soundtrack. And if you take away the time it took to multitrack the credits music, both composition and recording of the soundtrack did indeed take about thirty minutes. (I scribbled down the credits music itself on the back of a napkin while the atmospheric piano chords were
uploading on my computer…)
“I’m not sure whether or not this proves anything, except that perhaps if I were a little less snobbish I could be earning pretty good money as a mainstream film composer by now for very little effort indeed. But if this film makes somebody chuckle next time they sit down in front of an unimaginatively-scored biopic, then that’s success enough for me.”
– James Lark, 10 April 07
“This was an easy one to shoot, except for the plastic bag. I empathise with Conrad Hall, although partly in a hope that by this special bag-related bond I too will win Oscars.”
– James Aylett, 10 April 07