Lights, Camera, Action

Michelle Dockery stars as Lady Mary Talbot and Matthew Goode as Henry Talbot in Downton Abbey 1 cr Jaap Buitendijk - 2019 Focus Features, LLC

As the founder of Music in Vision, Kathleen Ross has built a business from supplying professional musicians for on-camera roles. Introducing instrumentalists to the world of film and TV can be challenging, but, she writes, ensuring that musicians in background parts are convincingly portrayed is well worth the effort

The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson is clearly a perfectionist. After watching the 1997 film Titanic  he approached the director James Cameron with a bold observation. He pointed out that on the fateful night of 14–15 April 1912 the star formations in the night sky would have appeared completely differently from how they are depicted on film. My lasting memory of the film was thinking that surely Kate Winslet could have moved over a bit on her raft to stop Leonardo DiCaprio from succumbing to hypothermia. However, Cameron clearly felt the accuracy of this seemingly small detail was important, so he obliged by making the change for a subsequent anniversary rerelease of the film.

As a musician, it’s heartening to see this attitude. We can all bring to mind an example of an actor who has suddenly been given a few weeks (or hours) to learn an instrument, resulting in a cringeworthy screen ‘performance’. There are many videos online dedicated to ‘roasting’ these mishaps; most prolifically, the comedy duo TwoSet Violin have tapped into this subgenre.

Read more in The Strad’s December 2019 issue…

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