David Knight - 8th Oct 2008

There really is no getting around the seriousness of the subject matter, in Up The Resolution's very special project for The Cinematic Orchestra.

It's a beautiful, sedate 12-minute short film for two tracks, To Build A Home and Breathe, which chronicles the final hours of a dying woman with her devoted, loving husband in their home in the dramatic Cumbrian countryside.

To Build A Home features moving performances by Peter Mullan and Julia Ford, and is beautifully shot by DoP Conor Connolly, who's work has been recognised with a nomination for the Best Cinematography in a Video award at the UK Music Video Awards next Tuesday.

In all, it's a big departure for UTR - better known for their animation work, more lighthearted videos for The Automatic, and numerous TV title sequences. But To Build A Home is gaining the special attention it deserves. After its premiere at this year's Edinburgh Film Festival, it receives a special screening on Channel 4 on October 29th.

and the Making Of doc here

Up The Resolution on making The Cinematic Orchestra's To Build A Home

"We were initially approached by Ninja Tune to submit two separate treatments for The Cinematic Orchestra tracks To Build a Home and Breathe.

We'd worked with Ninja Tune before on the Soundmirrors promo for Coldcut, and that persuaded them we'd be right to pitch something on these tracks. The difference was a much tighter schedule, and whilst Soundmirrors was done in down time over a year, both these videos had to be delivered in a fraction of the time. A different approach was called for.

"We offered up a short live action film that would span both tracks, something we hadn't done before, but which we'd always had ambitions toward. By assimilating the budgets for both videos, we had the opportunity to write a short film-like script, and shoot live action to 35mm. We were also offering the label an innovative approach for them to market.

"Beyond the obvious allusion to soundtracks in the band name, and in the music itself, there was a narrative theme of love and loss that ran through both songs. That lent them to being linked as a single story. The band had themselves commissioned an unmade film treatment for which these tracks were intended as a 'score', and whilst we didn't read that script we were very sensitive to writing something sympathetic to the music and lyrics, and that was suitably moving, but (hopefully) not too mawkish or melodramatic.

"The label and band warmed to the idea, but the commission really solidified once we landed Peter Mullan and Julia Ford as the cast. Their involvement dispelled any concerns in regards to the production, their experience and talent adding and altering the shoot for the better.

"Once we had the cast, the crew came a little easier with some donating their considerable efforts in exchange for expenses only. This was probably helped by the fact we'd decided to shoot on location in the Cumbrian countryside over a sunny bank holiday weekend giving the impression it was a subsidized holiday - though that was pretty short-lived once they saw the onset facilities consisted of a dry toilet 'hole' in an outside stone hut!"

David Knight - 8th Oct 2008

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