Made by the creators of Walking With Dinosaurs, Prehistoric Park uses the same mix of high level CGI and real footage. Nigel Marvin has a time machine that allows him to go back in time and rescue dinosaurs before they become extinct. He then looks after them in his modern day compound - the rather suspiciously titled 'Prehistoric Park'. Obvious really.
I hadn't really done anything like this before - a really big budget family adventure show - so was keen to try something new. Although, as always, there were initial discussions about making the score more experimental I think once we got underway with it we realised that it wasn't going to work with that tone. So instead I decided to go for an all out massive orchestral score. We recorded it in Prague over a number of sessions with a 70 piece line up. However I still managed to sneak in some more wierdy sound design moments (which I actually spent ages creating - twisting didgeridoo sounds and filtered raindrops) wherever I could. The influence of composers like John Barry and John Williams hung heavily over my composing on this one.
Writing the score was a bizarre experience. I would often have to work with scenes with nothing in them except an empty landscape and some guide subtitles saying something like 'T-rex appears'. I discovered the exciting world of CGI 'prodders'. These are people in blue suits with long sticks who prod bushes and sticks so, when the CGI dinosaur is added to a scene, it looks like everything is moving around it like it would in real life. We were also quite constrained by budget so I had to write a number of pieces that would work in many different situations throughout the series. Again, when I took the job on, the producers didn't really want an orchestral score - they wanted something on synths. I didn't really want to do that and made it quite clear at the start as I thought the scale of the show, coupled with some of the really fantastic photography, meant it was really worth trying to push it to the limit musically. A very long, social killer of a series to work on, but worth it in the end I think.
The soundtrack album to this show is available on iTunes.