Prehistoric Park

Prehistoric Park

Production company: Impossible Pictures
Broadcaster: ITV
Length: 6 X 60 mins
Genre: Drama
TX: 2006

Dir: Various
Starring: Nigel Marvin and lots of CGI dinosaurs


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.

Score notes:

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.