Modder en Bloed

Editing and Original Score

Between September 2015 and February 2016 I was incredibly honoured to work on the feature film "Modder en Bloed" ("Blood and Glory") not only editing the film but also writing the score.

Modder en Bloed tells the story of Willem Morkel (Stian Bam), a Boer warrior and family man, whose wife and only child were killed by British soldiers during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. Willem is incarcerated with other Boer prisoners-of-war on the island of St. Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. The tyrannical Colonel Swannell (Grant Swanby), a hot-headed Imperialist with a consuming hatred for the Afrikaner, is in charge of the English concentration camp. Boer prisoners-of-war are subjected to the most brutal violence and degrading treatment. They are constantly humiliated by the British commander and his soldiers in an effort to break them down emotionally, and to physically cripple them. But, despite the untold torture they had to endure and the inhumane suffering they had to bear, their resistance and quest for vengeance, by whatever means, became stronger and stronger by the day.

It was a truly amazing journey and working with Sean Else, who wrote, directed and produced the film, was a wonderful experience. He was always open to suggestions and allowed me the freedom to try different structures and cuts throughout the process.

I edited the film on Adobe Premiere Pro and was really impressed with the way that it handled such a massive project.

I edited the film on Adobe Premiere Pro and was really impressed with the way that it handled such a massive project. The final runtime is 2 hours 16 minutes and there were very few times that I had crashes or any issues whatsoever. I cut using Pro Res Proxy files that were created on-the-fly during filming and because camera and sound were pulling timecode from the same source it was a breeze to merge the video and audio clips and cut using all recorded channels of sound.

Mushroom Media's Warwick Allan did an amazing job of grading and finishing the film and the workflow between offline and online edit was seamless as Warwick has also migrated to Premiere Pro. The same was true for sound. The sound design and final mix was expertly handled by Jim Petrak from Sound Surfers and there were no issues in exporting the final cut's sound or importing the sound into Pro Tools.

This is the first time that I have written a full score on a drama feature film and from the outset I had said to Sean that I wanted to go with a full orchestral sound. I composed and arranged the score in Logic Pro X using the amazing sample libraries from EastWest's Composer Cloud. Their instruments are truly stunning although it does take a fair bit of work to make them shine in terms of realism and there were honestly times were I thought I was not going to make the deadline.

But in the end it all came together beautifully and the result is a fantastic film that I'm truly proud of.

The film releases nationwide in South Africa on the 1st of April 2016.