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Fairlight Plays A Part In Slumdog Millionaire’s Oscar Success

andy-richards.jpgFairlight is celebrating the success of Slumdog Millionaire, the 2009 movie that has captured the imagination of people all over the world and has picked up numerous accolades including eight Academy Awards, seven BAFTAs and four Golden Globes.

This rags-to-riches romance’s slew of Oscars includes awards for film editing, cinematography and sound mixing, as well as best original score and original song – Jai Ho – both written by Indian composer A.R. Rahman.

Integral to that success was UK music producer and film mixer Andy Richards who mixed all the music for Slumdog Millionaire on a five-bay Fairlight DREAM console at his Out Of Eden facility in Chiswick, West London.

Being classically trained and one of the UK’s most successful pop music keyboard players, Andy Richards moved into film music production and mixing eight years ago. He is now one half of Higham-Richards, a partnership he established with film music editor Mike Higham to provide a complete music production service for the international film industry. The two have worked on numerous films, both together and individually, including Quantum of Solace, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Hellboy II, The Last King of Scotland, Sweeney Todd and most recently State of Play – Russell Crowe’s latest picture.

Richards uses his DREAM console for all his mixing projects. The music and film scores are mixed within the ‘Fairlight Domain’ and then 5.1 and Stereo stems are simultaneously produced and sent, usually, via FTP to the Dubbing Facility to be inserted into the final movie audio mix.

“I love Fairlight’s technology and I’ve been an advocate and user for many, many years!? he says. “My DREAM console is sonically stunning and it is incredibly versatile, as well as being fast and simple to use. My clients appreciate the ‘wide and open’ sound that the Fairlight creates, due in part to its 40-bit floating point technology and they love the speed at which we can move from cue to cue without any apparent recall having to take place.?

“Working on Slumdog Millionaire,? Andy adds, “was undoubtedly one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved with and I am delighted to have been part of its success. My involvement came quite late on when I was contacted by Jeanette Haley (the post-production supervisor) and was asked to mix the music for A.R. The success that followed was in so many ways only something we could have dreamed of … but then, that’s the movie business!?

Whilst Slumdog Millionaire has swept the board at this year’s awards ceremonies, it is not the first time Andy Richards has been part of the awards excitement. He also enjoyed success with Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, which he recorded and mixed exclusively on Fairlight software and microprocessors. Earlier this year Sweeney Todd was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Compilation Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media.

“Mike and I were very excited about that particular award and he went over to Los Angeles for the ceremony. Sadly we didn’t win, but just being nominated was terrific,? Richards says.

The next project on the Higham-Richards schedule is slated to be Shanghai, starring John Cusack and Yun-Fat Chow. Andy Richards estimates that this will be a 4-5 day mix – and of course his Fairlight DREAM system will be a vital part of the process.

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