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Composing for Magnificent 7 Starring Helena Bonham Carter

In 2005 I was asked to score the BBC film Magnificent 7, starring Helena Bonham Carter. The drama was inspired by real-life super-mum Jacqui Jackson, and the family were featured in the 2003 documentary ‘My family and Autism’.

In the film Helena Bonham Carter plays Maggi, a mother with seven children. Her four sons are all, in one form or another, autistic. A poignant and uplifting film, Magnificent 7 is her story.

The theme ‘Waiting for Christopher’ was written for the scene when Maggie is waiting in her kitchen for Christopher to come home late one night coming up to Christmas, and she is deeply worried. Christopher finally returns home and has brought his mother a surprise gift.

I composed Christopher’s theme for string section, celeste, harp and flute.

I remember vividly the day I started work on Christopher’s theme. Having worked on the film for a few weeks I was so in tune with the mood and tone of film that when I began this cue, towards the end of the film, the theme really came to me very quickly and completely in my head. The hard part was transcribing it down to manuscript so the string players would play it exactly as I was hearing the various parts in my head.

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mag-7-03String and harp parts for ‘Waiting for Christopher’

The film is as funny as it is heart-breaking, and, ultimately it’s a celebration of this extraordinary family. The screenplay by is Sandy Welch, directed by Kenny Glenaan and produced by Deborah Jones.

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The soundtrack was recorded and mixed at Hear No Evil studios by Steve Parr.