Category: Documentary

Forensics: The Real CSI

Delighted to have worked with the brilliant team at Blast! Films on this powerful and revealing three-part documentary series for BBC Two.

Different episodes follow individual crimes from the moment of call-out across this vast area, showing how CSIs gather and assess evidence from DNA to blood spatter, digital forensics to footprints – and how they work closely with CID detectives driving individual investigations.

Police work that relies on hard factual evidence is more vital than ever and convictions today can rest on tiny margins. The path of a bullet through a pane of glass; the chemical make-up of a petrol bomb at the scene of a fire; the drop of saliva left on a victim’s clothes. As criminals have become more sophisticated in recent years, forensic science has made huge advances and the role of Crime Scene Investigators has become more and more vital.

Capturing the twists and turns of major crime investigations as they happen, the series follows serious criminal cases and shows the vital work of police forensic services in building evidence and solving crimes.

Northumbria Police is one of Britain’s largest forces, covering an area of over 2,000 square miles and a population of more than 1.5m people. The patch encompasses the urban sprawl of Newcastle as well as tiny former mining villages; from the Scottish border down to County Durham, and from the Pennines across to the North East coast.

Production Company: Blast! Films
Editors: Tom Dixon Spain, Leigh Brzeski, Jake Martin
Series Editor: Vari Innes
Exec Producer: David Hodgkinson

Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story

Whistleblower: The Maurice McCabe Story

It was a privilege to have been asked to compose a score to accompany this two part series following the incredibly personal story of Sergeant Maurice McCabe, Irelands most prominent Garda Whistleblower. Broadcast across consecutive nights on the 12th and 13th of November, the film became the most ever watched documentary on RTÉ One.

The two-part TV documentary has exclusive access to in-depth interviews with Maurice and Lorraine McCabe, as well as Maurice’s 91 year old father Michael and other family members. Through candid interviews and extraordinary archive, these films tell the story of this intensely private family who were catapulted into the limelight after Sergeant McCabe became the country’s most prominent Garda whistleblower.

Producer/Director: Máire Kearney
Editor: Ray Roantree
Composer: Alexander Parsons
Dub mixer: Alvin Sweeney

 

IFTN Article 

 

Artist in Residence: The Football Club

Artist In Residence: The Football Club

Artist Tai Shan Schierenberg spends a season at West Bromwich Albion, during an incredibly turbulent period for the club.

He takes on the role of painter, narrator and interrogator in The Football Club, querying Tony Pulis, then manager of West Bromwich Albion, as he considered the inevitability of his club’s demise and his own position.

“It manages to be about failure, masculinity, creativity and community at the same time.. it gets my vote for the sheer ambition is pours into a commercial hour” – editor Chris Collins

 

Grierson Winner: Best Arts or Music Documentary
Broadcast Award Winner: Best Specialist Factual

 

Director: Marcus Plowright
Editor: Iain Pettifer
Composer: Alexander Parsons

 

 

Professor Green: Working Class White Men

In Britain today many working class white men feel demonised, forgotten and angry. Presented by Professor Green this documentary, directed by Christian Collerton, for Swan Films explores what life is really like for these men, why many of them feel abandoned, and what the consequences are for Britain if we continue to look away.

 

Working Class White Men (Channel 4) – Music Exceprts from Alexander Parsons – Composer on Vimeo.

 

My soundtrack features heavily processed piano, analogue synths and strings, recorded in London, Berlin and Paris. Recording of individual parts on to cassette tape, as well as granular techniques created a highly unstable sound with a distinctly human feel.

 

 

 

Filmed, produced and directed by Christian Collerton
Editor: Sam Santana
Exec Producers: Joe Evans and Neil Crombie
Production Company: Swan Films
Broadcaster: Channel 4

American High School

American High School follows a charismatic principal and his students over the course of one school year and through their eyes we witness life-changing moments. In the US, life chances for students who graduate high school are often starkly different to those who don’t, a disparity even more marked for African-American pupils.

With the odds often stacked against them we follow the class of 2016 over this, their make-or-break year.

We experience their highs and their lows as they prepare for life after high school. We meet Ivy League hopefuls, male cheerleaders and young mothers on a tough journey into adulthood. This is school as you’ve never seen it before and a unique insight into how it really feels to be young and black in America today.

Meanwhile, high-achieving pupil Jalena begins college applications, but with college fees costing more than a house, will she even be able to afford to go? Male cheerleader Vernon, and star football player Kordel, each prepare for the big Friday night football game. Can a win for the school help to get Dr Peters’ ambitions back on track?

Producer/Director: Marcus Plowright
Executive Producers: Joe Evans and Neil Crombie
Production Company: Swan Films
Composer: Alexander Parsons

TX Date: 18th October 2016
BBC1: February 2017
National Geographic (US): 26th September 2017

 

“Every participant is treated with careful, considered respect… This is helped by Alexander Parsons’ impressive score, mixing tinges of the music the kids listen to with his own emotive arrangements. Six episodes of hope, just when it’s needed”.

Julia Reside (on American High School), The Guardian, 11th November 2016