LONDON — Abbey Road Studios’ worldwide fame was set in stone one morning in August 1969 when the Beatles strolled outside and had their picture taken striding across a nondescript zebra crossing.
The quirky shot adorned the cover of their last album (“Abbey Road”) and more than 100,000 devotees still make a pilgrimage to the north London crossing every year.
Abbey Road will forever be synonymous with the Fab Four — they recorded 190 of their 210 songs there — but the studios managing director David Holley is determined to turn the spotlight on Abbey’s position as one of the top film scoring studios in the world.
This year marks the 25th anni of Abbey Road’s involvement in the film scoring business. And to mark the occasion, the studio has launched the Abbey Road Film Festival, which will screen a selection of key Abbey-associated films.
Anthony Minghella and his long-time collaborator, composer Gabriel Yared, turned up on March 18 to kick off the fest with a masterclass to discuss their working relationship.
Blasting the traditional process of drafting a composer once the film is already shot as “counter-productive,” Minghella likened it to “adding a new character into the story at the last minute.”
Minghella has worked with Yared from day one on his last three features, “The English Patient,” The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Cold Mountain.”
The intense relationship –Yared improvising at the piano while Minghella writes at the helmer’s hideaway in Hampshire — demands more from Yared than the norm but certainly has its rewards. The Lebanese composer won an Oscar for “The English Patient.”
Minghella and Yared, who are currently collaborating on “Breaking and Entering” lensing in London, were joined on stage by an octet performing music from “Patient,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Cold Mountain.”