Workshop 2014

The Festival, with the support of the SACEM, organized for the eleventh consécutive year a Master Class of musical composition for Picture. The composer Jean-Michel Bernard led the Master Class from March 12th to 22th, intended for 10 young composers. The workshops consisted of musical composition exercises on extracts from cult movies. The objective being to build a complete work for the closing ceremony of the Festival (on March 22th) where the young artists performed a public movie-concert directed by Jean-Michel Bernard which invites musician’s Jazz for Dogs to join.


2014's theme in aubagne is that of change. I imagined it as such for our Master class, a particularly special blend this year. As a first in FIFA's history, the candidates of Master class will find themselves going through the process as professional film composers across the world do, penning scores for a group of high level musicians. These scores will be finalized in studio recordings, with the same excitment as if the music was composed by John Williams himself!
The film snippets which the candidates will work on are seen by many as key pieces of cinematographic heritage. They were carefully chosen that audiences can get  a new and creative musical perspective on familiar classics. We are thrilled to be able to showcase the talent and skill demonstrated by these foward-thinking emerging film composers in the Master class. And we hope the audience grasps the importance of film socre composition as an art, and one that demands just as much technical cpability as an artistic one.
For the youg composers, this training hopes to set them up for success. As a film scoring in the professionnal world is quite competitive, one cannot only rely on talent to get ahead. The importance of selling oneself through networking and presenting their best foot forward at every contact is just as crucial and these skills aren't taught in school.
The International Film Festival of Aubagne being the most important in France today for film music, is fully committed to giving  to those future talents willing to seize it, the opportunity to sharpen those business skills.
I'm excited to be taking part of this festival for a second straight year, and being able to offer my experience and advice to these young and talented musicians.



Jean-Michel Bernard’s passion for piano started at the age of 2. By the age of 14, he had already been awarded prizes by the Conservatory and he earned the Licence de concert from l’École Normale de Musique de Paris in 1981. His young adult life starts with a noteworthy accomplishment, as at the age of 19 he records with the London Philharmonic Orchestra all the while pursuing his love for jazz. Bernard starts composing at the age of 16. He starts writing music for cartoons, and then follows with France Inter from 1987 to 1991, where he takes on the role of musical director of “L’Oreille en coin”. He pens the music of Claude Villier shows for the next ten years, adding his signature to “Marchand d’histoires”, “Les routes du rêve”, “Je vous écris”, etc.
Jean-Michel Bernard worked closely with accomplished musicians and composers such as Lalo Schifrin, Ennio Morricone and Zubin Mehta. In 2000, he went on a world tour with Ray Charles and his quartet for the last 3 years of the late great Charles’ life promoting the album “Ray Charles live in Melbourne 2003”. All the while, Bernard didn’t miss a beat when it came to his continued responsibilities as conductor, composer and arranger. With his partnership  with director Michel Gondry, Bernard’s film scoring career took off.
In 2000, Bernard writes the songs for the movie “Human Nature” and in 2006 composes the score for “La Science des rêves” directed by Michel Gondry, which was part of the Sundance and Berlin Festival selections. Bernard not only wrote the soundtrack for it, but he also played a music-loving cop in the movie. The following year, Bernard was nominated at the World Soundtrack Awards, and that same year, the composer took home the prize of France Musique/UCMF at the Cannes Film Festival. This international success was followed by yet another Gondry-Bernard collaboration on the film “Soyez sympas, rembobinez”, "Ca$h" directed by Éric Besnard and "L’Emmerdeur" directed by Francis Veber. From there, in 2010, Fanny Ardent gave him reign to create the music for her movie “Chimères absentes”. A year later, Anne Giafferi and Bernard worked together on “Qui a envi d’être aimé”. He collaborated with Eric Lavine on “Bienvenue à bord”, with Sophie Lellouche on “Paris Manhattan” starring Woody Allen and with Martin Scorses for “Hugo Cabret”.
He recently penned the original music for Fanny Ardant’s cinematic debut “Cadences obstinées” set for release next January along with “The Love Punch” directed by Joel Hokins slated for theaters in June 2014. In the spring of 2014, the album “Jazz For Dogs” a collaborative effort between Jean-Michel Bernard, Kimiko Ono and composer Charles Papasoff is expected to release.