Music for Herringbone Henri

Nylon Studios in Sydney, Australia, has won recognition for Original Music Scoring with a Silver Statue at the London International Awards ceremony held on November 10, 2008. The award was given in recognition of music composed by Sydney musician Elliott Wheeler for the extended Herringbone television commercial, “Henri’s Hands”.

Herringbone Henri experiences epiphany

Henri’s Hands, a three-minute short film promoting Herringbone Menswear and Womenswear in Australia, features a young man, Henri Bouvois, who must come to terms with his minuscule hands. Faced with rejection and misunderstanding he grows in desperation, even to the point of attempting suicide. At the climax of the spot Henri has a epiphany, praying for purpose in life and discovering inspiration in the frayed curtains of his bedroom wall. Henri goes on to live a fulfilled life through his calling as a tailor.

Click on the image below to play the video.

Elliott Wheeler, who composed the score, started with a vocal track designed by fellow composer Scott Langley and went on to build the full orchestration, successfully capturing the right combination of nobility, pathos and wry amusement.

Wheeler says, “We spent a lot of energy on trying to create a musical space that would allow that beautiful narrator’s voice to essentially be our lead instrument, but still provide enough emotional information to fill in the story behind the words”.

Layers of instruments and voices subtly support the French-accented voice-over, with waltz timing providing a sense of both intimacy and whimsy. The “epiphany moment” is heralded by a solo oboe, a moment of fragile beauty that continues through the optimism of the final theme.

Herringbone Henri plays piano as a child

The Herringbone advertisement, formed by M&C Saatchi, Sydney, was developed into an art house short film over an extended period of time by film director Garth Davis. Davis took great pains to find exactly the right cast for the lead roles, showing Henri as a child, teenager, young adult and as a senior tailor.

Mark Beckhaus, Executive Producer at Nylon Studios, is delighted with the London International Awards recognition. He remarks, “It was a rare luxury to work with Garth Davis over such a long production time, fine tuning the sound and music together to match his attention to detail and beauty.”

“Henri’s Hands” was awarded with a Gold (Apparel) and two Silver awards (Direction – Visual, and Original Music Scoring) at the London International Awards, mirroring the Gold and two Silvers won at the CLIO Awards held in May 2008.

Elliott Wheeler has been writing music for screen for ten years, working with Nylon Studios and in a freelance capacity.

Nylon Studios began in Sydney in 2002 and is now expanding in the United States with an office recently established in New York. Recent work by the sound and music boutique includes music for the Toohey’s White Stag “Carb Relief” and Toyota Hi Lux “Coconuts” written by Johnny Green, Sony HDD Chicken and Referee written by Oli Chang, and Baz Lurhmann’s Tourism Australia Campaign, written by Elliott Wheeler.

Herringbone Henri the tailor

Credits for Herringbone Henri

The Herringbone Henri campaign was developed at M&C Saatchi, Sydney, by executive creative director Ben Welsh, creative director/copywriter Oliver Devaris, creative director/art director Graham Johnson and agency producer Rod James.

Filming was shot by director Garth Davis via Exit Films, Melbourne with producer Karen Sproul and director of photography Greig Fraser.

Special effects were produced at Fin Design & Effects, Sydney. Editor was Jack Hutchings at The Butchery, Melbourne.

Sound was designed at Nylon Studios, Sydney, by Simon Lister and Dave Robertson. Music was produced at Nylon Studios by composer/lyricist Elliott Wheeler with executive producer Mark Beckhaus.

Music Production Company: Nylon Studios, Sydney.