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Eldon Rathburn: They Shoot... He Scores

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In the early days of silent film, piano music was played to cover the noise from the projector. Today, music combines with sound effects and dialogue to form the sound track, each element interweaving with and complementing the others. A music lover since childhood, Eldon Rathburn used to go to the movies at the Nickel Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick, in the 1920s, just to hear the music. Eldon's career as staff composer at the National Film Board began in 1947. Since then, he has gone on to compose over 300 scores for documentary and feature films. Eldon's intimate attachment to the silver screen is followed using archival footage dating from his days with Don Messer's country band through to composing for the giant-screen IMAX production Momentum and for award-winning classics such as City of Gold. Less-memorable "classics" such as Hog Family Supreme and Fish Spoilage Control also find their way into Eldon Rathburn: They Shoot... He Scores!. Half a century after leaving Saint John to write his first National Film Board score, Eldon Rathburn remains of the opinion that "composing film music is one of the most exciting musical activities of the present day."

1995, 26 min 32 s

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