The Toronto Film Festival Experience

Well.. now that the dust has settled on the Toronto International Film Festival 2017, here’s a quick insight into our experience of the wonderfully chaotic world of TIFF from a festival first-timer.

Despite both being industry veterans, this was the first time that either Jeff or I had attended a film festival and so we weren’t sure what to expect. Would we be waltzing up the red carpet, or run over in the public’s rush to search out celebrities?

Toronto International Film Festival

SuperSize Me 2 star, Morgan Spurlock on the Red Carpet with David and Jeff.

Well, I’m happy to report that the reality was both! It was a real pleasure to walk down the red carpet with the star of SuperSize Me 2, Morgan Spurlock at the premiere of our new movie – but equally I was amused to be asked “are you somebody?” when standing watching a stationary car for a glimpse of Matt Damon and George Clooney – who were arriving for the opening of Suburbicon.

My answer of “I’m not sure” seemed to confuse the eager stargazer I think, but the scrum towards the Hollywood A-listers reminded me how important movies and movie stars are to the rest of us, especially in a world going through some slightly choppy times.

Walking down Festival Avenue, a street that had been cordoned off for promotional events, gave me a chance to take in the genuine excitement that still exists around cinema and arts festivals of all sorts. There were street musicians, TV crews, people from all over the world who’d make pilgrimages to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars and interested locals, all wandering around in a sea of good-natured chatter.

At TIFF 2017 there were a staggering 339 new movies, shown in just 11 days. Some critics felt that the festival was almost too large, but without any previous experience to match it against, it just felt buzzy and exciting to us. This year featured many biopics, including the Lady Gaga story “Five Foot Two” and “Borg vs McEnroe”, which looks at the rivalry between the tennis stars in the 1980’s.


Toronto International Film Festival

The crazy world of TIFF 2017

As with all film festivals, there’s a competitive nature to them, with movies attempting to gain popularity, notoriety and ultimately looking to secure distribution deals. This year’s festival was no different and the winner of the People’s Choice Award went to “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”. A harrowing, yet compelling movie by Academy award-winner Martin McDonagh, starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. Other movies to gain recognition were “Bodied” – A satirical exploration of Battle Rapping and “I, Tonya” – The Tonya Harding Story.

For our own small part, the team on SuperSize Me 2 were delighted to have the movie named in the top three documentaries of the festival and, we all hope it bodes well for the upcoming awards season – but for our part, it was just a blast to be involved in the slightly crazy world that was TIFF 2017.

For a full list of festival winners and award nominees check out the TIFF awards site here. See also our blogs on the movie Supersize Me 2, and  A Film Season In Bloom

A film season in bloom

It’s the beginning of September and that marks start of the film awards season.

With the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals all happening with in a few weeks of each other, it’s no wonder that many Oscar-contending films have made their debut at this time in years past. ‘Birdman”, “Slum Dog Millionaire”, “Black Swan”, “12 Years A Slave” and one of last years big winners “La la Land” to name a few.

As we run up to the end of the year there is no doubt that some of 2017’s most critically acclaimed films will come out if this year’s festival crop. On the slate for Venice are George Clooney’s “Suberbicon” starring Matt Damon and Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, also starring Matt Damon.  At Toronto, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s “The Current Wars” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon as well as documentarian Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” (scored by Jeff Meegan, David Tobin and Tim Garland).  While Telluride doesn’t give a list of films set to premiere we think one thing is clear: Regardless of your personal tastes, this season of festivals should prove to be both entertaining and informative and we can’t wait to see what goodness awaits!

Super Size Me 2 – Scored by Meegan & Tobin

Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken

David Tobin and Jeff Meegan, together with Tim Garland, are excited to announce the forthcoming release of:“Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”, with an original score by the 3 composers.

This follow-up to Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me”, is the first feature film score for Meegan & Tobin.  It premieres next week at the Toronto Film Festival.

With the help of playful melodies and understated skillful orchestrations, their original music to “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” helps paint the stark sometimes dark truths behind the very intertwined Chicken and Fast Food industries.  This helps Morgan Spurlock reignite his clash with the fast food industry in sizzling fashion.  In the original movie, Morgan Spurlock took on the McDonald’s and helped fashion a change in the company by throwing light on the way in which huge portion sizes, large amounts of sugar and saturated fat are damaging our health and that of our children.

In the latest movie, Spurlock takes on the main players in the huge U.S chicken industry and deals with the issue of how fast food companies lie to us about what goes into their products. It also sheds light on the tough conditions that chicken farmers are expected to work in and how they are forced into virtual poverty by means of an unfair and corrupt system.

Working With Morgan Spurlock

“It was a pleasure writing with Spurlock and his team,” says David Tobin.  “The left-field manner in which the film tackles some rather hard issues presented some fun complexities. Finding the right balance of light heartedness and sincerity while still conveying the solemnity of the issues was a challenge we all really enjoyed”.   

We are all delighted to have been involved in such a worthwhile project and we are eagerly looking forward to our next foray into the scoring world