Jody Jenkins OH (1999)

film & television composer

The best moments are when it all comes together.  Conducting an orchestra playing a score which has taken months to compose, with a director beaming at us through the glass, is a real high-point.

Based in Soho, London, Jody has made a name for himself in the world of film and television scores.

After leaving Hampton, Jody studied percussion and composition at the Royal Academy of Music, which he recalls was a petri dish of emerging musical talent, offering scope to work with every type of musical theory and history.  During his studies, one of his compositions was selected for a British Gas TV commercial and a week later he was recording his music with a professional orchestra in one of London’s top studios.  He says it was a career defining moment. “Hearing my music realised to that standard was incredible and I was hooked”.

Jody soon branched out to start writing music for television programmes, including BBC History documentaries and shows like Horizon and Panorama.  His tracks could be heard on Top Gear and The Antiques Roadshow.

In the last few years Jody has scored a number of feature films, including a large orchestral score for the Indian film Aladin and the UK black-comedy Cockneys Vs Zombies.  He also worked on the indie horror feature Sawney: Flesh of the Man.  Jody has worked on countless film scores in a variety of roles within the music department, including being percussion programmer for Academy Award winner Dario Marianelli, on films such as V for Vendetta and Atonement.  He also worked alongside Harry Gregson-Williams on the score for Disney’s Narnia: Prince Caspian and as programmer for Javier Navarrete on the Warner Brothers’ recent blockbuster Wrath of the Titans.

Jody says being a film composer requires a tough skin but is also wonderfully rewarding.  “You need to be able to work quickly, to deadlines, and not be disappointed when some of your work ends up ditched on the cutting-room floor. It is essential to be able to appreciate the qualities of pretty much all types of music; only then can you exploit that to create a soundtrack which enhances the picture it accompanies.”

Jody’s memories of Hampton School:

My memories of Hampton are overwhelmingly positive, but I would say that it’s only in the years since leaving that I have appreciated quite how fortunate I was to have studied there.  For anyone wishing to pursue a career in music I would advise getting as broad a musical education as you can.  You may not like singing, but it is the best general training for the ear.  You may want only to play the drums, but an understanding of harmony, through studying an instrument such as the piano, will actually make you a better drummer.  Average musicians might have fast fingers but brilliant ones have fast ears as well.  My general advice to anyone heading off into the wider world from Hampton is always follow your interests, even if they sometimes take you off on tangents.  You are in a unique period of your life where you have an inherent knack for picking up new things, developing new skills and, hopefully, having fun in the process.