Meet the Suffolk company behind the official Platinum Jubilee videos
- Credit: Figgis-West
The long-awaited Platinum Jubilee is just around the corner.
Celebrations (from Thursday, June 2 until Sunday, June 5) have been planned across the nation to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70th year on the throne - the longest reign of any monarch in British history.
And one duo here in Suffolk is playing a vital role in marking the occasion.
Production company Figgis-West, along with composer Loretta Kay-Feld, have spent the last few months working behind the scenes to create a series of official videos for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
The videos, which will be shown across the weekend, feature music composed by Loretta, alongside photos and footage of the Queen carefully selected by Jason Figgis and John West.
But how did the two find themselves embarking upon such a royal project?
First came the music, according to John, with the videography following after.
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“Loretta was originally approached by a member of the royal family, who got in touch with her to see if she’d be interested in composing the Jubilee’s official music,” he says.
Loretta Kay-Feld, who is based in Israel, is no stranger to the creating music for events and big names, as she has previously composed the scores for the inaugurations of the last three US presidents. She has also created classical music for children’s television series Sesame Street.
“Loretta then saw one of Jason’s videos, promoting Uri Geller’s museum in Jaffa, Israel, and soon approached him to see if he was interested in directing the videos as she was so impressed by his work.”
John and Jason are the masterminds behind Figgis-West, a production company with a number of titles to its name – including horror short ‘The Grey Man’ (2019), and 2020 feature film ‘The Ghost of Winifred Meeks’, which was filmed on location in Suffolk.
After eagerly accepting the job, Jason and John soon got cracking, working long hours piecing together appropriate archival imagery and footage to accompany the scores Loretta had composed, ‘70 Years a Queen’, ‘A Symphonic Medley of Music for Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee’, and ‘The Queen's Soliloquy’.
“It took about a week to make each individual video, as we wanted to make sure the images fit the timing and emotion of the music. The imagery and footage follows the Queen throughout her reign, all the way through to present day.”
Footage used throughout includes Her Majesty during her Coronation in on June 2, 1953, various state visits she’s attended over the years, and photos of her alongside other members of the royal family.
“Once edited and completed, we thought it came together really well, and Jason did a sterling in finding the photos. The family were shown the videos, and they were really moved by them. So if they were happy with then, they we definitely were,” says John.
“It was an honour to rise to the challenge to create beautiful, resonant and emotive visuals to help celebrate Her Majesty, the Queen's, Platinum Jubilee,” adds Jason.
“The end result was a marriage of beautiful composition, both aurally and visually. I’m very proud of this collaboration.”
The third video, ‘70 Years A Queen’, is being premiered on YouTube on Wednesday June 1.
“It’s a great honour to have worked on this. When I was a little kid, I remember the Silver Jubilee in 1977, and I never imagined I’d be involved in co-producing the Platinum Jubilee videos all these years later. If you told my younger self that, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s surreal,” adds John.
All three videos will be shown at various Jubilee functions during the weekend, and will also be broadcast on the BBC, while the musical score itself will be played on radio station Classic FM.