PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC — Elmer Bernstein has just completed scoring “American Epic — the Story of Cecil B. DeMille.” The music, recorded at Smecky Studios in Prague, was also conducted by Bernstein for the upcoming two-hour television documentary on the life of the legendary filmmaker, whose epic, The Ten Commandments, was one of the significant films of Bernstein’s early career.
The documentary was directed by renowned documentary director and film restorer Kevin Brownlow and narrated by noted actor/director Kenneth Branagh. It follows the illustrious career of Mr. DeMille, a visionary who directed the first full-length feature film in 1915, and went on to create and define the genre known to the world as the Hollywood spectacular.
Mr. DeMille’s unusual and remarkable decision to assign the responsibility for scoring The Ten Commandments to the young Bernstein, then a virtually unknown composer, was the turning point in what was to become a hugely successful career. Mr. Bernstein’s comment on his decision to score the DeMille Documentary was: “I have always been grateful for Mr. DeMille’s confidence in and care for me, not only as an artist but as a person. I have always felt deeply indebted to him for his care and for how much I learned about film making just from watching him on that project. His knowledge and advice were invaluable, and I am very pleased to have been able to honor his memory in what seems to be a most appropriate way.”
The film was produced by Turner Broadcasting.