Academy Awards for “Last Repair Shop” and Best Score Both Echo Through Fine Line Music Service

Culver City is justifiably proud of its cinematic history, but there’s a lot of fine film making going on right here, right now. The 96th Annual Academy Awards reflected some solid status for Fine Line Music Service, with statues delivered for both the Short Documentary ‘The Last Repair Shop” and the Best Score for “Oppenheimer,” both projects that came through Fine Line. 

Greg Jamrok offered “It was truly a thrilling evening for Fine Line Music Services … my partners Josef Zimmerman (also a Culver City resident) Abraham Libbos, and I founded the company only two and a half years ago. Composer Kris Bowers is an amazing talent and has been our client since November, 2022. We have worked with him on Marvel’s “Secret Invasion,” Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” Ava DuVernay’s “Origin,” and Paramount’s “Bob Marley – One Love.” We also have a long relationship with Director Ben Proudfoot and worked with him on “Rwanda & Juliet” back in 2016.”

“The Last Repair Shop” is a unique short film for many reasons, and the immense amount of detail and finesse involved in co-ordinating the many layers of composition and recording kept Jamrok fully involved throughout. 

“In late September 2023 Kris contacted us and said he had a new project called “The Last Repair Shop” and that he had composed an End Credits Suite for it called ‘The Alumni.’ The plan was to not only record it at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank on August 4, 2023 but they were also going to film the recording to be used at the end of the documentary. This was a very unusual request that is rarely done because we usually need all the time we can get just to get all of the music recorded.”

Jamrok reflected how different this situation was from a standard film score. “The orchestra was a very special mix of LAUSD alumni, LAUSD current students and Los Angeles studio musicians, who are the best musicians in the world. My job was to take the music Kris had written on a computer and orchestrate it, which means making the score–sheet music that tells the conductor and the live players what notes to play and how to play them (loud or soft, short or long, pretty or heavy). The challenge for this particular piece was that it was very complex, and it would be played by students as well as professional studio musicians. It was a very delicate job to make such a fast moving and intricate piece playable by musicians with such a wide range of abilities, but I’m so happy with the results. “The Alumni” makes me smile and laugh with joy every time I watch it.”

Setting up the score was one prelude to finishing the film, and the multiple levels of musical experience benefitted from Jamroks’ delicate and multilayered approach.

That music is essential to telling a story about musical instruments might seem obvious, but the film also reflects deeply on the human need for ‘repair,’ and that experience and wisdom often come with a high price of time spent, and challenges endured. 

Jamrok cited his colleagues for their wisdom and creativity, saying “Later that week, we recorded the rest of the underscore (the dramatic music used under the scenes) at Evergreen Studios in Burbank. For this job, Kris and Ben looked to Katya Richardson, a very young and talented composer, to expand upon Kris’ themes that he had written for each repair shop technician in the documentary. She also sent us the music she had written with a computer and me and my partners orchestrated it for a live orchestra to play, this time by all professional musicians hired by Peter Rotter and Encompass Music Partners; Rotter is also an Executive Producer of the documentary. My team at Fine Line copied out all the individual parts, (a part for the Flute, a part for the Oboe, a part for the Violins, and so on,) and printed out and assembled all the paper sheet music. Then Music Librarian, Naomi Sato, and I went to the studio and recorded the music with the orchestra. I conducted while Katya and Scoring Engineer Brad Haehnel listened in the booth, making performance suggestions and changes along the way to get everything just right. The end result is wonderful storytelling, masterfully told by the technicians at the repair shop and captured by Ben Proudfoot and his amazing team at Breakwater Studios.”

“I’m so proud to have been a part of this wonderful project and encourage anyone who was moved by this story to donate to the capital campaign they have started to raise $15 million dollars to enhance the repair shop’s work and to build pipelines of arts programming within neighborhoods. You can donate at:

The title of the film, “The Last Repair Shop” notes that LAUSD is the last school district in the country to offer their students musical instruments with the promise of keeping them in good condition. 

“As an aside, working on this project has made us Culver City parents quite jealous, as our beginner CCMS band students this year (my son, Teddy is one of them) had to sit out most of the school year due to a lack of working instruments. It would have been really great to have access to an instrument repair shop like the one that LAUSD has.”

Judith Martin-Straw

2023 underscore session Evergreen Studios in Burbank with Composer Katya Richardson and Orchestrator and Conductor Gregory Jamrok
photo credit: Molly O’Keeffe

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