This summer, Disney released a brand new original movie called “Young Woman And The Sea”, which tells the extraordinary true story of Trudy Ederle, the first woman to successfully swim the English Channel.

Trudy was a remarkable swimmer born to immigrant parents in New York City in 1905, defied societal norms and overcame numerous challenges to become a beacon of inspiration. With the unwavering support of her older sister and dedicated trainers, she not only conquered the ranks of the Olympic swimming team but also achieved the unimaginable–a 21-mile swim from France to England, a feat that remains a testament to human endurance and determination.

Recently, I spoke with Amelia Warner, the film’s composer, about her experience working on her first film for Disney.

How did you get involved in creating music for films and shows?

I started working as a composer as favours really to friends who, I had a couple of friends who were directors, and it felt like people always ran out of money for the music for things, so they would know that I would play the piano. And so the first couple of jobs that I did was just a friend who was doing a short films was like, we’ve got no money, please can you just write something on the piano? And I did that, and then I did the same for a couple of commercials, and then it just kind of went from there. And I just really enjoyed the process, found it really fulfilling, and so that’s how I started.


Where did your inspiration for the overall sound of the movie come from?

You know what the sound of the film just kind of grew and grew as the film went on? To be honest, I think initially the initial conversations were very much about how the film should feel. We should thematic and have proper themes and feel quite old fashioned and classic in that way of having a really strong main theme. So I suppose the main, where I started was just trying to find that theme. And then once I had that theme, I remember everybody kind of thinking, great, we’re done. But actually because of the character and because she’s got these so many different facets, it was also really important to have a sports film theme as well. So that was a really key part of it and probably the hardest, I would say, to come up with that theme that just made the swimming feel really exciting and made the film feel propulsive and kind of gave it this forward motion the whole time. So yeah, those were the two, I guess biggest aspects was the sports aspect and then the emotion of her. And then the sound that it ended up having was mainly orchestral, but then definitely with some more contemporary elements. And again, as the process went on, I feel like I pushed more and more out of that period of time and those restrictions lifted because it felt like everybody was really enjoying the more contemporary elements.

You say on your social media that you’re often found swimming in freezing cold water. Did that experience help you at all with this project?

A couple of people have asked me this when I got the job. I remember thinking, oh my God, this is so great because I’m a swimmer and I swim in the sea all year round and this is going to be great, but I have to be totally honest and I’m not sure that it really informed anything or translated into a choice that I made for the score, if I’m totally honest. I mean, it probably gave me a little bit of empathy and understanding of what Daisy went through and her kind of experience. But no, in practical terms, I don’t think it really had any impact, to be honest.

What was your biggest highlight working on the film?

Oh, I think working with Jerry Bruckheimer for sure. I mean it, I just learned so much and I felt so kind of privileged to be able to watch him and hear him talk. And I’d often be on the edit calls with everybody and just listening and the way that he thinks and he’s always thinking about the audience the whole time, what are they feeling, what are they experiencing? And that was just so interesting and I took so much from that. So definitely that and also being involved in a Disney production I think was just such a dream come true.


The movie was originally going to be released straight onto Disney+. How did you feel when it was revealed that it was going to cinemas first?

It was so great, and I think we’d heard rumblings or rumors, and I think once you’ve heard that that is possible, I suppose your mind almost goes to that. So I was so glad that it did happen. But Jerry, it was his highest testing film that he’s ever been involved in. So I think when it got that score in the test screenings, it felt like, yeah, this has to be experienced in the cinema and it’s such a cinematic film. I think Jochen is visually; it’s so beautiful, and the sound design is amazing, and hopefully, the scores is good. And I feel like the whole, it’s a real kind of cinema experience, so I’m really glad that some people will get to have experienced it in that way.


What was the biggest challenge working on “Young Woman And the Sea”?

What was the biggest challenge? I think it was, well, one of the challenges, I would say, that’s just a really technical thing is when you are working with water and sound, it’s quite hard because water is like white noise. It’s very, very noisy. So you’ve got the kind of waves, then you’ve got the kicking, the splashing. There’s just so many different types of noise happening that can be quite challenging to pitch the music in a way that isn’t in the same frequency that isn’t getting in the way. So that’s hard. And then I’d say it was more just a, I think it was my first studio film. And I think that just the level levelling up involved was tough at times. And I think the expectation and the rate of delivery, what you’re doing, the schedule, the constant conforming, editing, the changes, it’s like a very fast moving train with moving targets. Everything is constant every day. It’s a different challenge, which was also really fun and exhilarating and I loved it, but it was definitely a step up.

Check out the full interview below:

“Young Woman And The Sea” has recently been given a limited theatrical release, before it’s upcoming Disney+ later this summer.

You can also download and stream the soundtrack to “Young Woman And The Sea” on digital platforms such as Amazon, Spotify, Apple, and YouTube.

Have you checked out “Young Woman And The Sea” yet?  Let me know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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