Derek Kirkup

Derek Kirkup

Music Composer, Script Consultant and Story Analyst

Bristol, United Kingdom

Member Since:
August 2013
Last online:
> 2 weeks ago
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About Derek

Derek Kirkup is a film composer with a unique understanding of story, producing evocative and heartfelt music with a diverse array of influences.

Living and breathing music from a young age, he was writing and producing layered, multi-track recordings by the age of 13, using only a twin tape deck. Throughout his teens he continued to develop as songwriter and producer, creating lush soundscapes of organic and electronic instruments, drawing influence from atmospheric artists such as Nine Inch Nails and Sigur Ros.

Before specialising in music for narrative film, he spent five years as a Samaritan, listening to, understanding and empathising with the real-life protagonists in some of the deepest and most powerful stories around. He gathered extraordinary insights through the lives of others, learning to confront, explore and empathise with the essential, emotional struggle of the human underneath.

Later he would build upon this understanding within the context of story by studying scriptwriting and working as a scriptreader for Hollywood studio Eclectic Pictures, (producers of Lovelace, Septembers of Shiraz), all the while learning and developing his sound as composer and producer.

All of this experience has helped shape a highly sensitive composer, able to dig into a story and write music from the very core outwards.

Derek’s recent credits include Carl Mackenzie’s acclaimed drama about child abduction, “The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan”, and the short horror “Hushy Bye”, directed by the award-winning James Webber.

Unique traits: Approachable, insightful, concise and honest in communication. Unique blend of background in psychology and creative arts, with 5 years experience as a Samaritan and a counselling qualification.




  • Slides

    Slides (2018)
    Film (short) by Ben Cohen Composer TBC

  • Playing With Death: Catch a Killer

    Playing With Death: Catch a Killer (2018)
    Video Game by Macrosoft Media Ltd Composer Music composition for this mobile-release game, which serves as a prologue to the novel "Playing with Death" by Simon Scarrow and Lee Francis.

  • All Clear

    All Clear (2017)
    Film (Short and Drama) Composer Add a Plot »

  • The Marshlands

    The Marshlands (2017)
    Television (Action, Drama and Sci-Fi) Composer Add a Plot »

  • Hushy Bye

    Hushy Bye (2017)
    Film (Short and Horror) Composer Directed by James Webber, Hushy Bye is the latest horror short from The Springhead Film Company. Written by Mark Brennan of Pork Chop Pictures (Tea For Two), Hushy Bye is a short, sharp shocker about a young couple and their newborn baby.

  • Just a Day

    Just a Day (2017)
    Film (Short and Drama) Music department You never know who has a worst day than you.

  • The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan

    The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan (2016)
    Film (Short and Drama) Composer Following the arrest of Bradley Donovan for the abduction of Katie Fenwick, police officers set out to Donovan's house in the hope of finding the missing schoolgirl. When they arrive, they are greeted by Donovan's worried wife, Olivia. With Olivia's state of mind in a very vulnerable place, the police officers must use all their experience and tact to try to encourage Olivia to cooperate. Throughout the interview, Olivia defends her husband, refusing to believe any of the accusations. However, what the police officers do not realise is that Olivia has an agenda of her own. As a strange game of cat and mouse ensues, we begin to ask ourselves if everything is as black and white as it seems.

  • Olive Green

    Olive Green (2014)
    Film (Action, Crime and Drama) Composer Running away from her past, Olive Green, a dashing professional art thief, takes on a job of stealing an impressionist masterpiece from the private house of a British collector. But the security systems are the least of her problems, as she will have to deal with dangerous, high-profile criminals, as well as her own ill-fated love. Will Olive succeed in fixing the mess she got herself into? Written by Natalia Stolarska

  • Working in Time

    Working in Time (2012)
    Film (Short, Drama and Sci-Fi) Composer In the future, time is money and money buys you happiness.

  • Where Is My Solomon?

    Where Is My Solomon? (2009)
    Film (Short) Composer A documentary about the community of African refugees and asylum seekers who have settled in Israel.

  • Long and Winding

    Long and Winding (2009)
    Film (short) by Same Moon Productions Composer

  • Don't Look at Me (I'm Ugly in the Morning)

    Don't Look at Me (I'm Ugly in the Morning) (2008)
    Film (Drama) Composer "Don't Look At Me (I'm Ugly In The Morning)" follows the lives of three estranged adult siblings, grudgingly reunited after their father's sudden death. When the issue of their inheritance comes to the fore and outside influences compete for the sizeable assets, their turbulent past must be examined with renewed relevance. The three play a dangerous game of deception that will destroy lives and test the bonds of blood. Written by Mathew Begley

  • On Friendship and Fidelity

    On Friendship and Fidelity (2008)
    Film (Short and Drama) Composer When married waiter Ben develops feelings for his new coworker, Anna, the two must navigate the murky waters of friendship and fidelity together.

  • A Dog's Life...

    A Dog's Life... (2007)
    Film (Animation, Short and Comedy) Composer Add a Plot »


  • The Academy of Contemporay Music

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