Career highlight: Winning two AFI awards, for Bootmen in 2000 and La Spagnola in 2001. And an ovation at a screening of Gillian Armstrong’s Death Defying Acts at the Toronto International Film Festival. Career lowlight: Being knocked back by the Australia Council for the large- scale choral work inspired by Robert Hughes’s The Fatal Shore in 1996. Big break: Being asked by producer Marian Macgowan to do Lilian’s Story in 1995. Favourite composers: Miles Davis and Krystof Penderecki, whose music was used for The Exorcist . Also, bands like Radiohead because they always try to challenge themselves. Film composers: Thomas Newman ( American Beauty , Oscar and Lucinda ) because of his versatility and Frenchman Eric Serra, who wrote the music for Leon ( The Professional). Guilty pleasure: Belgian dark chocolate.