Friday, September 4, 2009

Love Is A Fast Song

No matter what has ever come to me
I got my own brand of company
I got da da da inside my head
And i play songs back to back until i go to bed

Wake up by myself inside an empty room
There's no body next to mine to oooh
But my skin is warm and my heart is full
It's the do do do do do do

Walking waking on a crowded street
With my headphones loud
So my hips can swing, so my head can nod
To the rock and roll to the boom boom beat

& i find that i'm never alone
& i find that my heart is my home
& the music within makes me whole
A world that i built on my own

& i know that i'm never alone
& i know that my heart is my home
Every missing piece of me
I can find in a melody

(Melody by Kate Earl)

For as long as I can remember, I've been a super huge fan of music. Everything about music makes my life richer. From the shower, to choir practices and shows, to talent shows, to family reunions, to karaoke. I love music. I love going to rock shows and discovering new bands and new music. And I love how different songs inspire me in different ways.

I'm finding out more and more that as a screenwriter, music speaks so loudly in every word. Every piece of dialogue, every transition scene, every movement of each character that I envision in my head while I'm writing, is inspired by creative thought, personal observation, and the soundtrack in the background.

For instance, having only seen gang life from a distance, when I'm writing out traits and mannerisms for Preston Collins' character in BALLARD BOYS (about 3 brothers torn apart by the foster care system) I listen to T.I.'s Ready For Whatever, and I can see Preston's swagger as he walks up to a girl. And I can picture in my mind the years of hurt he's translated into his life rollin' with his boys, and I can put words to it as he looks into his older brother's eyes with hatred and disappointment. And it's crazy to think that someone like me could ever begin to TRY to write out what that looks like and how it translates into something an audience could grab a hold of. But the music helps.

And when I'm writing the crucial scene in LANE AND ALLEY when Alley is attacked and I need to know how to write the attack out in a way that channels the abrupt violence from the attacker while still being able to convey the facial reactions and sounds and movements of Alley as she's enduring it all, I put on Placebo's Post Blue.

Or when I'm working on BRAVERY and Evie and Micah are hanging out together and watching the sun set together and I need to be able to convey in writing that moment when Micah looks at Evie, sitting there on a grassy hill next to him with her head on his shoulder, wrapped up in his arms and he realizes that he could stay in that moment forever and goes to kiss her on the forehead right as grabs the polaroid camera and snaps a sneak shot of him. And we get to see their love develop. . . I put on Ashley Chambliss' A Little More of You.

And in THE ACADEMY when Mykalena and Cameron FINALLY do their final dance sequence, having endured the crappiest, roughest rollercoaster of a relationship, I listen to You Found Me by The Fray and see their choreography come to life. And being able to imagine in my head the way she looks at him during certain verses and how she wants him to know that she is his and he is hers. The music speaks. Because to everyone else watching, it's just a dance. But to them, it's a story that encompasses all the drama they've had to endure to be together. I love it.

And I know that IF they were ever actually made into actual movies, there would be other studio execs who would choose the soundtrack. But in writing, and really in every aspect of life, music definitely speaks to me.

You should try watching one of your favorite scenes from a movie on silent while you listen to a particular song and see how the music afftects that scene for you. Try watching a really sad scene with a really sappy song and then watch that same scene with a more uptempo song like Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch or something.
By the way, you know who is a champ at soundtracking? Lindsay Wolf. She's the music supervisor for One Tree Hill and Ghost Whisperer and that girl is seriously a champ at picking out songs to bring out the perfect emotion in a scene. I follow her on twitter and she is always tweeting about new songs to check out and I LOVE it.

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