Monday 28 February 2011

Composing a Script

Every once in a while when I find myself husband-less, I set off on a mission of my own. I get the front room spotless, put on a touch of make-up and slip on some nice clothes. With the kids fast asleep, I get the camera out. I place one of my many Singstar discs into the Playstation, pick up the microphone and sing to my heart's content.

Recording every moment, I sing over and over again. After a few renditions of the same 20 seconds of the same track, I finally choose one I'm happy with and put it online. That's what any talented singer should do - share their amazing talent with the world. So why the hell do I do it?

Last time I checked, I was only a slightly improved version of that same girl who at the age of eight could not tell how many notes were being played on a piano, failing to be accepted into violin classes, much to the relief of my parents and the world.

That's the beauty of Singstar. It doesn't matter if you can sing; just add a touch of make-up, regardless of gender, show as much cleavage as is acceptable for a mother, but most importantly, keep in time with the track so it's disguised by the original track.

So basically, I am tone deaf! I can't hold a tune, and most definitely cannot sing! Possibly a reason as to why I'm a writer and not a big superstar. So imagine my surprise when I suddenly realised that writing is in ways like composing. Seriously. It's all about the beats after all. Timing is everything and that is as true for music as it is for writing. Thankfully, and hopefully, with some practice, I can get the timing right. Phew.

Why am I telling you all this?

I had the pleasure of attending a Q&A session on Twitter last night. The session was part of #scriptchat, which happens every Sunday night, and was guested by the film, web and tv composer Rob Gokee (@robgokee). It was an eye opener session in which the importance of music in a script was highlighted.

If like me, you aspire not only to write, but also to produce or direct your own work, it is encouraged to get a composer onboard quite early in the writing process. We do afterall eat, sleep and even breathe to a certain rhythm, so why should it be any different to writing?

I will certainly be thinking a lot more about the music in my next re-writes. It will be interesting to see if the scripts sing back to me like a sweet melody or trip over every other word like a bad rap.

You can find the entire transcript for last night's scriptchat here.

I would be very interested to hear what your opinions are, whether you agree or disagree or simply have something interesting to say :-)