Monday, April 03, 2006

Tips from film

After watching the movie, Good Night and Good Luck, we listen to the producers (George Clooney and Grant Heslov) describe how they made the movie. Their commentary was very interesting and stimulated some ideas about songwriting.

1. Learned from other movies – They described a large number of older movies and how they learned from them. Even though both producers were well versed in the movie business, they were constantly searching other movies for better ways convey their message. For songwriting, listen to other’s song and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

When my alarm clock goes off in the morning, I listen to a few songs before getting out of bed. In my early morning daze I try figure out their techniques for songwriting. One example is Lyle Lovett’s song “Bear.” Throughout the song, he only used one musical part throughout the song. He changes the melody with the vocals, not the instruments. There doesn’t seen to be any real chorus, even though two different set of verses are repeated. The song works because of the hook, “bear” and Lyle’s unique voice.

2. Use of silence – The producer made a number of comments about purposely leaving periods with no dialogue. This lack of dialogue really brings one’s attention to key points and is very effective. In songwriting, using a pause, can be really effective.

3. Starting but not really sure where it will end up – I heard a number of comments about starting a scene, without knowing where it would end up. As it evolved the way became clear. I do this all the time in songwriting.

There’s a lot to learn from other artists in different medium’s. Just listen and apply it to your own craft.



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