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Old 04-09-2019, 07:12 AM   #1
Cokeyskunk
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Default Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

Just wanting to see if it's just me - but throughout my life, I've found myself driving along in the car listening to music - and suddenly, I'm creating films in my head that match the music -- sometimes telling the story the song tells, but sometimes just matching the mood.

Many times, music is my muse. I'll build an incredible scene in my head based on the evocative feelings I got from the song, then construct the rest of the story around that.

Anyone else do that?
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Old 04-09-2019, 07:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

No. Dreams, yes (3 or 4 of my scripts came from dreams). Music, not such.

However, I do listen to trance (vocal, epic, etc.) literally 100% of my writing time. People who look for reasons for my productivity might wonder if that's one of the big ones!
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

No but I've often tried to imagine what inspired the musician.
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

Sometimes a song can make me think that it could be used in a script I’m writing, but anyone who writes such a song into their script needs to be prepared that it won’t be used.

Unless the song is in the Public Domain, I’m careful about making any song lyrics a part of the dynamics of the script, either overtly or subtly.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

Kinda related to this topic -- the latest fun contest in Writing Exercises "inspired" entrants to write short screenplays based on selected song titles. I think nostalgia probably played a part, too.

Songs get licensed all the time, movies and TV series are full of them, so I wouldn't shy away from including them in a screenplay, especially if they help convey the feeling I'm trying to emote. If they're not available or if they cost too much then they can be written out, no biggie.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

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...get licensed all the time...
Songs and everything else. I don't hesitate to include references to anything (even include URL links) in my screenplays.

Universal and Warner Bros. and Atlas Entertainment et al can decide if the product placement opportunity is worth it.

Similarly, I don't worry about big set pieces or crowd scenes and what they'd do to the budget. I just try to tell my story using any means possible. We know all of this stuff will get scrubbed as per the needs of the buyers, anyway, through the various script polishes, and they won't ask our permission to do so.

Remember the excitement and bidding war about Evan Daugherty's multi-million deal for "Snow White and the Huntsman"? If you do, I'm sure you also recall the numerous rewrites that it endured - using several different writers. Yet, at no time did Universal blame Daugherty for what was in the purchased script and ask for a refund on it! (This is a general comment about rewriting, not about any 'product placements' he may have had in his script)

Everybody knows buyers will do what they want with our precious stories, so why should we hold back! Well, I may hold back submitting such things to low budget InkTip leads, where the funding and even cast and locations may already be confirmed, but otherwise anything goes!
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

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Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post
Songs get licensed all the time, movies and TV series are full of them, so I wouldn't shy away from including them in a screenplay, especially if they help convey the feeling I'm trying to emote. If they're not available or if they cost too much then they can be written out, no biggie.
Songs are licensed all the time, and I agree that movies and TV series are full of them, so I don’t shy away from including songs in a screenplay, especially if they help to create the feeling I’m trying to evoke. At the same time, I’m prepared to have my song choice not included as part of the finished product.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

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I agree, and I don’t shy away from using songs in a screenplay, especially if they help to create the feeling I’m trying to evoke. At the same time, I’m prepared to have my song choice not included as part of the finished product.
as a writer it's our responsibility to tell the best story possible-- that includes everything that MAKES the story compelling, entertaining and emotional...

sidebar for a sec...and that includes writing compelling scene transitions. it's a pet peeve of mine when i read scripts and there is nothing that pulls us forward into the next scene, i'm like, that's your job, too, writer!

back to rant...that includes songs, pop culture references, marketing and merchandising.

in my "Wasteland: The Sixth State" script i created this creature that immediately has merchandising capabilities and it's tied it into the story in a way that it can never be rewritten out. at least not if they want the same ending. everyone that reads it comments... "who wouldn't want a modipet?" i used to be a toy buyer at Ames Department Stores, thankfully. haha

when i was reading about credits, it became clear that part of the strategy when crafting a concept and idea is that you make story elements, whether they are characters, plots, worlds, settings, or set pieces, essential to the screenplay, specifically so that they can't be rewritten out and you still retain the authority to demand credit. but that's another topic, right?

i mean, if it helps you tell a better story, why not?
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

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...but that's another topic, right?...
Nope, I like it! That's a good thing about this Board: Bossman Will doesn't come and crack knuckles if we shift the subject around a little bit (sez me, a highly guilty party for this sort of thing).
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:58 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ever been inspired to write a screenplay by a song or a piece of music?

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Originally Posted by Cokeyskunk View Post
Just wanting to see if it's just me - but throughout my life, I've found myself driving along in the car listening to music - and suddenly, I'm creating films in my head that match the music -- sometimes telling the story the song tells, but sometimes just matching the mood.

Yep. Lots of times. Probably 1/3 of my short scripts have been inspired by a song. Usually they end up as something completely different than the song, but the song is the starting point.
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