1. Allan Adams

    Allan Adams Member

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    Discussion in 'Scripts' started by Allan Adams, Apr 5, 2021.

    Hey everyone, I'm a huge fan of the CW TV shows and after watching Flash; episode 'Duet', I was inspired to transform this into a stage musical.

    If you haven't seen the episode I strongly suggest it even if you're not into superheroes.

    Anyway, my problem is I want to add more songs to the mix but I'm having trouble coming up with inspiration. I've never written a song before so, I'm hoping some people here have suggestions on how to come up with great song lyrics.

    Thanks all
     
  2. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I don't know much about song lyrics, but I learned something from Joss Whedon about using songs in a show. He said he doesn't like the kind of musical where a song comes on and the story just stops until it's over—the lyrics and what's happening should advance the story.

    He did an amazing musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called Hush where he did just that (s4 e10). In fact, he learned how to play a few instruments so he and his wife could write the songs for it. Some of the finest broadcast TV I've ever seen, though you probably should be somewhat familiar with the show before watching it. I have the entire box set of the series, which includes some juicy behind the scenes tidbits and the ones for Hush are excellent—if you can get your hands on it in any way I recommend it.

    It's the same with gags or bits in a comedy. If you watch a Marx Brothers movie, the story just freezes every time one of them does their shtick, or the 3 Stooges when one of them is wrestling with a folding chair or whatever. It gets annoying once you become aware of it. That kind of thing is really a holdover from from Vaudeville or early movies.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
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  3. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Funky like your grandpa's drawers.... Staff Contributor

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    Mod note: I've moved this from the Workshop to the By Writing Form forum....

    I'd say watch (or listen) to a lot of musicals and see how they do it. There's a huge difference between writing a regular song to be listen/performed as regular music, and a song to be performed on stage or screen as a narrative plot device. I've never tried the latter myself, but I'd imagine you have to integrate the lyrics with the choreography to see which element in will do the most narrative work for you in a given situation. This is kind of a lame example, but imagine the different tones and shapes a song will take with a character dancing around stage with a rifle in their hands as opposed to an umbrella.


    And thanks @Xoic for planting ten different Marx Brothers songs in my head. I know way more of those than I should (my dad was a big fan and got me into it when I was like 8 years old, the two of us laughing like loons at Duck Soup and A Day at the Races.
     
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  4. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    I love the Marx Bros, despite what I said about the gags (the gags are awesome too, they just stop the story).
     
  5. Storysmith

    Storysmith Active Member

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    The story doesn't just continue in those songs. In most musicals, the songs don't really happen in-universe. In that Buffy episode, if you see a character spontaneously burst into singing and dancing in an inappropriate place, then the character really did that in their world.

    But you're thinking of the wrong episode. It's Once More With Feeling (s6 e7). Hush is another masterful episode in which all characters lose their voices. Apparently Whedon wanted to push himself, and adding constraints like that helped him from becoming formulaic. It was a particularly brave move for a series loved for its witty dialogue.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
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  6. Xoic

    Xoic Prognosticator of Arcana Ridiculosum Contributor

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    You're right in both counts. Of course, the idea of musical numbers advancing the story doesn't need to be because a demon cursed everybody to sing and dance themselves to death. It can happen outside of the actual story universe and still advance the story. That's the point I was wanting to make.
     

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