While prepping to talk about my films in Belgrade, I came across this never-been-released "behind the scenes" featurette covering our first recording day for all the beautiful songs in How Do You Write A Joe Schermann Song. It's a really exciting peek into how the performers Christina Rose - Actress and Debbie Williams brought Joe Schermann's music to life with their talents. If anything, just watch it for the great music they created.
I'm an avid reader of screenwriter William Martell's BLUE BOOK SERIES on screenwriting. So color me shocked and totally humbled that today I discovered he included a section on HOW DO YOU WRITE A JOE SCHERMANN SONG in his book ACT 2 SECRETS. He uses the film to give examples of how to create conflict with characters, escalate dilemmas and move the story forward through song. Martell even admits to crying twice while watching the film.
'Joe Schermann Song' has a classic love triangle story with great songs and all the gritty real bits left out in Hollywood films. At times the film seems like Woody Allen's ANNIE HALL in the way it looks at relationships in a very real (and complicated way). The film manages to be both a big fun musical and an Indie film where things don't always end happily ever after - which is what makes it a stand out.
And he says this about the song number 'Moth To The Flame':
These dilemmas are often explored through song and dance - like the great audition number where both Evey and Summer sing the same song and we cut between them...and they even manage to do a great split screen duet! They end up singing on either side of Joe as he accompanies them on the piano in the audition room. This is a great musical number that dramatizes Joe's dilemma - and takes the audience inside the character so that *we* wonder which he will choose...and either way he's screwed.
So honored. Thanks Bill.
This is a show stopper thanks to the amazing live performances (no lip syncing going on) of Christina Rose and Debbie Williams and Joe Schermann's fierce piano playing.
Oh and people ask me how I did the transition the shot from Christina to Debbie and back again in the opening minutes (when the camera tracks behind the judge's head - see video around 00:26). It was an extremely difficult in-camera trick that I did manually with my slider. Without any motion control device I was just estimating where the camera framing would end up on what vocal...and I only got it right twice. Out of at least 12 takes, the shots in the film are the only ones where I nailed the timing.
You can view all the rest of the musical songs by clicking over to my VIMEO page.
That's the title of a new article featuring an interview conducted by Ian Crabb (a huge SCHERMANN SONG fan out of the UK). It's an email roundtable discussion with actors Joe Schermann, Christina Rose, Mark DiConzo, Debbie Williams, composer Ken Lampl and myself.
This was a blast to do -- and covered so many topics about making the movie that this is just Part 1.
"The film world has been awash with musicals lately. They’re certainly order of the day. But this is unlike one you’ve seen before. Real people, real situations. It’s as close to real life a musical can get. I hate cross-referencing, but imagine ONCE having a one night stand with WARRIOR. And you know what? It’s purely magical.
With a group of such exceptionally talented people there was really very little work for me to do. I just asked the questions and let them talk to each other. I was hoping for a “roundtable” kind of feel to this piece, like everyone was just shooting the shit in the same room."
I can't thank Ian enough. It's people like him keeping our movie alive that makes doing all this crazy filmmaking stuff worth while.