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By Michael Schilf · June 7, 2010
In 1999, I wrote a script titled Sausage. It was a comedy about a struggling gay opera singer who finally finds acceptance when he joins a 80s glam metal band. It was well received (plot, story, characters), but the glue was always in the music.
It was the music that connected the characters. Music found them. Music united, then divided. And it was music that brought them back together. Not unlike Spinal Tap and The Commitments, Sausage was first and foremost a real movie band.
So I devoured glam metal: Kiss, Twisted Sister, Mötley Crüe… and became a connoisseur of opera: Purcell, Handel, Mozart… and then, I made a soundtrack. And whenever I sat down to write, that soundtrack played. It became an extension of me, of the script, of the characters, of the writing itself. This is not to say that every script demands its own modern version of the “mixed tape,” but there’s something to be said about music being part of the writing experience. First, figure out who your characters are – what kind of music they listen to – and then literally… LISTEN TO IT! You might be surprised what you discover.