My script, Beneath the Surface, has been in development for a few years now. (And by “in development,” I mean that I’ve rewritten it about a thousand times.) It’s a drama that tells the story of Jessica and Bud, estranged siblings whose lives collide when the remains of their mother are discovered at the bottom of a lake twenty years after she first disappeared. While older sister Jessica was able to escape her impoverished youth and reinvent herself as an upscale, suburban housewife, Bud was relegated to a childhood of foster homes and juvenile detention centers. As sister and brother cope with the suspicious circumstances of their mother’s death, they are also forced to confront their own fractured relationship.
The picture above is the cover art for Arcade Fire’s album Funeral. For those of you who don’t know about Arcade Fire, they’re an amazing indie rock band from Canada. My brother-in-law, Jeff, describes their music (and I’m paraphrasing here) as “the most joyful angst-ridden music you’ll ever hear.” Yep, that about sums it up. Give them a listen and you’ll understand. Anyway, I listened to Funeral a lot when I was writing the first draft of the script. I listened to Philip Glass (as played by the Kronos Quartet) and Explosions in the Sky, too. I realize that music plays a huge role in my writing process; I always need something playing in the background when I’m typing away. Music offers inspiration that helps me shape the emotions and – wait for it – drama within my screenplays. (Deep, huh?)
This gets me thinking about the creative process in general. What gets you inspired, dear readers? I know there are writers, musicians, actors, artists out there in the blogosphere. Did music inspire the latest painting? Did a photograph inspire the novel? Did a poem inspire the song? Maybe none of the above? Perhaps the smell of coffee grinds sparked your latest work of genius? In any case, please share. I wanna know.