Saturday 6 March 2010

The playlist

I always write to a playlist. All of my novels had a musical colour, an album, or a couple of albums I would set on repeat as I drafted. Same with Honey Pot, I set up a 'gay film' playlist on my windows media player. I thought at first it was music I wanted as soundtrack, but it’s more an atmosphere, a mood – a combination of moods.

I experimented with it today. After their work with Flic, I asked Nick and Matthew to run through the urinal sequence a few times over, adapting to different soundtracks – and I took them through my gay film playlist: Zarah Leander singing “Ich weiss, es wird einmal ein Wunder geschehen”, German grand-kitsch; Ala dos Namorados singing, Os Velhos, Portuguese melancholu; The Shanghai Restoration Project playing its 1936 introduction, nostalgic Chinese Swing; Astor Piazzolla playing Milonga, Buenos Aires passion; and in the end, Teresa Teng singing San Nia, Taiwanese emotionalism.

I was impressed, at how Nick and Matthew created a different atmosphere each time. But the main thing I achieved, I think, was having them relax. After the five experimental takes, I turned off the music, and asked ‘I want a combination of all that’. It worked: Nick came up with a wonderful up and down movement of his shoulders, and Matthew camply moved his right hands onto the back of his hips, inviting him in. I laughed, I actually laughed, and also Flic had a light laughter.

I was proud, I was happy, I had made comedy happen!