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B-roll. Interviewer talking.
Sound Bite: Alan Menken – On being selective of what movie to compose for
Oh! Oh for any, meaning underline any. (Talks) Yeah, no, like, first of all, I need to, I need to know that if I’m gonna write songs, and someone’s gonna try and make something into a musical, as opposed to just putting songs into a movie that it makes sense as a musical, that that that it’s a story that could be told through music, where I could find a unique style for the music that I haven’t written in before so I’m not repeating myself, so that there’s a musical concept that everyone can understand and a way to tell the story through music that will engage everyone. If I know that’s the case, then it’s great. There’s a very, you know, there’s a very limited number of great ideas for musicals.
Sound Bite: Alan Menken – On inspiration for writing a musical
That’s how you know. That’s how you know you want to write a musical, yes. Uh, that’s how you know it’s a good song moment. But um it’s made good partly, you know, in this case, partly because you know that she’s sort of breaking the rules. By breaking into song in our world, and he’s going “oh please don’t, this is embarrassing.” So we’re all in on the joke. Um, if I was just gonna write a song in which, oh she just breaks into song in central park, at least half the audience, the cynics in the audience would go blah. You know what I mean? Unless you invent a reality where you can do that nowadays, now, in the style of maybe the nineteen forties, or the nineteen thirties, you might be able to do that because that convention was very much in vogue. It’s all a matter of reading your audience.
Sound Bite: Alan Menken – On working with everyone else involved with the movie
No, that comes after. But I work with a book writer, and you work with the director as far as conceiving, what do I want the song to do? You know um, Where does the song start? Where does the song end? Who’s singing it? Who’s joining in? What song does this remind us of? You know, just make sure we are all on the same page in terms of what we’re expecting and what we’re looking for. Is there a great song in this moment? Is this song a comedy song? Is it a charm song? Is it a rhythm song? Is it a dramatic song? What kind of song is this? And make sure we’re all very clear that we all like the song moment. It’s a lot of, you know it’s stuff that seems very obvious to me, but it’s not obvious to everyone.
Sound Bite: Alan Menken – Working with actors
It’s, um, it comes after the fact. I mean, I write the song for the character. I write the song for the story. I don’t really write the song for an actor. But it means a lot you know as somebody who’s a producer, also music producer, to produce somebody who’s as as easy and pleasant to work with as Amy or Jimmy. They both came in prepared, hard working. They were just ideal.
Sound Bite: Alan Menken – Plays some music
You can! Okay, we open the movie with (Sings) I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss, and a prince I’m hoping comes with this. That what brings ever afterings, so happy... or… Come my little friends as we all sing a happy little working song. Very little voices clear and strong. Come and roll your sleeves up so to speak, and pitch in cleaning crud up in the kitchen as we sing along. How does she know that you love her? How do you show her you love her? How does she know that you really really truly love her? It’s not enough to take the one you love for granted. You must remind her or she’ll be inclined to say. How do I know she loves me? How does she know she’s yours? And does she leave a little note to tell you you are ???, send me yellow flowers when the sky is gray. He’ll find a new way to show you a little bit every day. That’s how you know, that’s how you know he’s your love.
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