Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This weekend, we watched four musicals, all made last year. Enchanted, Sweeney Todd, Once, and Across The Universe. The best movie, by far, was Once. Although, I enjoyed all of them. Sweeney Todd's main failing was that the orchestra was about twice as loud as the actors making it very hard to understand the lyrics and dialogue without blasting out my ears. Enchanted should have had more than three songs (and more character development). Across The Universe should have traded one or two trippy songs for a few more straight-forward songs. Most of these choices -- the over-loud orchestra, etc. -- seem to me like ways for embarrassed movies to try to hide the fact that their characters are bursting into song for no reason other than to express themselves with music. I wish people weren't so bothered by that concept. It's one of my favorite conceits, perhaps more so than interstellar federations and FTL drives.

Even so, it is heartening that so many musicals were made last year and watching them got me to thinking about what a musical of Otters In Space would be like. Don't get too excited -- such a project is many, many, perhaps dozens of years off. But I would love to make one. With the improvements in CGI and flash animation and home recording studios and midi files and all that stuff... It seems like some day I could put a musical Otters In Space together. It might look like a cross between Strong Bad and a Warcraft fan-made music video, but that would still be incredibly neat.

Whether this overly ambitious idea ever comes to fruition or not, I think it's still been a useful exercise to think about. For one thing, I realized while trying to picture the heroine and her sister singing the opening duet that I've been writing them backwards. In adding a sister into the second draft, I've been altering the heroine's personality and giving a lot of her old personality traits to her sister. So, now, the name and physical description for the heroine are really better matched to the sister. Of course, it's incredibly jarring trying to imagine this new character in my novel's starring role. I've lived with the old heroine for two years... and now a different cat is taking her place? That's downright spooky.

Between the general spookiness and the pain of the damage control I'll have to do after the massive search-and-replace to switch their names, I'm finding it hard to convince myself to actually make the change. But, with a little time, I'll probably come around, since I'm pretty sure it'll be better that way.

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