I’m someone who likes to listen to music whenever I do things. This also applies whenever I write (like several writers and even screenwriters). I find that having music helps inform, inspire and gauge what you are doing, especially when you have a sense of what it should be.
When I was developing each story, its characters and its script, I would listen to a playlist I designed specifically for that potential film. It maps the general arc and each song reflects either a particular scene or a character’s state of mind. They provided for me the means of experiencing the journey and the world of these characters, their lives and their choices over a span of time. In turn, I hope that this transferred onto the page and potentially on film.
These next few posts will cover those playlists I made and used for the writing and development stages. I have included, wherever possible both the iTunes and the Amazon links (both US stores) for the individual song and its corresponding source (either the exact one I used or its closest readily available one). The links in the artist column will direct you to their official page/site (or barring that, their Wikipedia page). I also included a brief explanation about the song’s “function” in the story as well as any other relevant information.
See the playlist for On Nights Like This
|“Intro,” The xx||Christopher leaves Nicole’s place in Waltham after they break up|
|“Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space,” Spiritualized||Christopher returns to his apartment and mourns his loss
[My actual source was the 1997 immediate re-issue sans the “Can’t Help Falling in Love” musical reference]
|“Crazy for You,” Slowdive||Christopher spends the rest of the weekend reminiscing about what went wrong with Nicole.|
|“Nicole,” Gravenhurst||Christopher spends the rest of the weekend reminiscing about what went wrong. It’s also strictly a coincidence that there’s a song called Nicole.|
|“Mojo Pin,” Jeff Buckley||Christopher spends the rest of the weekend reminiscing about what went wrong with Nicole.|
|“Signal,” The Appleseed Cast||Christopher then reminisces about the high moments of his relationship with Nicole, particularly seeing shows with her.|
|“R/Elet,” Arovane||Christopher reminisces about the high moments of his relationship with Nicole, particularly the more intimate ones.
[This is available on the album Atol Scrap. It can be obtained here]
|“Comfort in Angels’ Wings,” Tearwave||Christopher meets with Sarah.
[My actual source was from the compilation Projekt 200, which used an earlier mix than what appears on the album. It can be obtained here]
|“Just the Same But Brand New,” St. Vincent||Christopher first sees Elena at Newbury Comics, Newbury St., Boston|
|“Frisk,” The Big Pink||Christopher goes to the nightclub reluctantly.|
|“Journal for Plague Lovers (Optimo (Espacio)),” Manic Street Preachers||Christopher is at the nightclub and he’s miserable.|
|“Daddy’s Car,” Jamie Lidell||Christopher is at the nightclub and he’s miserable.
[My actual source was its original source album, Muddlin’ Gear]
|“Scoobs in Colombia,” Plaid||Christopher and Elena get to know each other. An earlier draft had a different second date where they end up dancing together.|
|“Atlas,” Battles||Christopher and Elena get to know each other. This song led to the idea of having their second date together take place at a karaoke bar. For some reason, I could imagine him singing it (and probably because I could imagine myself singing it).|
|“More Than This,” Roxy Music||Inspired by Elena’s support, Christopher goes home to work on his script idea. Admittedly, this cue was inspired by a real situation where I was enjoying a writing session (on one of the early early drafts) and I had Avalon playing at the time.|
|“Films,” Gary Numan||Christopher and Elena have a date at the movies. Christopher actually sings the first verse as a mocking response to the usher.|
|“Blood on the Motorway,” DJ Shadow||Christopher’s first heartbreak|
|“First Approach,” Vangelis||Christopher and Elena dance slowly together and make love for the first time.|
|“First Light,” Harold Budd and Brian Eno||The “salad days” leading to them travelling up to the White Mountains of New Hampshire|
|“Käytävä / Corridor,” Pan Sonic||Christopher’s nightmare|
|“Failing Light,” Harold Budd and Brian Eno||Christopher and Elena return home from the White Mountains. I like how both songs serve to bookend that trip as well as showcase the contrast between the peak of the relationship and its inevitable decline.|
|“Christmas Song,” Windy & Carl||Christopher and Elena have a small tense moment.
[This is available on the three-disc retrospective compilation Introspection. It can be obtained here]
|“Together & Down,” Benoît Pioulard||Christopher broods at a social gathering|
|“Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Joy Division||Christopher sings this to himself before he meets with Elena and has their long moment of disintegration.
[My actual source was the box set Heart and soul]
|“Last Flowers,” Radiohead||Christopher wants to set things right with Elena. Yet this will lead to the end.
[This was initially available on the second disk that came in the limited edition package of In Rainbows. It is now available digitally here]
|“Like You Know,” Film School||Christopher leaves Elena’s place and ends “where he started.” The moment when the vocals enter is when the closing credits start.|
|“Of All the Things We’ve Made,” Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark||(Another denouement)|