Turning words into music

Posted by Ken Campbell September 2, 2012 2 Comments 957 views
All this week, for an hour or so each evening, I’ve been watching Planet Earth, the ground-breaking BBC documentary series that came out a few years back and completely reset the bar for documentaries of any persuasion. The lush visuals and the filming techniques are utterly beyond compare and I am, within seconds of turning on the TV, completely captivated.
Equally brilliant is the narration. David Attenborough, in the quintessential tone of crusty British perfection, makes his words soar out of the speakers and directly into the soul of the watcher, as much a part of the epic story of the planet as the scenes that unfold onscreen. The totality of the experience owes as much to the words as to the pictures, and it is an amazing and uplifting experience indeed.
I think about this now, at 4:00 am, as I am going through the scenes of our own documentary, now in the thick of production. Steve is responsible for the scenes that will be used – he has the artist’s eye and the ability to visualize a story. My job is to put the words to his visions, and sometimes the muse strikes at odd hours. I keep working on the phrases, the cadence and the beat of the words, until it starts to sound like a kind of music. 

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