Auld Lang Syne

Auld lang syne (n): times long past.

dictionary with letter AI was working on a screenplay for a Christmas movie which I had dubbed “Wonderful,” tipping my hat to the style and meaningful nature of Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

I have a way of writing plays or movies that’s a little bit different. I love to know how I’m getting into the story, developing the character and creating the conflict, but I do not want to look ahead to how the movie ends.

I once heard another screenwriter explain that writing a movie was “all about knowing how it was going to end.”

I’m sorry. That just seems foolish to me.

Since none of us know how our lives are going to end, why would telling a great story be benefitted by controlling the circumstances of the closing scene?

So I know it may sound weird, but I always let my characters decide how the movie’s going to end. After all, in both the short and long run, it is their story.

So when I reached the end of this particular movie, I found that the scene was evolving towards a romantic, if not bizarre, conflict, which needed to be quickly pulled together before the credits had completely rolled.

I needed something.

I remembered during the closing of “Wonderful Life,” they were all singing “Auld Lang Syne.” I didn’t want to have a typical, maudlin rendition of the song, but I thought a bluesy, melancholy, updated version would be perfect to cap off things.

So I sat down and wrote myself a musical preamble to the old standard, hired a great female caterwauler to intone the arrangement, and then just let it happen.

It was so beautiful that I cried.

You see, when you take something which has proven to be effective and you mess with it just enough that people know that you’re updating it for the times, and then let it work its magic, it is usually absolutely amazing.

Music has a spirit. There are certain tones that come together to produce emotion; chords that evoke sensation.

And this is why, when we do become nostalgic, the singing of “Auld Lang Syne” takes even the more cynical of us… to a place of reminiscent bliss.


Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix




A meeting place for folks who know they’re human

 $3.99 plus $2.00 S&H

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping  & Handling

$3.99 plus $2.00 Shipping & Handling

Buy Now Button



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s