Story & lyrics

Had a really good afternoon today, working with Emily and Billy on fleshing out the story for  Archy Declares War. Billy is the film’s composer, but as this is a musical, he is also helping with working out the story outline. I briefed him on the music requirements earlier this week, and he requested that we work this way together, because song will move the plot forwards as much as dialogue, and so far it’s going really well. Emily, Billy and I are long-time collarborators so it is not too hard to get into the swing of things, although we have not worked so closely on story in the past.

We realised too that for the first time in our short film career, we shall need to write a script! This may sound daft to all you writer/directors out there…but what I mean is actually writing, as opposed to drawing. My previous films have either had no dialogue, or been abstract, or been set to music, so we’ve never written a script. Storyboards, yes – and many; scripts, no. Emily is a bit nervous about writing dialogue, and has already abdicated, so I think it’ll be mainly me and Billy, but that’s okay – she is much better at storyboards than me, so she’ll take the lead on that. Collaboration in action!

Anyway, we’ve worked out which songs need to do what and where, Billy the composer has already started work. I heard a demo of half a song earlier this evening, the opening number in fact, but he won’t let me post that. So instead you’ll have to make do with the first draft of lyrics for one of the other songs. I would introduce this with a title, but there isn’t one yet. This is the song which sets Archy’s plan in motion. He’s been talking with his friend Mehitabel (a tabby cat, a bit Samantha in Sex & the City with a bit of Vivien Leigh in everything ever), and he’s now getting himself all worked up and his rant has become musical…


Does one fly in your ointment
Justify his brethren’s slaughter?
If you say ‘yes’ I think you ought to think again.
Do the crickets’ chirps drive you mad?
Well I can sympathise with that.
But I just take deep breaths and count to ten!
Do the flying ants get in your hair?
Well, I suppose you’ve got a point there
But try to see it from their point of view
Once a year they grow wings and fly
Make love just once, and then they die.
Well I for one wouldn’t miss my chance, would you?
You know not all us crawlies are creepy
The very notion offends me deeply
The Cicadas are good people
And everyone loves the beetles
Can we really be as bad as you suppose?
We’ve got 6 legs but we’re ‘armless
How can you all be so heartless
As to treat us like the scum between your toes
The butterflies they flap their wings
Cause distant hurricanes and things
But its the caterpillars that draw all your disgust
There’s no logic to your contempt
Hence our takeover attempt
is not an option, it is needed, it’s a must!
For you I’m afraid the worm has turned
As far as the fireflies are concerned
They’ve been burned too many times before
The fleas are itching for a fight
Bees sting, mosquitos bite
Army ants prepare yourselves for war!

2 replies to “Story & lyrics

  1. Really looking forward to seeing the images and hearing the music to go with these lyrics, love the liveliness of the whole idea.