‘Meet the Experts’ film songwriters roundtable: ‘RRR,’ ‘Spirited,’ ‘Tell It Like a Woman’

“I just love to do it. It’s breathing to me. If I couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be able to live. What I love more than anything is writing songs. It’s that simple,” says Diane Warren about what being a songwriter means to her. Her original song “Applause” from the anthology film “Tell It Like a Woman” made the Oscars shortlist this year along with M.M. Keeravani‘s “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR” and Benj Pasek‘s “Good Afternoon” from “Spirited.” We talked to the three artists for our “Meet the Experts” film songwriters panel. Watch our group discussion above. Click on each name above to watch that person’s individual chat.

Keeravani’s “favorite aspect of creating music is to score music for movies that have intense emotions, larger than life. And sometimes a normal story with my music becomes a larger-than-life presentation.” Likewise for Pasek, “it’s about capturing an emotion or capturing a character, getting inside the head of a character … You’re getting to take the high point of a character’s emotion and you’re getting to put it in a four-minute little cocoon, and that is so cool to be able to capture something like that.”

And passion for the profession is crucial. Keeravani thinks up-and-coming artists should care deeply about their own work: “The first admirer should be yourself. You should be liking your own creation,” as opposed to just producing work you hope others will appreciate. Pasek thinks you also need to cast an eye outwards: “Watch and listen to as much as you can” because there’s a wealth of insight you can take from others’ work, past and present. And Warren adds, quite simply, “Do it because you love it … Making it in this business is not easy as everybody here knows, so do it out of love.”

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UPLOADED Jan 13, 2023 8:23 am