I ♥ listening to anything by Danny Elfman and grew up watching films he scored. Some of my favorites are: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands.
I wrote a series of three poems while listening to music from the latter. Please feel free to comment or add your own poems (they can take the form of a Haiku all the way up to a Spencerian Sonnet!) This is supposed to be a fun project, I am a poet and graduated as an English major. I believe poetry can be anything and in a way music is the most universal version of that tradition.
This would be a great exercise to do with students. You don’t have to write a poem but I find writing about things I really like help me get into writing about other things. I have heard of some writers typing their favorite books word for word to better understand the rhythm and style of their favorite author but I find that too tedious! I prefer to create an original work using the tone or mood I experience after viewing/listening to the media in question.
Using imagery and details from the film (or whatever you are writing about) can make a totally new piece of originality because you bring your interpretation to the material and transform the source! This is the difference between copyright infringement and fair use! A content creator must change the source in some profound way…
By using “snippets” to create your own unique interpretation you are creating a new work of art or writing in the spirit of the original work as a tribute. You could preform a cover song, present clips for commentary or anything else you can justify under the terms of fair use. The more you change the end result the more likely you can avoid copyright issues in your writing and videos. I was astonished by how many people didn’t know how to properly cite sources in term papers and the line is even more blurry for works dealing with entertainment.
I’m still going through the learning process myself and have a long way to go before I fully understand everything (if that is even possible) but I hope that through my mistakes I can learn and teach others!
I celebrate works and artists that left their imprint on me so here is my disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of the mentioned films or any original music contained within them. I used YouTube to listen to tracks I did not have in my personal library and to obtain the screenshots used in this article. I own a DVD copy of the film that I encourage anyone to own. Feel free to write a poem that is about the film overall or even about any other Tim Burton/Danny Elfman collaboration! Comments and suggestions are most appreciated :)
Tread lightly children
pressed from butter
Do as you’re told,
affections bought and sold.
sofas lined in threads of gold.
The neighbors playing peek-a-boo
with your life, no choice unnoticed,
no house left a boring shade of white.
He was darker: Taking careful note
of how to be man in a pre-fab, pastel society.
Continually colliding with the world outside.
Such a sweet melody in between car alarms.
The man with sharp claws won’t cause harm,
not to our perfectly identical houses with precisely cut lawns.
Floating in front of a television screen
unsure of what it is, or what that word might mean.
Mesmerized by a pair of eyes that hide behind a sharp device.
These are his only hands, they kiss and then she understands,
averts her eyes, leaves him there to die alone.
He stays and wonders, thinks and ponders.
Carves her again and again out of ice. She dances forever,
her coldness feels nice.
With These Hands
Sit me in a chair say you like my hair, ask me how I’ve been. It goes on like this for a little while, pretending we don’t know that we really do… all about that night I almost spent with you. Never thought a dream like this could be true… Not without wishing on stars or surrendering souls. Mine already has been lost, it forevermore shall belong to a dark stranger that sparked my curiosity at age seven. I’ll always know the words. Can hear them in my sleep without ever pressing rewind, even if the disks get scratched and I never see his face again.
Be sure to check back at blastedgoat for other Edward Scissorhands/Tim Burton/film related posts in the future! Enjoy the rest of the screencaps I took for this post: