Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ongoing Discussion Thread [May, 2009]

This sweet and merry month of May,
While Nature wantons in her prime,
And birds do sing, and beasts do play
For pleasure of the joyful time,
I choose the first for holiday,
And greet Eliza with a rhyme:
O beauteous Queen of second Troy,
Take well in worth a simple toy.
     -William Byrd

Last month I noted that these updates are getting more and more difficult to pull off because of schedule. And that certainly is true; the schedule is busier than ever right now. Seems that every day is filled with conference calls, emails, approvals, notes, FedEx excursions, ticket bookings, etc. I had to laugh at myself this week when tending to a couple of major phone calls from the front seat of my car as I sat in a parking lot waiting for rain to subside. Ah, the glamor of showbiz!

But all this means we're hitting the point where the plans and schemes of the past several years are finally being realized. It's an absolutely amazing process, but it also repositions me into a more supervisory role. It's a fascinating transition, though I'm honestly not sure how gracefully I'm accepting it. I'm a bit of a control freak, I suppose. So there's no small amount of stomach-churning and teeth-grinding involved as I learn to delegate work and trust others with a project that's been solely mine for so long. The funny things is, everyone involved is producing the best work of their lives. My wildest dreams are exceeded on a daily basis! I just need to learn to settle my nerves. :) There will inevitably be a few changes from our original concepts. In fact, we've been examining a couple of exciting alterations this past week. I know at every mini-announcement I make I'm harping that "nothing is final until it's final... anything could change!" I would be wise to listen to my own words!

But whether or not I'm clumsily falling into a coordinator mode, the project is making the transition beautifully! The book layout is well underway at the publishers. I sent a disc of high-res imagery out this week which will replace the placeholders they're currently using. And we've managed to squeeze a few more score pages and music examples into the book. Not even preview audiences have seen these yet. Somehow I find these even more beautiful and compelling than the film imagery. Stravinsky was obsessed with the appearance of written music and went to great pains to present his scores as beautifully as possible. I can absolutely understand that. We should have a first pass at the layout completed within the month. I think we're clocking in at just over 220 pages right now, but the count won't be official until the layout is done.

We've also been finalizing contract details this past week. The powers-that-be are now beginning to set up book signings, and in order to do so they need to have the author's contract logged in their computer system. Again, I've spent years shaking so many hands and promising this or that, it feels crazy to see things finally advance to the legally binding level. It feels so... real!

Many of the signings currently being arranged are meant to coincide with Radio City. I'm sure everyone has checked out the official website by now. What you're seeing, however, is merely a preview version. The full site is expected to go live soon. Of course, we'll keep adding to it constantly, but the concept and presentation will be widening in the coming days. The scope of this weekend is just mind-boggling! It's funny putting the publishers in league with the Radio City team. It's like families meeting at a wedding. I think we have no less than five corporate entities assembled in order to pull off the next few months. That's a big wedding!

And yes, as noted earlier in the week, I'm heading back to Europe in a couple of weeks here. And possibly again over the summer. We'll see.

So I'm gently humming William Byrd madrigals to myself. I took a weekend gig playing timpani for a Mendelssohn performance. I'm trying to drink tea more often than coffee. Anything to stay calm. Of course, inevitably I'm answering phone calls mid-Mendelssohn and drinking tea and coffee rather than tea instead of coffee. But, I suppose it's the intent that counts, right?

But this is the big push. We're so close. Just a few more updates and a this crazy dream about a book that can both celebrate and analyze Shore's intricate music; a book that shows film music can be as detailed, intellectual and moving as any other genre... that dream will be realized! We should all be so lucky.

And fortunately work on The Hobbit is years and years off, so I'll have a long time to rest and recoup.

Oh wait...

In the meantime, enjoy the LORDly new magnet below. Click here if you want one yourself. Now where did I leave the coffee grinder...?

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