Breakthrough Movie Soundtrack
I was having a bad day - a really bad day - when artist Mickey Guyton called and said, “What are you doing tonight?”
Mickey explained to me that we had an opportunity to write a song for a specific scene in an upcoming movie called “Breakthrough”, starring ‘This is Us’ actress Chrissie Metz. But they needed the song immediately, fully recorded, before their 24 hour editing deadline.
I wasn’t SUPPOSED to be free that night. But so far my day had involved canceling the flight I was supposed be boarding to play a long-awaited gig in New York City because the venue had shut its doors with no notice. I had also spent the day cooped up in a room with two male cowriters who ignored everything I said as if I wasn’t worth listening to, and instead told each other dirty jokes that made me really uncomfortable. And all this had been going on to a backdrop of the Kavanaugh hearings all over social media. So…let’s just say my emotions were high.
As soon as I walked into Karen Kosowski’s studio to begin working on the song and saw Karen and Mickey sitting there, I immediately started crying. I was feeling so beaten up, and simultaneously so grateful to be in a supportive, peaceful place with 2 creative women who were on the same page as me.
And then the magic got started….
Writing a song for a specific movie scene can be HARD. You’re given a brief description of what’s happening in the movie, and then you’re given a summary of what perspective the song should come from. It’s very targeted, and often the producer or director is already picturing the scene with a song they’re familiar with. Sometimes they’ve already edited the scene to fit the “place-holder” song, and you need to beat that song to get the spot.
In the particular scene we were aiming for, a child is fighting for his life in a hospital bed while his loved ones stand watch. On the way to the studio, I had been thinking about what the characters in the scene would be saying if their hearts could speak out loud.
“Hold On” was born within a couple of hours that night, and Mickey sang it beautifully over Karen’s bare piano track.
The next day, when I would have been landing in NYC for my gig, we were back in the studio layering background part over background part, changing our singing voices each time, until it sounded like a massive group of people singing behind Mickey’s vocal. Karen layered a ton of strings on the track and mixed the final version. Basically, 3 girls in a room ended up sounding like a full choir symphonic masterpiece!. (Thanks to KAREN, producer extraordinaire!)
Karen sent it off to the movie’s music supervisor…and within 24 hours we got the thumbs-up. We had the spot!
A few months later, we were special guests at a private VIP screening party in Nashville hosted by actress Chrissie Metz and producer DeVon Franklin. We got to sit in the theater with our publishers and friends and watch the movie in its entirety, with tears streaming down our faces. Karen and I elbowed each other and whispered “HERE IT IS, HERE IT IS!!” when the scene with our song in it played. Mickey and I hugged each other and cried our makeup off. And my proud hubby took a picture of my name rolling up the screen in the music credits at the end.
A lot of things can go wrong in life, but it just takes a few things going really right to fill your heart right back up.
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