This weekend I (with thirteen of my friends and family) attended a Sound of Music Sing-A-Long. Before I tell you more, you should know that the Sound of Music is in a tie for my favourite movie of all time. The tie is with Ever After (a movie with music so beautiful it haunts me). So you are fairly warned that I may gush in enthusiasm…but it is justified, after all the Sound of Music is a classic and anyone who disagrees is sadly wrong.
But what’s a Sound of Music Sing-A-Long you ask? Well in this amazing cultural experience fans of all ages join together to watch the movie, singing the songs (to lyrics that appear on the screen), shouting advice at the screen, booing the Nazis, cheering for Maria and barking at Rolfe (I’m not really sure why).
Some participants come in costume (I saw several brown paper packages tied up in strings.), but all come to enjoy the movie and raise their voices with Maria, the Von Trapps and a very melodic group of nuns. What could get better than a love story combined with group Karaoke? (I love that my spell checker knows how to spell Karaoke…someone has to.)
Besides being an opportunity to enjoy the best love story ever, the sing-a-long was a welcome excuse to belt out a song, at the top of my lungs, without getting strange looks (for a change) from the other people in the elevator or parking garage. (Did you ever notice what great acoustics there are in parking garages?)
NB – The next sing-a-long I want to attend is Grease …now where did I put my leather pants?
Have you ever rented a movie to discover the director has included an alternate ending in the extra features? (The Butterfly Effect is a great example of this.) I love watching these alternate realities. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t, but I love the imaginative freedom they provide. To me they are a recognition that not everyone would have told the story in the same way. They are permission to let my mind play in that world.
Choose your favourite movie and think about the ending. Was it satisfying? Why do you think that ending was chosen over another? Spend a few minutes thinking and then break free from the script as written and explore what else could have happened instead.
For example, what if Rolfe had gone with the Von Trapps rather than running to report them? What if King Kong had held onto Fay Wray? What if the military presence on Avatar had realized that orbital bombardment would take care of their little wildlife problem? Aim to write for twenty minutes playing with the end of your favourite film. Happy Writing.