Mundie Moms

Friday, March 30, 2012

Unidentified Snippet

Jem leaned closer against the chair, staring into the fire. “Better it were my hands,” he said.
Will shook his head. Exhaustion was muting the edges of everything in the room, blurring the flocked wallpaper into a single mass of dark color. “No. Not your hands. You need your hands for the violin. What do I need mine for?” 

You can read ALL the Unidentified Snippets HERE.

TMI Movie Stuff

Cassie posted a response on tumblr earlier today regarding a question she received about the TMI movie and recent movie news. Here's what was asked & what her answer was:
look-what-youvedone asked you:
“I heard they were starting filming for The city of bones. As in your book! And lily collins was going to play Clary. Is this true? I really hope so!”
I think that half of the questions in my inbox (the ones not about sex) are about “the movie.” So I will tell you what I know and if you sent me an ask about the movie hopefully this will be a useful answer.
Basically everything I know about the movie is right here. If it isn’t there, I either don’t know it or am not allowed to say it because it’s speculation or the details aren’t nailed down or whatever. I am honestly not the greatest source for movie news. Last night Deadline reported that Sony Pictures is the frontrunner to distribute the City of Bones movie (distribute means to actually get the film into theaters) and that was the first I heard about that. I knew there were a number of studios interested but that’s all I knew. In fact, I don’t even know if the Sony thing is true though Deadline is fairly reliable. While securing the right distributor for a film is super important, it is not the sort of thing that anyone consults the author on (and why would they — I don’t know anything about film distribution.)
I try not to report things or stick them on my website unless I am 100% sure they’re true. That is not to say that things can’t change as regards the movie because things can always change. Lily and Jamie are still set to star (and I would be sad to lose either one of them, they are perfect for the roles AFAIC), the shoot date is still set for August 15 in Toronto. The film is floating around somewhere between development and pre-production. They are not yet filming it. 
Until they do start filming, anything and everything could change.
You’ll know when they do start filming because 1) IMDB will have the film listed as “in production” (which is when they lock down the page and stop letting anyone edit it, until then, I think, the pages are run by rabid squirrels or something) and 2) there will be a release date. A release date is generally the last thing a film gets before the green light to go ahead. So look out for those things, and until then, any news I have is on my website.
* Several people have asked me if the film “has been cancelled.” (Which is odd, as things have been looking better for the possibility of a Mortal Instruments movie in the past few weeks/months than they ever did before!) Films don’t get cancelled. Sometimes they get put into turnaround. Sometimes they are moved from one studio to another. Sometimes the option rights expire and the production company doesn’t renew them. They don’t “get cancelled.” If you run across some article saying a film has been cancelled, then the article has been written by someone who doesn’t know anything about movies. Ignore it. 
And now back to your regularly scheduled silliness.

#DivergentNation: #TeamABNEGATION

I'm totally late to the posting party about today's awesome surprise and the upcoming friendly Divergent/Insurgent competition that's about to take the blogging world by storm. I was greeted this morning with a lovely early delivery by the UPS man with a box that contained this:

(yes I squealed like a little girl and totally danced around, wearing the stupidest grin on my face) along with a letter and a label on the inside of box announcing my fraction which is:


What exactly is all this about? In case you missed this last week's post about what's in store with the 5 factions you can read this post from our faction's team leader here. There's 5 factions made up of 10 bloggers who all want YOU to help their faction. That's 50 different bloggers! We need your help!

Between April 2nd through April 30th each faction will be competing with each other to get clicks to their links for their faction's posts on Tumblr. You can check out the ABNEGATION site here. Each faction will have a tumblr account that will be updated come Monday with a list of each of the leaders, as well as their faction members. Be sure to follow along with what's going on with each faction by following the #DivergentNation hash tags! Through there you'll have each faction's links to their site, each faction's plans of action and much more.

 I am so excited about this next month's Divergent Nation competition!! Be sure to stay turned for more info that will be posted come Monday morning. Let games begin (though I'm sure like many of you, you're thinking "Let the odds forever be in your favor")! 

Blog Tour: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I'm extremely excited about today's blog tour for  The Book Vortex's Between Shades of Gray. It's not every often I have had the chance to interview the creative genius between a book's soundtrack. Today I have Gavin Mikhail on the blog! If you haven't had the chance to, I highly recommend listening to Gavin's soundtrack for Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray. This sound track captures this story perfectly. It's beautiful and haunting all at the same time. 

Hi Gavin! Thank you so much for stopping by Mundie Moms today. Your soundtrack for Ruta Sepetys's Between Shades of Gray is both beautiful and haunting. I felt like it captured the feeling of the story perfectly. Did you find it challenging to create music that would set the tone for the book?

Thanks so much for saying that, Katie, and... absolutely! Both challenging and exciting.  I'm a longtime fan of film soundtracks (i.e. Thomas Newman, Alan Silvestri, etc.), and when Ruta mentioned the possibility of doing a soundtrack for her book, I jumped at the chance.  Given that it's such a new medium, though, she and I had to discuss at length how best to translate such a poignant story into music.  Unlike a traditional movie soundtrack that underscores visual action, the book soundtrack needed to paint a picture without that added dimension.  And, that's where the challenging part came in...  In the end, Ruta wisely directed me toward a more 'thematic' (as opposed to 'ambient / soundscape') kind of approach.  For example, the track 'Far From Home' originally had a much more dissonant, disjointed sound.  I'd come up with the idea of mimicking the rhythmic beats of the train track using the low register of the piano... then adding in high dissonant chords dropping at odd intervals over the top (to illustrate the desperation of the characters).  At the very end of the work-in-progress mockup, I introduced the theme but only as a one-line sort of thing.  Listening through, Ruta immediately picked out the theme saying 'I love the soundscape, but the theme is what really hits this home.  Can we develop that out more?'  And, that ended up becoming the majority of the piece.  As usual, with Ruta, she has an uncanny way of getting to the heart of things, and she was absolutely right.  If we ever get to a movie version... maybe we'll bring the soundscape back. :)

What was it about this book that inspired you to create a soundtrack for it?

Where to start... it's an amazing story.  It's an INSPIRING story. (and one that certainly needed to be told from a historical perspective)  And, more than anything else, it was written by, hands down, one of the most inspiring PEOPLE I've ever met.  Ruta is a true original, and her writing has an incredibly visual element to it (which helps so much in soundtrack composition).  She was kind enough to give me an early copy of the book, and like you, I fell in love with it.  When she brought up the idea of doing a book soundtrack... didn't think twice. :)

How long have you been writing music for and made you to get into the music business?

Like most people who pursue music or acting writing (or any sort of 'passion' career really), I fell in love with music young.  My Mom pushed my four sisters and me incredibly hard in classical piano and pipe organ as kids, and I remember starting to write my first pining (and yes... godawful... :)) love songs in my early teens.  Been writing ever since. (although hopefully better than those early songs :))  With music being so much a part of my daily life, by the time I graduated college, I really couldn't see myself doing anything else.  It took years after that to really get anywhere with it, but as trying as that time was, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  I'm beyond fortunate to do this as a career, and between my incredibly supportive fans and getting to work with brilliant people like Ruta... yeah... I'm a lucky guy.

Can you give a little behind the scenes on the making of the Between Shades of Gray soundtrack? (What's the time frame you normally have from writing the music, recording and publishing the sound track?)

As with most writers, the timeframe tends to vary.  Sometimes a track can come together in literally minutes (i.e. Run To Something Beautiful).  Other times, it's a 'honing' process that can take weeks.  In this case, from the first discussions with Ruta to finished masters, it took roughly 5-6 weeks.  About 3 or 4 weeks of discussing the themes/mocking up ideas, and another 1-2 of recording/mixing/mastering.  We probably could have done it quicker, but Ruta and I are both perfectionists about our work.  Not sure 'good enough' has ever entered either of our vocabularies. :)  That isn't to say there aren't things that could be revised or improved upon... just that, after years of doing anything, you tend to develop that 'sixth sense' about whether or not something is working.  And, until you get there... gotta keep pluggin' away. :)

I'm having a hard time picking one song that I feel fits the book perfectly, as I feel each song is so fitting for different parts of the story. If you had to pick on song you felt best describes Between Shades of Gray in music, what song would that be and why?

Well, first off... I love hearing you say that!  'Cause really, that's what we were going for.  Each piece was created with a specific theme, character, or relationship in mind...  But, if I had to pick a single piece that encapsulates the book, it would definitely be the final track 'Between Shades Of Gray.'  After all the sadness and pain and desperation in this book... there's hope.  To me, that really is the takeaway.  The main characters never lost their dignity... and wow... what an amazing illustration of the human spirit...  I wanted not only the theme, but especially the ascending chords at the end to illustrate that...

As to my FAVORITES (which you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway...  :)) - Ice And Ashes and Krasivaya.  Ice And Ashes was written with the artwork of Edvard Munch in mind (and how that plays into the story), and honestly, it's one of the pieces I'm most proud of in my career.  Krasivaya was written as an illustration of Elena's love for her children, and me being a father of 3 kids now... yeah... that theme hits pretty close to home. :)  When it came time to write that one, I remember going into my kids bedroom and just... watching them sleep.  Trying to imagine what it must have felt like to be any number of  'Elenas' during that horrible period in history... being forced to watch your child suffer immense cruelty and feeling such an overwhelming, from-the-core-of-your-BEING drive to help them.  In the end, the visual I used while writing was simply Elena watching them as they slept... seeing their chests rise and fall in the darkness as she felt such overwhelming love for them...

Are you currently working on any other soundtracks?

Not at the moment, but after this experience... I definitely hope to!  Maybe for Ruta's future books, maybe for others... maybe even film work...  we'll see... :)

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

Thank you so much for asking, Katie.  I'm a huge fan of Ruta's work just like you, so it's an honor to have even been a part of this...


Thank you Gavin for stopping by Mundie Moms today!

Please be sure you visit Gavin via his Website | Facebook | Blog | Twitter

You can purchase Between Shades of Gray on Spotify | iTunes | Amazon 

By: Ruta Sepetys
Published by: Penguin
Released on: March 22nd, 2011
Purchase from: PenguinAmazon | Barnes & Noble

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina’s father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive.

It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

You can read my 5 star review for Between Shades of Gray here.

Please be sure to visit Between Shades of Gray via Website | Facebook


The Giveaway:

Thank you to Ruta, I have a signed paperback copy of Between Shades of Gray to giveaway! Thank you to Gavin, I also have signed soundtrack cards to giveaway! The 1st winner will receive: A signed paperback copy of Between Shades of Gray along with an unsigned bookmark. The 2nd winner will receive the signed soundtrack cards.

To Enter:
Please fill out the form below.
- Open internationally
- You must be 13 yrs & older to enter, or have a parent/guardian's permission if under 13.
- 1 entry per person
- This giveaway will end on April 22nd, 2012