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The Songs of “Spellbound”: Q&A with Producer Kevin Bannerman

imageSpellbound, the animated test movie from Amazon Studios features five original songs. We asked producer Kevin Bannerman (Anastasia, Ice Age) on the role the songs played and how it shaped the film.

How do songs help shape a movie?

It helps shape the movie’s tone. They can often show screenwriters a side of the character that hasn’t been explored. With a lyricist, the characters can develop a sense of humor and personality through their songs.

What song is the most pivotal in the movie?

Each song is unique in its own way because each individual song has its own special reason for being. “New Breeze Blowing” is important because it takes the relationship between Lottie and Bastien to new heights (pun intended). But “The Road to Riches” is just as important for several reasons: it gives us an insight into Horace, it allows Lottie and Horace to have some fun at Bastien’s expense, and it shows Bastien slowly developing a relationship with Lottie and Horace.

What you don’t want are songs that feel superfluous, repeating information the audience knows or just being funny without moving the story forward.

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When Trailer Meets Storyboard

Have you seen the “trailerboards” for these Amazon Studios movie projects? Take a look and let us know if you think these stories should be made for the big screen.

The Dissident

Based on a true story, a Nazi Judge attempts to thwart the Holocaust from the inside.

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Gideon’s Law

What happens when a disgraced young cop is kidnapped by his civilian ride-along?

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It Came in the Mail

12-year-old Joel orders an incredible monster through a comic book. It finally shows up…20 years later.

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Dark Before Dawn

What happens to a small Texas town after 7 local residents are killed in a bank robbery gone wrong?

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What We Like About New Amazon Pilots “The Cosmopolitans” and “Hand of God”

Earlier in the week, Amazon Studios greenlit two new pilots – the half hour dramatic comedy The Cosmopolitans and one hour drama Hand of God. Here’s more on what we like about these shows.

The Cosmopolitans

"Whit Stillman’s unique voice, vision, and his own experiences as an expatriate lend an authenticity to the show. It’s fun, romantic, and not only a window into one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, but also a peek behind the curtain at what it’s like to live there as an expatriate. The cast is also filled with colorful, diverse characters."

Hand of God

"When we first read Hand of God, the quality of the writing and edge of your seat storytelling by Ben Watkins drew us in immediately. The show’s lead, Judge Pernell Harris is a flawed man whose devotion to his dying son is so extreme that what we consider right and wrong will all to start to feel very gray. Ben’s approach to morality in Hand of God is real, raw, and edgy.”

Read more on the pilots.