Songwriters key in on working for the big screen


Song: "Winter"
From: "Brothers"
Music by U2 and lyrics by Bono
The Edge: "Writing for a movie is about trying to identify emotionally with the characters and somehow expressing something of their inner drama. If the story and the characters are clear and powerful, it can be very immediate. In the case of 'Brothers,' the script and rough cut Bono and I saw was so inspiring, it gave us all the context we needed to come up with 'Winter.' It wasn't hard to identify with the characters in the movie, and there's plenty of redemption in the story, which gives it some real emotional weight."

Song: "The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)"
From: "Crazy Heart"
Written by Ryan Bingham & T-Bone Burnett
Bingham: "I read the script for 'Crazy Heart' while I was on the road with my band, as we had been touring quite a bit, and that just made everything click. I could really relate to the story of this guy, Bad Blake, seeing the road that he was going down. I was thinking about his struggle, how he hits rock bottom but gets a second chance -- there's a lot of hope in that. I always keep a guitar in my back seat, and the motion of the rhythm of the road, just that feeling and that emotion, when I read the script, I said, 'Man, that's it; that's exactly how it's like.' The way the characters made me feel poured out into the song. I just described the emotions the script gave me. It really made me think of any type of traveling artist who's spent hard time on the road away from home. There's this love/hate relationship with the road. It's a different life.

Song: "(I Want to) Come Home"
From: "Everybody's Fine"
Music and lyrics by Paul McCartney
McCartney: "I could definitely identify with Robert De Niro's character because I have grown-up kids who have their own families."

Song: "Petey's Song"
From: "Fantastic Mr. Fox"
Music by Jarvis Cocker, lyrics by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach
Anderson: "This song draws a little bit from Roger Miller's 'Oo-De-Lally,' another little bit from 'The Beverly Hillbillies' theme song, and then something else from somewhere in England. Jarvis Cocker wrote the music and performed it, and Noah Baumbach and I wrote the words."

Song: "We Love Violence"
From: "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"
Lyrics by Terry Gilliam, music by Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna
Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna: "The inspiration for 'We Love Violence' came directly from Terry Gilliam's script, which he sent us just days before commencement of shooting, so we had to move quickly in order to get the prerecord done in time for choreography. Terry gave us a few choice adjectives of what he was hoping the feeling of the song would be, including the 'elephantine,' so we began with a contrabassoon and tuba line at a jaunty pace, and the melody and everything just flew together from there."

Songs: "Cinema Italiano" and "Take It All"
From: "Nine"
Music and lyrics by Maury Yeston
Yeston: "The inspiration for writing both 'Cinema Italiano' and 'Take It All' came directly from the performers themselves. Kate Hudson is a spectacular belt-voiced singer and one of the best dancers Rob Marshall had seen in preproduction. Playing an American, her part cried out for a production number that could celebrate the wave of Italian movies that swept the world in the 1960s, spreading allure, style, romance and sensuality. 'Cinema Italiano' was thus created specifically for her terrific strengths as a performer. In the case of Marion Cotillard and 'Take It All,' my inspiration was this extraordinary actress whose Piaf rocked the world. I studied that performance over and over and wrote the song completely inspired by Marion's brilliance as an actress and singer. Her pain, her anger, and the nightmare she needs to deliver as she finally refuses to put up with her husband -- all this triggered the idea of a brutal striptease, at once empowering to her and devastating to him."

Song: "I Can See in Color"
From: "Precious"
Music by Raphael Saadiq and lyrics by Mary J. Blige and LaNeah Menzies
Blige: "After seeing the film, I realized the things that Precious and I have in common. When you're depressed, you can never really see your life clearly; everything seems to be in black and white. When you choose life, like Precious did -- by the end of the film, just like I did during my 'No More Drama' era, you begin to see life, and it's clearer -- in color."

Song: "New Divide"
From: "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
Music and lyrics by Joe Hahn, Brad Delson and Mike Shinoda
Shinoda: "We met with Michael Bay early in the music process to get a feel for what the movie was about. We wanted an emotional connection between the narrative in the film and the themes in the song. After watching the rough cut, I really connected with the idea that Sam's character was facing a decision about who he wanted to be. I remember feeling that way when I was finishing college and the band (Linkin Park) began taking off; the lyrics started from there."

Song: "Only You"
From: "The Young Victoria"
Music by Ilan Eshkeri and lyrics by Nikki Hassman and Pam Sheyne
Eshkeri: "For 'Only You,' I wanted to express love the first time you feel it -- the kind of love that you only feel when you don't know how much it will hurt when you lose it. This timeless story is beautifully portrayed in Victoria and Albert's romance, which inspired the movie's theme and in turn inspired the song. Nikki and Pam, who wrote the lyrics, imagined that they were writing Victoria's last love letter to Albert to allow us to empathize with Victoria's love."