Recording the Singers

I wrote “The Adventures of Paul and Marian” for a specific group of actors. When I started writing it, it wasn’t a musical.

Then I wrote a scene in which Marian started to sing. And bit by bit, the movie became a musical.

There was one problem: I cast the movie with actors who weren’t singers.

But, this being a movie, that wasn’t much of a problem. There’s a long history of movie musicals in which other singers sing the songs for the leads.

I did one thing slightly differently though. I had the cast sing a rough recording of the songs to use during the filming of the movie. That way the actors could sing along with themselves on set and make their own performance choices. This was a very important point for me, because I wanted any professional singers we would bring in to match the choices and performance energy of the actors.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been recording the singers at a wonderful studio in Brooklyn called YouTooCanWoo. The singers we cast in these roles are also actors, and that was very important for me. Actors are more likely to “get” what we’re doing and would be more open to singing in “incorrect” ways as needed. Since we’re in New York, there are tons of musical theater singers to choose from, and we found some great ones, including two who are currently on Broadway, and a third who was nominated for a Tony for his work on Broadway last year.

The singers were all a delight to work with. And they were able to nail their parts very quickly, often with just a few takes.

Below is a brief behind-the-scenes video with clips from our recording sessions. Pictured are Larkin Bogan as Paul, Ron Raines as The General, and Laura Dreyfuss as Marian.

Recording the Singers for “The Adventures of Paul and Marian” from Jay Stern on Vimeo.

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