Why hello, writers! This is your humble Queen Mob’s media editor, requesting submissions for a series I’m calling ‘Anatomy of a Song’.
Music is integral to film and TV; even its absence (in the Michael Haneke film Caché for example) is telling. It goes without saying that music videos are an essential cornerstone of pop culture. What I want are essays about a sequence set to music, or a sequence that isn’t nearly as popular as its background score, a terrifying or catchy as fuck or inventive or elegant or depressing or offensive or hilarious music video that accompanied a song you love, or a song you hate.
Pitch me about “America”, from West Side Story, as racial and sociocultural commentary, aided by top-notch choreography. Or is it just really damn catchy, and anything with Chita Rivera would steal your heart?
Or your favorite Bollywood song. Maybe this one.
Or maybe this haunting sequence, set to Don McClean’s “Babylon” in a season one episode of Mad Men.
What makes the shower scene in Psycho flawed? What makes it flawless?
What you find problematic about Lemonade—and yes, feel free to contradict popular opinion! Which Prince music videos do you watch over and over again, and why? Does the use of anachronism bother you in Moulin Rouge? What are classic examples of diegetic music in foreign cinema? Does the use of Smash Mouth’s “All Star” in Shrek make you gag? Whose use of music is better: Chaplin or Keaton? Compare and contrast! Defend! Tear it down! Whatever you do, I’d like to publish it. Make it funny, make it smart, and make it solid.
Time for specs!
Format: Pitches only, please. I’d like to work with you on the idea before you get to work. Please format pitch emails like so: name, idea, where you’ve written before (it’s okay if this is your first time—welcome!). Send all pitches to nganguli at gmail dot com.
Word count: At least 500 words, but feel free to send me as much as you’d like—as long as it’s good, all word counts >500 are fair game.
Dates: These essays will run in the month of June. I’d like to see all pitches by May 27. We’ll work out first and final draft due dates as and when we get past the pitch.
Pay: I wish with every fibre of my being that I could pay you. I really do. I know I like being paid for my writing. If it helps, think of QMT work as a place to workshop. I love working with writers, so if you have more ideas—you’d like to pitch a different section at QMT, you’d like to write more than one piece for this series, etc.—I’m here to help. I’m a copy editor by trade, so feel free to barrage me with questions about usage and style. And if you’re ever in LA, stop by and I will make you cake. That is a promise.
I look forward to your pitches! And again, pitches only, to nganguli at gmail dot com.