Seminar and Workshop on Musicality and Screenplay Development Nov 12-14, 2014

Teachers: scholar-practitioner, Dr. Virginia Pitts and composer Taren McCallan-Moore
Purpose: to explore ways in which musicality can be harnessed to develop the rhythmic and tonal structure of a screenplay.
Place: TV-Studio, Lume, Hämeentie 135 C, Arabia Campus

The seminar is open to everyone; for the workshop, the maximum number of participants is 10. (5 Aalto students, 5 graduated scriptwriters, directors, composers) If you are student in Aalto and interested in participating the lecture and workshop, please contact Kirsi Rinne (, others please contact Leena Närekangas (


Wednesday 12th:

10.00 – 13:00 SEMINAR:

1)    Virginia Pitts introducing the rationale for this approach and the process undertaken with Taren McCallan-Moore (1.5 hours)

2)    Composer’s perspective on how the dialogue between story and musicality work together (45 mins).

3)  Q & A with Taren and Virginia (45 mins).

Lunch break

14.00_17:00 WORKSHOP:

Workshop with participants to

a)     discuss their story ideas and central characters

b)    break down their story into a series of ‘movements’ and to express this in a language that invites a composer to respond.

One story will be chosen to develop musical sketches for as a case study for Friday’s workshop.

Friday 14th November, 2014

10:00 -12:00 WORKSHOP:

All participants engage in auto-writing responses to the musical sketches composed by Taren; develop into more specific ideas for imagery, character development and sequence-building.

Lunch break

13:00-15:00 WORKSHOP:

General discussion about the effect the process has had on the evolving story.

Wrap-up talk from Virginia about musicality and the brain.



Dr. Virginia Pitts is a lecturer at the University of Kent, School of Arts.  Her screen practice spans drama, documentary, dance films and various hybrid forms for both film and television. Her films have screened at many of the world’s top film festivals, toured art galleries and sold widely. Virginia has published in the areas of embodied screenwriting, literary adaptation, political documentary, intercultural film practice and independent digital cinema. Her current practice-based research focuses on a range of collaborative screenplay development techniques, including improvisation, kinesthetics and musicality.

Taren McCallan-Moore is a UK-based composer and visual artist. For a decade he developed a sound project called MagicVan, the output of which is available through The Internet Archive and Netlabels. Now working under the moniker The G Street Orchestra, he uses the minimum of equipment (an Apple computer, a keyboard and Logic Pro studio software) to create sound design and orchestration for music videos and audiovisual gallery-based installations. Taren also paints and draws in a small Cambridge studio, interrupted with time spent working in Paris and London, where he has exhibited independently and with the support of local galleries.