Marjorie Duffield, Director of Upper School Theater, was part of a trio of songwriters, along with composers Christopher Curtis and Helen Park, who created the music for Over the Moon, the highly anticipated animated feature to be released on Netflix on October 23.
Over the Moon is the feature directorial debut of Glen Keane, the Disney legend behind the creation of Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Beast (Beauty and the Beast), Aladdin (Aladdin) and more. The animated feature film is available around the world on Netflix, and the title song "Rocket to the Moon," written by Margie and the songwriting team, is already released and streaming everywhere.
Margie and the songwriting team created eight songs and two reprises, making up a substantial part of the film. The title song "Rocket to the Moon" has been recorded in 14 languages!
Watch the Over the Moon trailer.
Q & A with Margie Duffield:
Where do you draw inspiration for your songwriting?
Nature is my greatest inspiration. When I write I often take walks and hope that the muses will visit me and the ideas will come together. I also spend a lot of time exploring the character and how they think and talk, as well as the dramatic moment where the song takes place. I regularly read poetry and classic American Songbook song lyrics. Writers always need to be considering words and their placement and meaning.
What was the writing process like for Over the Moon? What was the most rewarding part?
We actually began writing the songs three years ago in China. The script was so wonderful and it was easy to discover the moments that needed to "sing." The most rewarding part was collaborating with composers Christopher Curtis and Helen Park, screenwriter Audrey Wells and director Glen Keane, and producers Peilin Chou and Gennie Rim. We all had a lot of love and joy for this piece. We also had some very demanding deadlines so when we all ultimately found the heart of each song, everyone knew it and was thrilled!
In what ways do you bring this passion to your classes at Calhoun?
In all my classes we make work, whether it is writing on the page (playwriting and lyric writing) or writing in space (all the acting, directing and comedy classes — even public speaking). We work like artists — we make things. Some of those things initially may not be very effective, but you can only improve/rewrite/redraft/
What advice would you share with students who hope to pursue a career in the arts?
Be a good collaborator and be easy to work with. You never know what opportunities will come your way and who will bring them. Friendships in the arts are very important things. Sharpen your craft whenever you can and be persistent. Keep making work whenever you can in as many ways as possible and don't give up. If you love it, do it!
Fueled with determination and a passion for science, a bright young girl builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. There she ends up on an unexpected quest, and discovers a whimsical land of fantastical creatures.
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker & animator, Glen Keane, and produced by Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou. Starring Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Robert G. Chiu, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, Kimiko Glenn, Artt Butler, Irene Tsu, Clem Cheung, Conrad Ricamora and Sandra Oh.
“Rocket to the Moon” featuring Cathy Ang is the first single from the official Over the Moon soundtrack. Written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield, Helen Park.
Music/lyric video for "Ultraluminary" performed by Phillipa Soo is the second single from the official Over the Moon soundtrack. Written by Christopher Curtis, Marjorie Duffield, Helen Park.