Feature: The Music of "Imagine That"
Fri, 12 Jun 2009 09:18:55
Imagine That Videos
Director Karey Kirkpatrick spent a lot of time on Imagine That's soundtrack.
So much in fact that he even ended up laying down some vocals and guitar tracks personally. His care and attention to every aspect of the film makes it so heartwarming and fun. Not only can he direct, but the man can bust out some solid fret work!
For this exclusive ARTISTdirect.com feature, Karey dissected Imagine That's soundtrack. Check out his tour of these tunes below and see Imagine That in theaters everywhere now!
1. Matthew Sweet & Susannah Hoffs — "Got to Get You Into My Life"
We did some re-shoots to get the opening of the film right. I was driving to work one day, and that song popped into my head as the perfect opening song for the film. It is basically what the movie is about...for both characters. I really wanted it to be a rockin' opening so I got some really great players together and we cranked this out in about an hour. Susannah Hoffs and Matthew Sweet did the vocals. I just love the way it turned out, and I really love how our composer Mark Mancina segued it into score.
2. Colbie Caillat — "Here Comes the Sun"
We have a sequence in the film where Eddie's character, Evan, and Olivia make pancakes. We had score there originally but our producer, Lorenzo diBonaventura, at one of our screenings said, "What if we put 'Here Comes the Sun' there?" It was the perfect suggestion. It's exactly what the film needed at that moment. You hear that familiar great hook on the acoustic guitar and you instantly smile. At that point in the movie, it's the first time the two characters are smiling together. Colbie Caillat sounds great on this song!
3. Landon Pigg — "Nowhere Man"
Originally, the film was called "Nowhere Land," and that was often what people called Olivia's imaginary world. But my take on the film was that Nowhere Land was the place where Evan lived; the business world to which he gave more time and energy than he did to his daughter. I got that take from the lyrics to this song, "He's a real nowhere man living in his nowhere land making all his nowhere plans for nobody." The pretty much summed up Evan's predicament for me. At the point where it lands in the film, though, it doesn't work to have a lively version like the original. So, I did a demo at my home studio that was more or less like this version. My brother, Wayne, took over and produced it with Landon Pigg providing the perfect haunting vocal.
4. Tyler Hilton — "I'm Looking Through You"
Originally, we were going to make this another rockin' version—a cousin to "Got to Get You Into My Life." But it just wasn't happening. Andrew Williams and I were trying to figure out what it needed. Acoustic guitars seemed to be the answer. We sat down and started playing the opening guitar riffs you hear on the song and Andrew just sort of sang out this alternate melody on "I'm looking through you...' and felt really right. Different, but right. Then Tyler Hilton came in literally 30 minutes later and sang along and we said, "Let's lay this down before we lose it." So we did it live, with me and Andrew playing guitars and Tyler singing. Then Mikal added the bass and the song grew from there. I love the way it turned out. It might be sacrilege to die hard Beatles fans, but I see it as a testament to how good the song really is. We already have the Beatles version, and it's awesome. This is just a new way to look at it. It also works great with the theme of the film if seen from Olivia's point of view.
5. Hope — "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
This started with a simple idea I had when thinking about new songs for the soundtrack and trying to pick ones that worked thematically with the movie. I thought, what if we do this from Olivia's point of view and make it slow and lonely and full of longing. Make it sad. Make it a daughter desperately crying out to her father for the simplest show of affection. So I worked out this piano part and Mikal Blue brought in Hope who is an artist he's been working with for a couple of years—and I think she just nailed it. It's exactly what I was hearing in my head.
6. Glen Phillips — "I'll Follow the Sun"
I love the melody to this song and I was fooling around in my studio for a cool version of it. I'd been listening to a lot of Bluegrass and the likes of Alison Krauss and Nickel Creek. So I noodled out a guitar part that has a sort of southern bluegrass vibe. And then, luckily for us, we got Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket fame to come in and sing it. I love the way he sounds on this. This one works nicely as a companion piece to "Here Comes the Sun."
7. Mikal Blue — "Here, There and Everywhere"
Great song, great melody, and I love all those key changes and cool chords. The main message works great with the film if seen from a father's point of view to his daughter. Mikal Blue did such a great job singing this one, and I love the lyrical feel it has. It feels very celebratory and cozy and like a perfect happy ending.
8. Karey Kirkpatrick — "With A Little Help From My Friends"
This is actually a version that I have done live a few times. While doing some of the other songs, we finished early and I had these incredible musicians at my disposal who seemed to be having a great time doing Beatles' covers. So I asked them if they wanted to do this one and we banged it out in about half an hour. Then I took it home and added the background vocals and a temp vocal track. When I asked Mikal who we should get to sing it on the record, he said "You!" And because we were doing this on the cheap, I agreed—but only if Mikal would re-record the lead vocal. Which he did, and he worked me hard to get what you're hearing. I like the way it turned out, though, and like how it works with the film since Olivia relies on the help of her imaginary friends and how really, she just needs someone to love.
9. Paulist Choristers of California — "All You Need Is Love"
This was always in the script as the last song of the choir concert. We got a real kids choir to sing it and be in the film and Yara Shahidi was a great sport as we kept bringing her back in to sing different versions of her solo. It's one of my favorite moments in the film and is truly and awesome song. I love the simplicity of that lyric which is what makes it so profound.
10. Mikal Blue & Colbie Caillat — "Her Comes the Sun (Version 2)"
We wanted to end on a high note and a reprise of "Here Comes the Sun" seemed perfect. When we tested it in front of an audience for the first time, we used the Richie Havens version which worked really well but felt a little small. So using that version as inspiration, Mikal Blue and I got Colbie back into the studio to sing over this new track. I always wanted a male/female duet at the end to show how father and daughter are now together, so Mikal added his vocal. Then Mark Mancina and Dave Metzger came up with the orchestrations at the end to give it that end of movie bigness that we needed. My only regret is that it ends too soon. We only had time for two verses and one chorus.
11. Paulist Choristers of California — "Leaves of Autumn"
I knew I wanted a song for the choir to sing about the changing of the seasons because this event at school was known as "The Fall Sing." But I couldn't find a song I liked. So me and my brother, Wayne, wrote one. I actually came up with this melody on the little electric keyboards that are at Fo Fo Figgeley's which is the indoor playground where we were shooting for a week. I wrote it between takes. Wayne came on board and helped me finish it.