Raycurt Johnson and Jimmy Nguyen team up to do short biopic of George Bridgetower, the mulatto violinist

by Jimmy on March 29, 2010

Raycurt Johnson and George Bridgetower

The mulatto classical musician George Bridgetower to be played by Raycurt Johnson

Can you believe that I haven’t watched Blazing Saddles until a few weeks ago?  And I still didn’t even get to finish the movie.  However, the quarter of a movie I did get to see was so good that it got me to pondering that one day I would like to do a proper musical, not that Blazing Saddles was a proper musical, but it had enough.  However, it is already quite challenging trying to devote the mind and energy to writing a script, but add on the complexities of trying to make action and dialogue seamlessly intertwine with song and dance and one begins to realize that writing a musical is almost like serving fugu (pufferfish) to guests for brunch.  If you get it wrong, people will throw up and possibly die.  Well, I guess it’s not as dramatic as pufferfish poisoning, but the analogy is still befitting.  As you don’t see a lot of pufferfish served at your local Shoney’s (shout out to all my people from Manassas), you don’t see that many movie musicals, independent or studio releases, made on an annual basis.  It seems that the only mainstream director that crosses over into musicals from time to time is Tim Burton (see Sweeney Todd (Director), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Director), and A Nightmare Before Christmas (Writer)).

Making a musical was a thought that carried some weight in my mind, but it really did take a backseat to doing a narrative fiction, documentary, mockumentary, and last but not least a Western in my list of priorities.  However as fate would have it, my musician friend Raycurt Johnson called me to tell me about an idea he had to make a musical about George Bridgetower and his much-debated “feud” with Beethoven.  I had been suggesting to Raycurt Johnson, a fabulous violinist and singer/songwriter, for a couple of weeks that we should make a music video from one of his original songs where he plays the violin and sings.  However, Raycurt’s idea about doing a music video for Beethoven’s violin sonata no. 9 (Opus 47, 2nd movement), the controversial sonata that he originally played with and dedicated to Bridgetower, grew on me.  The more Raycurt told me about the story and the more I started to learn about George Bridgetower, the more excited I became.  So excited in fact that I spent all of Saturday night watching Milos Foreman’s truly captivating movie, Amadeus.  Next up, I’m going to watch  Immortal Beloved, the untold love story of the man behind the madness, Beethoven, in order to get more inspiration for producing the final script.  Yes, script.  Originally, it was supposed to be a music video, but why not go the extra mile and make it a truly original short musical biopic.

Estimated finish date:  Who knows? But it will get finished and it will be beautiful, I guarantee.

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