‘Jingle Jangle’ | Anatomy of a Scene


“Hey, this is David E. Talbert, the writer and director of Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.” “You might want to open this one.” “In Jingle Jangle, Forest Whitaker as he’s introduced here as Jeronicus Jangle, he’s lost all his magic and his mojo. And so we see him 30 years removed from being this vibrant, joyful man and now he’s a pawnbroker. And there’s only one person in all of Cobbleton that believes he still has it. And that is Ms. Johnston, who is the heartbeat of this film for me. I love the light that she has in her and wants to shine it on him.” “The actress, a brilliant actress, who plays Ms. Johnston is Lisa Davina Phillip. She’s a British stage actress. And she is killing it.” [MUSIC – ‘MILES AND MILES’] ”(SINGING) Just because you fell down, don’t believe you can’t pick yourself up again.” “Well, the song is called ‘Miles and Miles’ and the lyric is, ‘The world needs to see you smile because your smile goes for miles and miles.’ And when we did the music of it, I wanted it to be reminiscent of the Minneapolis sound and Prince. So it was heavy with that guitar. But Ms. Johnston is a beautiful, full-figured woman, so we wanted the beat to be like her hips were moving.” “You know people can see you.” “Bom bom bom bom.” ”(SINGING) — in the middle. Like pancakes on the griddle. I’ve got got got got try to—” “Me, I grew up watching Tramaine Hawkins who was one of the great gospel singers. And when she would sing, she would rear her back, like all the way back, like you thought she was going to fall. So I told Lisa, in honor of that kind of belting in the black church in the States, I wanted her to really lean back. And so she just brought the thing to life.” ”(SINGING) Shine for miles and miles.” “Are you drunk?” “And then in the midst of the song, we had these wonderful backgrounds that Phil Lawrence put in this song. And when I heard these backgrounds, I’m like well no, these people got to be in the film. So they weren’t even really supposed to be in there, but I wanted to be like the Pips, like Gladys Knight and the Pips. So that’s what we were calling them, the Pips. So we wanted to have these three black men dressed to the nines doing choreographed dances. And I thought that would be kind of a shoutout to the ‘70s soul movement of when grown black men were doing choreographed dancing.” “Well, I hired Ashley Wallen who did the choreography for the Greatest Showman. And then when it was time for this scene, we went on YouTube and we pulled up Temptations, and he just incorporated that with this cat-and-mouse thing. And they end up taking over the song. It’s all about them. Once they pop up there, you’re like O.K., I didn’t expect that. But I love it.” ”(SINGING) You’ll feel better when you smile. Smile.”



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