Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee on how the show always finds the perfect song for each scene 4 months ago

Derry Girls creator Lisa McGee on how the show always finds the perfect song for each scene

Great show, great soundtrack. Here's how they nail it.

The anatomy of a scene always has a multitude of ingredients.

For example, any scene requires a great script, talented director, gifted actors, cinematographers, make up artists, lighting technicians, sound operatives, script supervisors, detailed editors, and a plethora of other contributors.

One thing that can elevate a scene from being 'just a scene' to something magical though is the choice of music that accompanies it.

For example, think about the opening of Reservoir Dogs, the finale of Fight Club, or the end of The Sopranos.

We're willing to bet you €10 that 'Little Green Bag', 'Where Is My Mind?', and 'Don't Stop Believing' are all in your head right now.

On this note, one of the many reasons why Derry Girls has really resonated with viewers is because of its '90s-tastic soundtrack that's just oozing nostalgia.

The Spotify playlist is absolute gold but throughout the two seasons of Lisa McGee's wonderful comedy, music has been an integral part in developing the plot.

To be honest, the use of 'Dreams' by The Cranberries took on a whole new significance with the sad passing of Dolores O'Riordan, however, that song was absolutely perfect for the Season 1 opening and finale of Derry Girls because it's one of those rare moments when the lyrics and mood of the sing completely match what's unfolding on screen.

Similarly, the use of 'Independent Love Song' by Scarlet was just a perfect choice for the scene when James shows up in the nick of time to take Erin to the prom. Truth be told, it's one of those moments when you just want to have a mini fist pump into the air as the chorus kicks in.

During a recent chat with JOE, Lisa McGee gave us an insight into her writing process and it's clear that music plays a key role when she's developing the scripts for Derry Girls, especially the music of The Cranberries.

"For some of the songs, they’re written into the scene. Like, getting Dolores and The Cranberries into the show was always a very deliberate thing because she’s on Erin’s bedroom wall. Erin and myself are massive Cranberries fans and also, Dolores' voice does so much work for you. You know, she’s just so enchanting. We need so much music that there are moments when you realise that we need more," said McGee.

While there's no doubting her taste, McGee also said that finding the perfect song is very much a team effort.

"The rest of the choices are sort of a collaborations between me, the director, the editors, the music supervisors. We all come in with ideas and that’s where 'Independent Love Song' came in. That was an editor that made that decision, I think. It was such a brilliant, brilliant idea. There are bits of music that aren’t in the script, so it’s a massive collaboration. It’s so mental, I’ve only been listening to ‘90s music for the last three years!" she said.

Well, if it means that some '90s gems like this are going to make an appearance in Season 3 then we're not complaining.

Clip via Neil Matthews