The artistic approach and structure of “Topaz Diary” will be much like that of a symphony. The story divided into separate movements (or chapters) of different themes, with a slight pause between movements. Certain elements will be woven through all the movements tying them together as an overall piece. This not only emphasizes the structure, it gives a certain sense of poetry to the film. To me, music is the greatest emotional link a film maker can have to an audience, and it will play a major role in the storytelling of “Topaz Diary.” Sometimes the music will take the lead, driving the visuals. At other times, the narrative will take precedence with music taking a more supportive role. This melding of visuals and music to push emotion is what animation does more powerfully than any other visual medium. But unlike other animated films that have used musical structures in a similar way, such as Disney’s “Fantasia,” or Mike Smith’s “1001 Nights;” each movement will take definite role in revealing the story and character of Fred Hoshiyama.
While researching great examples of moving symphonies, and musical structure, composer Bill Benson, who is writing music for "Topaz Diary," turned me onto his favorite; Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 in D minor.
Bill wrote, "Amazing pieces not only musically but the circumstance they were written. He (Shostakovich) was being accused by the Russian authorities that he was not patriotic to mother Russia and was going to be shot. He was under severe watch and threats and so basically wrote these to save his own life. Not like a requiem, but a socialist anthem perhaps....yet they are DARK and full of strife and beauty. Rips your heart out kinda stuff!"