Pitch Perfect 2 Screenwriter Talks Sequel Pressure, Writing Habits

Posted on February 18, 2015

Forbes' Ellen Killoran conducted a very interesting interview with Pitch Perfect screenwriter Kay Cannon. Kay is also a producer whose mentor is Tina Fey, who she worked for on 30 Rock.

Kay Cannon wrote the screenplay for Pitch Perfect long before Glee became a television show, but things move very slowly in the movie business. By the time it came out she was worried that people would stay home and watch a show on TV for free instead of seeing it in the theaters.But, she points out, the comparison was unfair.

Pitch Perfect was originally conceived as a college comedy. The fact that the girls were in an a capella singing group was almost incidental to that. She also points out that the college a capella singing world is very small and not well known: it's not like glee clubs in high school which have music.

Cannon is sued to writing under deadlines for TV and says she actually prefers to work that way. She explains, "I was an athlete so I have kind of an athletic sensibility towards writing. I can work for many long hours without fatiguing. So I prefer to do it quickly, vs. drawing it out. When you draw it out, I’m just eating candy, and going 'oh yeah, I've got to do that thing.'"

Because the first film was such a hit, a sequel was greenlit. Sequels bring their own kind of performance pressure. Cannon says that she was very worried almost didn't write the film because she thought it wouldn't live up to the first film. She says, "I thought a lot about the fans in writing the second one. Pitch Perfect was my first screenplay, so it was like my little baby. I didn't want to make it into a dirty teenager....I just didn't want to repeat myself. I added a couple of new Bellas to shake up the group; and I tried to heighten everything. There is about 20 minutes in the middle of the movie that is just crazy."

Pitch Perfect 2, which stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Elizabeth Banks and Hailee Steinfeld hits theaters on May 15th. The Bellas are suspended after an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction while performing for the president and must fight their way back at the World Championships. From the trailer it looks just as funny as the first film:

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