12-Time Academy Nominee, Diane Warren, joins “Telling Story Through Song” Workshop
Warren’s song, Io Si, is up for the 2021 Academy Award for Best Song
Written by Guest Blogger, Mariah Mayhugh
The Story Summit Writer’s School is thrilled to welcome songwriter Diane Warren to our upcoming and live “Telling Story Through Song” workshop. The workshop begins next Monday, April 26 and finishes on Friday, April 30. It is being conducted online. You can read more about it here.
Diane Warren’s songs have been featured in more than 100 motion pictures resulting in 12 Academy Award nominations, most recently for “Io Si (Seen)” performed by Laura Pausini for the Netflix film “The Life Ahead” starring Sophia Loren. Here is the music video of the song. It’s beautiful.
Diane’s songs have been sung by the most important musical artists of the modern era, including Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga, Cher, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Bieber and Aerosmith, among many others.
Her songs include “Because You Loved Me,” sung originally by Celine Dion; “How Do I Live,” sung by LeAnn Rimes; “ ‘Til It Happens To You” sung by Lady Gaga and “Io Si [Seen],” sung by Laura Pausini. All four songs have been nominated for Academy Awards. As of this writing, “Io Si” is up for the 2021 Academy Award which will be announced this Sunday night. We are all rooting for Diane Warren at the Story Summit Writer’s School!
Beyond her 12 Academy nominations, Diane is a Grammy winner with 15 nominations, a two-time Golden Globe Award winner with six nominations and an Emmy winner. She has penned nine #1 and thirty-two top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001.
“We’re thrilled to have Diane Warren with us for next week’s songwriting class,” says Debra Engle, co-director of the Story Summit Writers School. “Diane’s the best of the best, writing some of the biggest and most beloved songs of a generation. Everyone has been touched by her artistry, and we couldn’t be happier that our students will be learning from practical advice directly from her.”
Joining Diane on Tuesday night, April 27, will be Bonnie Greenberg — a legend herself — and one of the top music supervisors in the entertainment business. Bonnie has recently collaborated with Diane on 4 movies, and, remarkably, 3 of them have garnered Academy nominations for “Best Song!” What magic these two women create together!
As a top music supervisor, Bonnie Greenberg has been involved in such motion picture classics as “Pleasantville,” “The Mask,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “The Best Man,” “What Women Want,” “Menace II Society,” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”
In recent years, Bonnie obtained a Masters in Clinical Psychology and has turned her talents toward projects with a social justice theme. To me, that’s just amazing! Bonnie does not rest on her accomplishments. She continues to evolve, working on projects that really matter. These newer projects include the documentaries “The Hunting Ground,” about sexual assault, “Cracked Up” about childhood trauma, and “RBG” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“We are delighted to have Bonnie Greenberg joining us next week. She has a fire to change the world through the creative endeavors in which she is associated,” says David Kirkpatrick, Story Summit Founder and former President of Paramount Pictures. “Bonnie is absolutely aligned with the Story Summit ideal. We believe, as she does, that we can change culture by changing the story. Bonnie was the music supervisor on “The Hunting Ground.” She brought in Diane Warren and together they brought in Lady Gaga to collaborate on the song, “Til It Happens to you.” No one can say that Bonnie Greenberg and Diane Warren are not interested in positive social impact after listening to “ Til It Happens to You.”
Bonnie teaches music supervision for motion pictures at NYU Global and Carnegie Mellon MEIM program.
Bonnie is the the Executive Music Producer on “4 Good Days,” about drug addiction, starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis. She collaborated on the end song written by Diane Warren. Pete Hammond, Awards Columnist and Chief Film Critic for Deadline wrote this today — “A new song, “Somehow You Do,” penned by Diane Warren and sung by Reba McEntire, adds the perfect touch over the end credits and could put the 12-time Oscar nominee back in the race next year as well.” The movie will be released later this month.
This week-long course is for anyone who wants to write songs, no matter the genre, from rock and roll to R&B to pop to country. The Story Summit Writer’s School is always trying to inspire and educate, but to also have fun in the process! Of course, I am biased toward the Writer’s School, but I loved the collaboration workshop featuring Marta F. Kauffman, the co- creator of the hit series, “Friends”, and the writing for animation class featuring, Tab Murphy, who wrote all my favorite Disney movies, including “Atlantis — The Lost Empire!” I am certain “Writing Story Through Song” will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. I hope it is for you, too!
And if you love to write but don’t have a musical background, no problem. We’ll have others in your workshop group ready to help musically, lifting your lyrics off the page and marrying them with melody.
In addition to Diane Warren and Bonnie Greenberg, we have some incredible teachers for the “Writing Story through Song” workshop including Robin Urdang, the music supervisor of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” , Chris Boardman, 6-time Emmy Winner for composing and orchestrating, and Beth Broday, music video producer.
Amy Ferris, co-director of the school, is passionate about this class and can’t wait for students to have the opportunity to explore turning their words into song. “Who doesn’t sway to a song that touched their heart and soul?,” she says. “ Who doesn’t remember lyrics that bring back memories? Who doesn’t think of old loves & new loves and … heartbreak when you hear a song? Songs. Lyrics. This is what this week is about. And the men & women who reached in and touched our hearts.”
Due to the unique nature of this course, and the breakout groups for the work shop, seats are limited. If you are interested in learning how to write a song that will speak to people in a brand new way, this class is for you! You can learn more about it and sign up here.
Mariah Mayhugh first joined the Story Summit in early 2020, when she won the prestigious “Reading is Fundamental Award” for her picture book “Mimi: A Story About Absence Seizures.” She is an avid writer, who loves to explore different mediums, from children’s books to screenplays. She says that the Story Summit is a magical organization and encourages everyone who loves to put their pen to paper to get involved, because it is life changing!