The Importance of Music in Movies

Apr 10 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Editing requires the right amount of rhythm and pace and music plays a key role in the structure of how the story will be displayed. Music can trigger fear in horror, suspense in action, and uncertainty in drama movies by providing the right element of surprise to evoke the right responses. In most cases the music can make or break a scene if the scoring isn’t done properly. Just imagine the music in the horror movie “Friday the 13th” when Jason is about to attack his victim or when you hear the music but nothing happen but your still clutching to the edge of your seat.

And what about the various scenes in Star Wars when the music gives you an indication that Darth Vader is about to enter to scene (which also happens to be the theme music during the intro of the movie)…as you can imagine, the music dictates and creates a reference point for the visuals. I was once told by an Academy award winning editor to play any award winning movie with the music turned off and see if you get the same effect…point made. The only recollection I have of a movie where the scoring did not play a part in driving the narrative, was in the movie “No Country for Old Men” where there was only one scene that had music in the background.

Aside from that, scoring, sound design, and music are essential elements in catering to the emotions of that particular scene in the making of a movie production. In some cases, the music can make the director change the script to make a better marriage between the characters and the music. For example, in the 1972 movie entitled “Super Fly” director Gordon Parks jr. had to change several scenes in the script and the lead character’s (Ron O’Neal) wardrobe in the movie after (R.I.P.) Curtis Mayfield created the complete score based off the screenplay.

And who can forget the famous scoring of all the James Bond movies. In any form of film or video editing, any professional post production editor will always emphasis the importance of developing a pace to tell the story from the inciting incident to the plot, and music is the key component of putting it all together. Of course with technology at our fingertips we have the advantage of producing, directing, and scoring much easier then ever before but the key elements will always remain the same.

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Music and Movies: History of the Soundtrack – Pt 1

Jan 10 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Music and film have always gone together. In fact, before 'talkies' came along, the only sound you'd hear in a silent movie would be music. Silent film star, Charlie Chaplin was one of the finest physical comedians to ever grace the silver screen. But despite this, without music in the background, even his best films would be missing something. There's no doubt about it, music adds an emotional element to whatever may be occurring on film. Music can enhance and punctuate the entire spectrum of human emotion. Can anyone imagine a movie without music? Would you even want to?

One the first great musicals, the 1939 fantasy masterpiece and timeless classic, "The Wizard of Oz", starring the velvet voiced Judy Garland, is probably most peoples' first exposure to a movie musical. The longtime children's classic about a Kansas farm-girl named, Dorothy, who, along with her dog, Toto, is whisked away by a tornado to the magical land of Oz. There she befriends many strange and wonderful characters and makes a serious enemy in the form of a wicked witch, as she tries to get back home. Along with the imaginative story, the songs such as, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!", Have since become a part of our popular culture. That same year, the first full length color film, the sweeping epic, "Gone With the Wind", about life in the south before, during, and after the civil war. The film's main musical theme was widely popular and still recognizable even today. Another very popular soundtrack was Walt Disney's first full length animated film, the classic, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs". Released in 1937, Snow White made musical and movie history by being the first film to have it's soundtrack transferred to record disk. Other notable Disney film soundtracks were 1940's "Pinocchio" and the animated and live action, "Mary Poppins", released in 1964.

In 1955, Rodgers and Hammerstein's broadway musical, "Oklahoma", was brought to the big screen. Director, Fred Zinnemann fillmed the movie in the wide open spaces of Arizona. The visually beautiful film was big, bright, and colorful. However, the cinematography did not overpower Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical score, but rather complemented it. Oklahoma is classic musical film fare for all audiences. Remember "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin"? That song, along with other classics graced the film's soundtrack. Another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical brought to the big screen in 1965 with movie classic results, is the beautifully filmed, "Sound of Music". The memorable songs and Julie Andrew's outstanding performance as the governess of a wealthy man's children in Nazi occupied Austria, is a wonderful musical about the human spirit's ability to be uplifted by song in the face of unspeakable madness.

In 1961, we saw a musical retelling of Shakespeare's, "Romeo and Juliet" in the film "West Side Story". Starring the beautiful Natalie Wood, the story revolves around two rival gangs, the 'Jets', a white gang, and a Hispanic gang called the 'Sharks'. Complications arise when Maria, (Wood), the sister of the Sharks gang leader falls in love with the leader of the Jets. True, the fighting / dancing sequences are a bit corny, but the songs in the film, such as, "Somewhere", "I Feel Pretty", and of course, "When You're a Jet" are all classics. In fact, the 2003 film, "Anger Management", starring Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson, there's a scene in which Nicholson playfully goads Sandler into singing, "I Feel Pretty", to ease his tensions. 42 years later, and yes, youthful audiences may not have known where the song came from, but they recognized it.

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