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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A Good License Agreement for Your Music

Apr 10 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Many amateur composers fall victim to a badly drafted licensing agreement that totally stomps on their right over their royalties and possible million dollar career. This scenario does not only affect songwriters but also musical composers for movies and televisions. They write songs and produce music. The record company or the movie and television company just buys the composer's rights over the song or the music and have the latter sign a waiver of their copyright.

Young struggling music artists, for example, are often forced to sign record contracts that are not favorable to their future career. It is understandable that they feel compelled to sign such contracts. Their careers at that early stage is in their infancy. The problem only arises if and when they meet with some success. Such early stage contracts often lay claim to future, post success and celebrity, records. Musicians often either don't understand or merely gloss over these provisions. The consequence, however, can result is millions in lost revenue to the artists years after these contracts are signed.

Thus, it is important for amateur songwriters and composers to draft a licensing agreement to protect their future million dollar career. In order to make the agreement valid and good, the following stipulations must be inserted:

1. There must be a copyright protection over derivative works.

Some music, film and television companies give royalties to the owner of the music but limited only to the particular projects. Such as, if it is a music album, the composer will only receive his royalty depending on the sale of the music album. However, the music, film and television companies holds the right to sell the music for other derivative works, eg, using the song as a musical score.

If the composer will have no right over the derivative use of his creation, the music or film company can make millions even when the sales of the music album have already declined. Take for example the song, "Feels like home" or "Somewhere over the rainbow", it has been used in countless movies and soap operas all over the world. Every time these songs are used, the production company pays the record label royalties. Thus, if the composer will have a right over the derivative use of his creation, he will have additional potential earnings. Also, the composer or the songwriter will be protected from abusive record companies.

2. There must be a protection from unauthorized use.

Many composers lose a lot of potential income due to music piracy and unauthorized music downloading internet sites because most of the royalties are based on the sales of the album. Thus, for composers, they should include in their agreement stipulations that protect them from the unauthorized use of their music. The stipulation should require the licensee, or the record company to compensate him an additional amount for their failure to protect his creation from unauthorized use.

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The Grizzly Man Soundtrack Music Review

Apr 10 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

The soundtrack to the movie Grizzly Man is amazingly magical and compelling. Richard Thompson heads a cast of five players that includes Jim O’Rourke in a two day, improv studio session at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley to score Werner Herzog’s film The Grizzly Man. They play a variety of instruments including cello and double bass, but the main mystery and magic is in Thompson’s guitar and the interaction between the players, producers and Werner Herzog.

First of all, the movie is astounding. As I watched I kept commenting on the music not knowing the players. Some of the music is not good. But, as Herzog says, music is never background, in his movies. And as Thompson says, music is sophisticated but crude, that the music is in the edges and without those edges all you have left is notes with no music.

The music fits the documentary very well. The movie is set in Alaska and in some sense so is the music. The beauty of watching Thompson work while Herzog directs “Change the planet!” is amazing. His eyes are so beautiful, his smile. I was charmed by this music and film in a way that art rarely touches me anymore. The bends that the guitar does just tears your insides and moves like tears in all your blocked body parts. It transcends.

The connection of spirit captured by these three genius (Tim Treadwell, Thompson and Herzog) is a blessing to us all.

Blog San Diego is an online resource for live music reviews, cd reviews, music news & features.

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Rob Zombie, Master of Music & Movie Horror

Feb 10 2020 Published by under Uncategorized

Through the mid 80’s and 90’s, Rob Zombie made a mark on heavy metal with the driving, groove laden and creepy, horror rock of his brainchild band White Zombie, named for the 1932 film starring Bela Lugosi.

After White Zombie disbanded Rob continued with his unique musical style as a solo act, melding metal with industrial, hypnotic rhythms and haunting sounds. Zombie’s music is similar to the stylings of Nine Inch Nails and Marylin Manson, but it’s industrial hard rock combined with trance club beats, classic movie and television sound clips, screams and assorted other sound effects set it apart.

Zombie’s two initial solo releases, Hellbilly Deluxe, and The Sinister Urge, complete with his original, wild and creepy artwork, are as much a collection of songs as they are soundtracks without the moving pictures. With track titles like Super Beast, Dragula, Living Dead Girl, How to Make a Monster, Meet the Creeper, and a couple of my personal favorites, What Lurks on Channel X? and Scum of the Earth, you can’t help but notice his appreciation of the horror genre. Well, I guess you could also just look at a few of his album covers to see that.

His third solo release, Educated Horses, has a slightly different feel, and isn’t so much in-your-face monsters and horror, but he still rocks out while offering some more pop oriented rhythms along with a big heavy metal sound. He still covers spooky subject matter like the single American Witch, and other macabre tracks like Let It All Bleed Out, Death Of It All, The Lords of Salem, and the theme to his second feature film, The Devil’s Rejects.

That’s right, Zombie is making a mark in the horror movie industry as well as in music, and I have the strangest feeling that he’s not done by a long shot. At least, I hope there is more in store for us. I see Rob Zombie changing the shape of horror films the same way he influenced the genre of horror-rock.

His first venture in moviemaking, House of 1000 Corpses (Now available for Download from Amazon Unbox), is a horror bloodfest featuring a family of serial killers who take great pleasure in terrorizing four unlucky, young travellers.

The film is well made, with good acting, especially by veteran genre actor Sid Haig, who portrays Captain Spaulding, a nutty clown character who runs a roadside gas station/snack joint/murder ride, complete with complimentary “fried chicken.” Bill Moseley plays the “artistic” Otis who creates horrific works of art with his victims. Rob’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, also does a nice job as Baby, sister to Moseley’s character Otis.

House of 1000 Corpses benefits from some pretty creative editing too, blending great cinematography and lower quality video sequences actually shot by Rob Zombie in various locations, including a clip shot while he was on tour, performing in a concert hall in Canada.

Zombie’s directorial debut was soon followed by an even more disturbing sequel, The Devil’s Rejects. In this film we follow the plight of the serial slaying family as they attempt to outsmart the police, and still satisfy their lust for death. The Devil’s Rejects brings the horror into broad daylight. It is raw, not for the faint of heart.

During an interview Bill Moseley, who appears as Otis in the sequel, comments about a particular scene which he felt quite uncomfortable performing in. During a break in filming he told Rob Zombie, who had written and directed the film, about his situation. Rob replied, “Art is not safe.”

Rob zombie is an artist, and horror is his genre. Whether hs is writing, producing and performing his white-knuckle audio rides of terror, or writing and directing a feature horror film, it is entertainment, and he’s an entertainer.

Born Robert Cummings in 1965, Rob Zombie is a long time horror movie fan, particularly the classics. Obviously this has had a great influence on his work as a musician and artist. He’s a talented illustrator as well, responsible for most of the artwork on the White Zombie records, and his other releases. His drawing style is reminiscent of Ed Roth, creator of the character Ratfink and others, which became popular during the hot rod era of the 50’s and 60’s.

A true renaissance man, Zombie has also developed a comic book series entitled “Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International,” and collaborated on “Bigfoot,” an illustrated horror tale which paints a bloody and violent picture of the legendary forest giants, much to the dismay of many Bigfoot believers.

In the opinion of this reviewer – a horror movie and heavy metal fan from way back – Rob Zombie is a talented and creative guy. I also find him somewhat inspiring. After all, he has found success in doing what he enjoys. I hope he keeps on turning out more original music and horror movies for us. Come on, this stuff is cool… well, for weirdos like me anyhow.

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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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