Music in movies. The score, the song choices, the little nuances. How does that background tune make you feel? How does that sound compliment all the characters movements and facial expressions?
I always wanted this job. Picking the songs for movies. We all know how scores work…or do we? The composer works with the director of the movie to bring the whole film to life. They fill in the gaps of silence with dainty pianos and violins.
They chase fireworks or car crashes with cymbals and bass drums. I love watching slow motion montages with hard hitting club songs booming the background. Different vibes, different genres, different feels. Feels… the feels..
How do you change the feelings and vibe of a movie with beats? Music is so powerful. It grips you at your core and challenges you to take a look at yourself in new and exciting lights.
For example, the opening credits of a movie can set the tone for the next 2 hours. These openers are important to draw you in. Notice how heavy or light the music is. Notice how loud or soft it is. Think about how weird it would be if there was NO music LOL. That’s crazy to think about.
I’m always paying attention to what songs the characters are playing on the radio, or what songs are playing as they pass stores or songs playing at weddings or school dances. There is so much music in movies!
Soundtracks will give you all these songs… most of the songs anyway. Period pieces may offer a score soundtrack. Titanic is a good example of this. All the music in the movie is instrumental.
There are no lyrics. Yes, Celine Dion did My Heart Will Go On, but this song was made to promote the movie, and use in end credits. End credits help give the movie closure or even keep the vibe going.
I always wanted to choose songs for movies. I used think i would just pick my favorite songs haha. The science behind what these music directors do so genius! What kind talent must these people have. I seems simple, but holding the attention without distracting the audience must take some skill.
You will also hear lots to the same popular songs over and over in different movies. For example, The End of the World plays in Riding in Cars with Boys in the scene where Beverly, a pregnant 15 year old wants to “fall down the stairs” as maybe to lose the baby.
This scene is humorous the morbidity behind it. It’s really funny with her facial expressions and the songs playing over the scene montage.
That same song also plays in Girl, Interrupted plays within a scene, on a record player, while the main character searches the house for her friend and finds her hanging in the bathroom, dead. The scene is creepy as hell, and the record is o repeat and keeps playing, making it even more creepy.
Next time you watch a movie, pay more attention to the background. Count the songs, name the songs, understand why the director chose those particular songs. Have fun listening and singing along, (if you can’t help it like me. LOL)