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Old 06-22-2018, 05:05 PM   #1
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Function of song in non-musical films

1) What should be the function of song in non-musical films? A couple of reasons I could think of is, to show character's emotions or to voice their inner monologue(?). What other things it can do?

I am talking about songs that are specifically composed and recorded for the movie. For example, 'Raindrops keep falling on my head' in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 'Moon River' in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

2) In non-musical films, most of the time, songs come during the opening titles or end credits. If it comes somewhere in the middle, like in the above 2 examples, who makes that choice? Do the writer specify it in the script (not the lyrics, just the placement) or the composer/director/producer decides it?
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Old 06-22-2018, 05:20 PM   #2
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In my 2nd feature, DETOURS - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3625136/reference - we used both songs and score to support the mood and help move the story along. None of it was written into the script (I'm the screenwriter and producer fyi).

We had a singer/songwriter compose and perform a song for our end credits - we gave him the script as we were going into production and he wrote something that went with it beautifully.

We also reached out to many singer/songwriters and got permission to use their songs. We used them as diagetic music in some cases (on the car radio). In other spots, we used them to accompany driving scenes that are a component of road trip movies. Emotion was always paramount.
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:11 PM   #3
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A perfect example of a song written specifically for a non-musical film is "Toy Story."

In "Toy Story" You've Got A Friend In Me sets up the entire film, Andy's relationship with Woody, and bookends the film as the song now refers to Woody's relationship with Buzz.
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Old 06-22-2018, 06:14 PM   #4
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1. Emotion
2. Pace
3. Story
4. Glue (it bonds everything together)
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:56 AM   #5
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Glue is a good one. You can have a montage of video clips showing a progression (kids getting older, a road trip, whatever) and all those clips can be quite disparate and disjointed from each other. But a cool song over the top can make it seem like a deliberate and whole segment.

I'd also suggest music can be used as a juxtaposition - Clockwork Orange is an example. Fun music over disturbing violent scenes.
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:32 PM   #6
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I'm reminded of the television shows that started with songs to fill us in on the back story, such as the "Gilligan's Island" theme. My wife has always written a song for each of our films, to be used over the opening credits or the end credits. An example would be our latest film, "CAUSE OF DEATH: HOMICIDE", for which she wrote a song for the openng credits. Here it is if you'd like to check it out. (click here) . Part of the song is under the opening credits and part is under the end credits. You can watch for free.

Last edited by Rayandmigdalia; 06-24-2018 at 11:04 PM.
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