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Old 11-22-2017, 03:01 PM   #16
directorik
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Originally Posted by Velusion View Post
Music is art and art is without bounds yet there must be some guidelines on when and how to use music in a movie.
I don't believe there must be guidelines. When and how to use music
is entirely up to the artist with no guidelines. Some filmmakers choose
to use no music at all.
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Old 11-22-2017, 05:27 PM   #17
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I agree with you, directorik. I think I worded my statement poorly. What I meant to say is people always find a way to quantify things no matter how mysterious they are. For example; I could see someone giving a lecture on the use of music in film saying "when you transition from one location to another, have the music swell to help usher in the new surroundings"... By saying that they have attempted to quantify the reason that a lot of people put music in places that transition from one location to another... Are they wrong? No. Not really. It 's proven that it does work but does that mean you have to put music there? No... but it doesn't change the fact that people out there will try to figure out the "formula" for music placement... I would never take such proclamation too seriously but I would like to know what others have come up with..

In the 90s I found myself in the presents of a great make up artist who allowed me to take a close look at his work. I marveled at the texture he used around the nose of the particular head I was starring at. I asked him "what made you think to put those little wrinkles on there?" He looked at me and without blinking said "I don't know"... It was the perfect answer. it was honest and true.... I've had other artists give answers like "well, because of the way the muscles under the skin contract along with stretching, wrinkle patters can be predicted and blah blah blah..."

"hey there mr. music editor. What made you think to use that music at that particular moment of the film?" ... "I don't know."

I don't have the insight to know where to put the music. I'm just wondering if there is a book or DVD or lecture that gives ideas to people, like me, who can't "see" the music. Sometimes creativity begins with mimicry.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:47 PM   #18
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Maybe search YouTube for some documentaries & special features about movie music, & movie composers past & present. I think a Hitchcock documentary talked about how Bernard Hermann's music didn't show what was happening onscreen, but rather what the characters were feeling. That's one way to do it.

Part of what makes The Exorcist effective is the use of sound, which is related to music. It won Best Sound Mixing among its 10 Oscars. I think there are quiet moments which are suddenly broken by loud sound, pretty jarring & already makes you uneasy even before you see anything scary. So video & audio elements, including music, are all tools you can use to tell your story & heighten the effect/feeling/mood you want the audience to experience.

If you can watch The Great Dictator for the big speech scene, it doesn't have any music. You can compare it to this one where someone added music to it, making it better I think. Thanks to WalterB for posting this recently. If you can watch both versions, you may get an understanding of how music can help a scene.
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Old 11-23-2017, 06:53 PM   #19
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Part of what makes The Exorcist effective is the use of sound, which is related to music.
Definitely! Part of what I wanted to add about "modern" soundtracks is that a lot of the music is atonal and is more like an ambient sound effect. It's hard to tell where the music ends and the sound design starts. In many cases, it is a straight up marriage of the two.
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Old 11-23-2017, 11:09 PM   #20
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Very interesting, Scoopicman. I never thought of it that way.
Makes sense.
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Old 11-24-2017, 09:53 AM   #21
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Wow, what a great thread!

For me, music can serve a huge range of functions, for instance:
  • Conveying emotion that supports what's happening on screen
  • To move the audience (make them nervous / laugh / cry etc)
  • To set a time period or location
  • To cover boring bits (!)

I've certainly made music for film and, in the spotting stage, gone, "well that looks dull, it needs music." Likewise, I've gone, "that character is really feeling sad but not showing it, let's help show it in the music."

Being a bit old school, I have to say I much prefer music with a theme. The modern take of sound design as music can definitely convey a mood (and there's loads of good examples of that) but even saying the word "Jaws" makes pretty much everyone hear "Da dum. Da dum. Da dum da da da dum da da...".

Can anyone hum the theme tune from Transformers? (The new movies, obviously, not the cartoon...)

As to how to use it - it's a storytelling tool, just like angles, editing, dialogue, lighting, mise en scene. Use it to help tell the story.

And as for diegetic and non-diegetic - the Simpsons have done the best example of that ever.

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Old 11-24-2017, 05:49 PM   #22
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Great example from THE SIMPSONS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BazTheHat View Post
Can anyone hum the theme tune from Transformers? (The new movies, obviously, not the cartoon...)
Baa ba.....Baa ba....Baa ba....Baa ba This is the song I hum:



REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is one of my fave CDs.


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Being a bit old school, I have to say I much prefer music with a theme. The modern take of sound design as music can definitely convey a mood (and there's loads of good examples of that)
You, myself, and a whole bunch of other people love themes. I like a blend of sound design and thematic. The atonal score shift became popular when big video games like RESIDENT EVIL and SILENT HILL were coming out. There was also a glut of movies that were rushed to release, therefore their scores were shallow in that departments.

The industry is rife with last minute composer changes, such as replacing Johan Johansson on BLADE RUNNER: 2049, Howard Shore on KING KONG, Harry Gregson Wiliams on ALIEN: COVENANT, etc. The replacement composer steps in and has to deliver in very short time, sometimes just a couple of weeks.

I recently had to do a score, where I did all an nighter to deliver 20 cues (about 29 minutes worth) in two days, because the producers wanted to make a festival deadline. Music is such an important part of filmmaking, yet the process doesn't get the respect and time that it deserves, because it is often the last part of post-production (save for laying in the tracks).
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Velusion View Post
I don't have the insight to know where to put the music. I'm just wondering if there is a book or DVD or lecture that gives ideas to people, like me, who can't "see" the music.
Listening to scores is probably the best way. I listen to scores the way most people listen to rock, pop, country, rap, etc. Before doing my own music, I used to put my favorite soundtrack bits into my own movies. It was a matter of liking a song and wanting to put it somewhere. Modern director/producers do this with their temp tracks. Everything else is more incidental. You'll also know, when you make something, where scenes feel weak. That's where you need music!

An exercise you can try is to pick any song you like and then cut a sequence to that. Not just one long quadcopter shot, but cut some bits into it. Make the cutting rhythmic. A 4/4 constant beat is one thing, but cutting to an orchestral piece that changes tempo and dynamics can be pretty interesting.

Sometimes I'll order a score (CD, MP3) before the movie comes out. When I see the movie, I have been introduced to character and overall themes, so watching it gives me a deeper feeling than I would have had not having heard the music, prior. This is certainly true of repeated viewings. Listening to the music at home brings me back to cool scenes in the movie.

I can't listen to every score. Some are not that interesting to me. I pick the ones that are and go with those. Usually, they are by a composer who's style I like. If I don't know, I go to Youtube, where someone has most likely uploaded it. If I like it, I get it for myself. I take the dog for a walk and listen on headphones. Heck, thanks to BazTheHat, I'm listening to TRANSFORMERS, while writing this.
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Old 11-24-2017, 06:35 PM   #24
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James, you might recognize the style of Jerry Goldsmith. He scored PLANET OF THE APES. Love this score to CAPRICORN ONE. My running in place song was 9:18 - 12:29.



Also, this STAR TREK escape scene is very much enhanced by James Horner's music:



Love one of the comments on this:

Quote:
Only Star Trek could make the equivalent of backing the car out of the garage an epic experience.
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Old 11-24-2017, 07:57 PM   #25
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For me, music can serve a huge range of functions, for instance:
Conveying emotion that supports what's happening on screen
To move the audience (make them nervous / laugh / cry etc)
To set a time period or location
To cover boring bits (!)
Good points!

I just watched an episode of Little house on the Prairie. Without the music they used, some of those scenes would have played terribly.

Mike, I do listen to movie scores as they are presented in the movie, not on the Soundtrack CD,, and that's what I'm talking about. Some of the music editor's choices seem so perfect yet so baffling.

I do know that editors use to sometimes cut in a scratch track of existing music just to give the help convey the feeling and energy of the story until the composer came in to write the score.. A little off subject but I remember reading that George Lucas cut Star Wars IV using Holst's THE PLANETS on the scratch track. Interesting thing though is that some of John Williams' score sounded extremely close to Holst's Mars.


Last edited by Velusion; 11-24-2017 at 08:03 PM. Reason: format
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:32 PM   #26
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I remember reading that George Lucas cut Star Wars IV using Holst's THE PLANETS on the scratch track. Interesting thing though is that some of John Williams' score sounded extremely close to Holst's Mars.
I didn't know that. Compare the cue at 6:56 in your link to the 1:41 mark of this one:


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Old 11-24-2017, 08:42 PM   #27
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Yep. That's pretty close..

Darth Vader's theme always sounded like Mars to me also.

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Old 11-24-2017, 09:08 PM   #28
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Diagetic music takes place within the world of the movie, such as a radio that's visible, a marching band, etc. Non-diagetic music is not part of "their" world - a score, etc.
Here is an interesting one that crosses into both Diagetic and Non-diagetic music.

Breathless; starring Richard Gere.
Jessie is a slick Vegas boy who steals cars. He defines himself with the use of music by Jerry Lee Lewis. He gets in a stolen car then goes flying down the road listing to Jerry Lee Lewis on the car stereo.... Later, when he's in a jam, he pulls it all together by going into his Jerry Lee Lewis act; Singing and dancing. He is, in a way, delusional....

At the end of the film, he and his girlfriend are on the verge of getting away from the cops but they show up. The have him. He stands there in the middle of the street. A gun lies on the road before him. His girlfriend standing on the side crying. There is no hope.. So what does he do?


Watch




There is something very poignant about this scene and the use of music. It brings me to tears very time.. Mike is right; music is very important, or can be....

Last edited by Velusion; 11-25-2017 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 11-24-2017, 11:59 PM   #29
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sometimes music alone is capable of telling a story, realizing how complicated it is to know how to mix images and sound

jaws is the best example
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