VFX Los Angeles

Why soundtracks will make or break a movie

Music is your secret weapon

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In a world where directors are constantly worrying about which special effects supervisor to hire, and how to get Arnold Schwarzenegger to play their new action hero, too little value is being given to music. The role a soundtrack or a movie score plays for a film is often underappreciated and underworked.

Many movies nowadays feature soundtracks that are blasé and overused. The same music that plays as Sylvester Stallone jumps out of the burning helicopter somehow finds its way into the romantic tale of a couple in Europe. And yet, the proof is difficult to dismiss – good films nearly always have great soundtracks.

So why spend a tremendous amount of time picking the right music for your film? Let’s put it this way – music is your secret weapon.

It’s subtle when it needs to be and bold and ruthless when necessary. Music is often read on a subconscious level by the audience. They’re focused on the film, but their mind adds the music to create the big picture. You don’t want to distract the audience with your soundtrack. It’s only there to make their experience of your film that much better.

Lately, it has become common for scores to be recorded completely by one author. The entire soundtracks for The Dark Knight and Inception were recorded by Hanz Zimmer. Watchmen’s score was created by Tyler Bates and that of Tron: Legacy was done by Daft Punk. Whether it is more efficient or better in general to have the entire score for your film created by one group is debatable. What there is no doubt about, however, is that all these films did very well in the box office.

The next time you’re looking for your film’s main theme, and just can’t find the perfect match, keep looking. That perfect song might just be the touch that sends your movie into fame.

Filmmakers need to work harder than ever these days to create something new and original, and then you try even harder to make it something truly wonderful. Take those extra few days. Find the perfect score for your film. And when the soundtrack you add into your movie fits perfectly, the result is amazing. It can create anything from a rush of adrenaline in the hearts of your audience to the lone tear sliding down every single onlooker’s eye.

And that right there is what you call movie magic.