Listening to: “3 Rounds and a Sound” by Blind Pilot

In modern film, music is prevalent, almost pervasively so. There’s a long history of this, going back to silent film, which necessitated constant music due to the lack of dialog. In fact, have you ever watched a modern film before the music tracks are added? It off-putting and eery! The selection of tracks for film is critical for setting the mood you desire. More than almost any other part or the film, music tells the audience what to feel. A horror scene with a campy music track becomes cheesy, a monologue gets defined by its backing track, a comedic scene turns sad and tragic with the wrong music selection behind it. And generally, as with most things sound related, the audience only keys into what’s bad, not what’s good.

I watched a great documentary about craft beer the other day, and while the content and the video quality were great, the sound was a bit off, the vocals were compressed improperly (more on that in an upcoming blog), and they chose their music selections poorly. The fatal flaw for this film was that they chose music that was specifically designed to give the impression that the film was winding down towards the credits, but they used it way too early! So for the last 30-40 minutes of the film I expected it to end at any minute, and when it didn’t I just got annoyed. Music is extremely powerful in film … just make sure to wield that power properly.

Jared Thompson sounding off.

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