Thursday, October 13, 2005

Stick Around for the Good Stuff

Know what job I think would be a blast? I'd love to be the person who designs soundtracks for movies. I'm sure there's a technical title for that. Music developer?

I'm not talking the person who writes the score, even though I imagine the jobs either are one in the same or interact intimately. I have zero musical ability. I can read notes on a scale if I concentrate really hard, but I can't translate them into any actual sound. I have so much admiration for people who can play an instrument or sing well. Those talents are so far out of my reach. Know that saying, couldn't carry a tune in a bucket? Well, they were talking about me.

What I think would be fun is to hunt through existing music and pick and choose tracks to play beneath key scenes. Can you imagine what kind of music collection you'd have at your fingertips?

The business part of the job has gotta suck. I'm sure contacting famous people and artists and their managers and business folks and making deals to purchase the song for use in the movie and on the subsequent soundtrack is a lot of work and headache. Hello, Dolly? We'd like to take your rendition of I Will Always Love You from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and have Whitney Houston cover it for a movie we're doing, The Bodyguard. I'm sure her version'll never be as successful as yours, though...

Thing is, when I hear a particular song, I can just imagine it playing during some key love making scene or when the hero and heroine first kiss or when the story reaches its dark moment and things are looking pretty bleak. Especially I have a thing for songs that I can imagine running at the end of the film, when the HEA has been reached and the credits start to roll.

Most people pick up their empty Super Jumbo bucket of popcorn and head out of the theater long before they can grasp what song is playing as the lights come up. I'm not one of those people. I stick around during credits because I've personally been involved in the making of a movie, I've had friends' names pop up on those credits, and my own name has actually rolled across that screen. I often want to know who was responsible for the fabulous cinematography or the name of a particular song that played at an especially poignant moment.

So I do listen to the credits song, and it's pretty amazing how much such a song sums up the entire feel of a movie. The Bourne Identity ended with a techno piece that pushed home the urgency of Jason Bourne's situation and the high-tech nature of the international assassin business. One of my favorite credit songs rolled out Little Darlings and is nearly impossible to find as a single: Let Your Love Flow by the Bellamy Brothers captures the upbeat message of hope and a great future that the movie ends with. And who can say that there were any better songs than Chad Kroeger's Hero to end Spiderman and Train's Ordinary ending Spiderman 2?

I'm partial to credit songs with lyrics as opposed to scores, at least for non-period movies. And a healthy portion of my Purchased Music file on my iTunes are songs I've picked up because I first heard them in a movie and loved them. The glory of iTunes and the entire music-on-computer industry is that I can pick up a single song from a film without having to buy the entire score-heavy soundtrack CDs. I love my iTunes. I'll never go back.

Meanwhile, I have a list of radio played songs that are begging for credit honors. Right now I'm hooked on Sara Evan's A Real Fine Place to Start . If anyone out there with the power to choose movie soundtrack music is reading, give it a listen. It's perfect for the HEA at the end of a warm and fuzzy love story. Preferably something that stars Matt, Jude, or Gale.

Have I ever mentioned that another job I think would be a blast is casting director?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ouf... I'm officially delurking in your blog, Lynn. *g*

I just had to chime in and say that I would love to have either of the jobs you mentioned. I think that's why I love making trailers so much... I get to do a small-scale, amateur version of the job. :D

Krafty ;)