I recently watched a movie on Netflix and had to turn on the audio subtitles due to the varying sound quality. Whenever a suspenseful scene came up the subtitles would flash, “Ominous soundtrack”. It got me thinking about the role that music plays in movies and TV shows and wondering if it’s sometimes used as a crutch for poor storytelling. Shouldn’t it be obvious to the viewer that the characters are in some kind of danger without the music leading us by the hand and telling us so? Do we need a sudden loud bang on the piano keys making us jump when the serial killer suddenly comes back from the dead to attempt one last try to throttle our plucky protagonist? Movies are a different animal than novels or comics. Writers just have to tell the story and if they are good the reader is right alongside them enveloped in the story, while movie makers must try different techniques to keep people engrossed in their product. I’m not knocking the music of the movies; I listen to the soundtrack to Raiders of the Lost Ark and From Russia With Love quite often…for inspiration and enjoyment. But it does reiterate the fact that whether it’s a movie, novel or comicbook, that the story should be first and foremost. Anything above and beyond that is just icing on the cake.
See you right here next week folks!
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