There are many things to think about when putting together a film. One key area to think about is the music soundtrack and how to choose music to fit and enhance the film overall.
As an indie film music composer, I’ve worked on a variety of really interesting films and film projects (see some of the film music I’ve done here and view my credits). I believe that music plays an important role in films but it isn’t always the easiest aspect to get right. When done well though, the music can really help to enhance a viewer’s experience and understanding of your film and so it’s definitely worth taking the time to think about and to find the right music for your film.
To help you a little bit with this, here are a few things to think about…
1. The Mood or Tone of your Film
Music can be used to set the tone and to create the overall mood or moods across a film. As scenes change, so should the music. Think about what’s going on in your film and try to be aware of what kind of music might be needed to help create the right mood for each part of it.
The most important function of music in films is often to enhance the emotion and emotional elements in a film. Identify the key moments in your film and use music to your advantage in those scenes. Use it to bring out the emotions and to help your audience to feel and to connect with what’s going on.
Music touches us in many different ways and it’s important to combine the visual and musical elements in your film to help build a stronger emotional connection with your audience.
Not all of your film may need music or benefit from it. The lack of music can also be quite powerful. Think about where you want and don’t want music across your film. Make sure that when you have music, that it’s there for a reason and isn’t just filling in the gaps.
4. The Pace
Music can be used to drive the pace and rhythm in your film. It can be used to build up tension, to relieve it, and to create a sense of urgency or not, depending on what you need. Think about where you may need the music to help move things along versus where you may need it to calm us down.
5. Other Films & their Soundtracks
Which films and film soundtracks do you like? Why? It may sound obvious, but a great source of inspiration and ideas is to watch other films and to listen to the music used in them. Listen to what works and doesn’t work for you when watching the film.
Listen hard and try to identify exactly what it is that you like or don’t like about the soundtracks that you hear. This means noticing things like the instruments, the style, the amount of music used etc. This can be really useful in identifying what sort of music style(s) you like generally and what you may want for your film. Feel free to browse through some of my film music if it helps to give you a better idea of what's possible for your film soundtrack.
So there you have it! 5 different things to think about when trying to choose and use music in your film. I hope that some of these thoughts are useful to you, and if you’d like to explore things further, I’d be very happy to learn more about your film and to help with your film score. See more examples of my film music here and contact me now to start talking!
About the Author:
Ninichi is a freelance film music composer and game music composer, who's music has featured in numerous films, tv shows, games & more. She has worked on a variety of indie films & would be delighted to help you with your film project. Check out examples of her film music here & contact her to explore working with her.