A soundtrack may seem like a small cinematic detail, but the truth is that music wields an incredible power over our emotions and even our perceptions. The perfect soundtrack can help you strike the right mood, call attention to certain details, and keep your audience engaged.
Of course, finding a soundtrack that defines your film in the way that Star Wars, The Graduate, or Amelie were defined by their soundtracks isn’t something that happens every day — but with practice and a smart, positive approach, choosing an impactful soundtrack is entirely possible. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin curating music for your work:
- Less is more. Silence is one of the most powerful and evocative sounds there is, and using healthy doses of it will make the music you do use even more powerful.
- Conflicting emotions. One of the best ways to add a special richness of emotion and implications to a scene is to pick music that doesn’t exactly match the emotional tone of the scene.
- Diegetic music vs. non-diegetic music. Music that exists within the universe of your film is called diegetic music. Examples might include music on the radio, or at a concert, or music that a character is actually playing. Diegetic music is unique in that it can influence characters and cause them to react. Non-diegetic music, as you’ve probably guessed, is only for the audience. Considering whether or not your characters can ‘hear’ each track will be useful when thinking about what kinds of music would be appropriate and impactful for each scene.
- Get proper permissions. Making a film that is both financially successful and artistically ethical requires getting proper permissions for all the music you use. That can be a bit of a hassle, but fortunately, online resources such as Rightsin.com have helped streamline the process. Visit Rightsin.com online today to view our digital library and learn more about intellectual property rights in the 21st century!