Visuals and music have been going hand in hand since forever. Music has always played an important role within motion pictures. The first movies with sound date back to the 1920s. At that time only music and sound effects were added to the visuals, no dialogue yet, and still it was possible to convey the exact feeling of the movie. One of the earliest motion pictures from that time was ‘The Jazz Singer’, you can watch a small clip from it below. Since that time music has always been a prominent feature in films. Whether it is in the background or more upfront, it is always there. Try to watch a movie without music for once, I can tell you it is a very weird experience.
There are various versions of film music. To start off, there is the music that is written especially for the film itself. Think of the Lion King music, Harry Potter’s memorable intro, and the legendary Hans Zimmer. He is maybe one of the most productive film music writers with having written for blockbusters as Dunkirk (2017), Inception, Pirates of the Caribean, and many, many more. If you want to learn more about Hans Zimmer please click here.
Second, there is the music that is written for the film, but also released as a single by the performing artist. You can think about ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ by Justin Timberlake for example. A song that was strongly linked to the new Trollz movie, but at the same time became one of the biggest summer hits of the year. This is a very intelligent model to use, linking a popular music artist to a movie. The song automatically gets exposure due to the movie, but this works vice versa as the popular artist will promote the movie as well.
Last, there is the music that was not necessarily written for a movie, but often gets used in it. A lot of times the reason for this is that the song’s lyrics and music is relatable and fits into the movie. For example, John Legend’s ‘Save Room’. This song is already more than 10 (!) years old but still gets used in movies. Especially in the Rom-Com genre. With some big movies as ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ and ‘It’s Complicated’ featuring the song, it (the song) still gains recognition and exposure.
John Legend & Hans Zimmer
Having your music in a movie or TV series sure creates great exposure but it is not easy getting it in. Apart from all the hassle with licensing and payments you need to be in contact with the right people to get a shot on placing your music. According to Alexandra Patsavas, a music supervisor that has curated for a.o. Grey’s Anatomy, a lot has changed in terms of music supervising in the last years. Just like everything pretty much. Nowadays it has all been digitalized and there are great music libraries where a worldwide, big variety of music can be found. If you are able to add your music to these libraries you might just make a shot on landing your music in a movie or TV series!
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