Due to what I call the post-Oscar lull, it just so happened that there aren’t really any movies in theaters right now that I care to shell out money to see. I don’t know about you guys, but the only ones appealing to me are animated ones (which I’m hoping I’ll get a free ride to at a babysitting gig or something, fingers crossed!) So I’ll just talk about the last movie I saw, and how it just so happens to tie in beautifully with all the juicy music info I’ve been privy to at my music supervisor’s internship.
I was interested in Tron when I first started hearing about it, especially after learning that Daft Punk was doing the entire soundtrack. And as it turns out, they most certainly hit the sweet spot. It’s like Hans Zimmer and Daft Punk had a beautiful baby and named it TRON. The story itself was of course entertaining (I’m a huge Jeff bridges fan—the love for Hans and Daft go without saying). But the stunning visuals of this movie accompanied by this particular score booming in the surround sound of the theater were an amazing experience. It’s one of those “true theater movies” that keep the cinema thriving.
Daft Punk succeeded in perfectly complimenting all of the action of the film, evoking the unabashed notion that they could have only been created as one, born of the same seed. The score they created was soft, vast, and sweeping, while simultaneously arching into these booming, sonic, metallic waves that boiled up into the insides of the picture as well as the audience. The fact that a musical group who has no experience with composing could accomplish this is astounding. But the French duo isn’t the only group who has shifted seamlessly into the world of score composition. There have been several other scores in the recent past that have reached this same level of phenomena: two that come to mind being this year’s The Social Network (score by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails) and There Will Be Blood (score by Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead).
Most movies are made up of both score and source music: score being music that is composed specifically for that particular project, and source being any other music that one could find that has previously been created (whether it’s a song on the radio or a karaoke tune from Japan). But what I’m quickly learning is that licensing music is expensive. I’m talking a major portion of every film’s budget. And music goes in at the end of a film, once other budgetary overages have most likely already occurred. So why shell out thousands upon thousands for a song that could end up being several other filmmakers’ “good ideas” as well, thereby making you unintentionally look unoriginal, when you can get the best of both worlds?
This notion of a well-known group taking on an epic score was even a part of the promotion of the movie, which probably brought in other audiences that might not have normally seen or had as much interest in these films. And seeing as scores of this nature were in my opinion some of the best of the last few years, why not continue the trend? Digital methods of transferring and playing music is making it more possible than ever, thereby indicating to me that more musical artists will want to explore the world of film and the marriage of these two artistic fields. I say: be like Tron, bring it on.