Films become iconic for several reasons are it the acting, the dynamics, or the music used. The combination of these elements makes them legendary. As a person interested in film, you should be aware of why these soundtracks were successful. The top composers are sought after with the same vigor as a great director in some cases because the producer knows that the soundtrack is critical to the success or failure of a film. Where it is true that the director generally gets the credit for a great film, I believe that this should not be so. Yes, the director ensures that the shots are dynamic and that the actors complete the dialog perfectly. The composer, however, ensures that all these elements are driven forward. The emotions are determined by the tempo and the overall ambiance of the soundtrack as is whether or not you perceive a scene as being dramatic, comical, or serious in nature. Could you imagine having 300’s final stand to the circus music of Karl King? The scene would come across in a whole new light.
Over the course of filmmaking history, certain films have become iconic in terms of their soundtrack. A composer would do well to see how such soundtracks enhanced the film’s status.
Star Wars Theme
The soundtrack is identifiable even for those which have never seen the series. Mostly made iconic by the dynamic and tranquil meshing of the composition, the soundtrack was able to be used throughout the films with little variances. Because the soundtrack was presented first along with that ever scrolling text, the music was remembered and therefore helped to drive the movie. Unlike many movies of our modern era, the Star Wars trilogy framed their film by using the same music in the intro as well as the credits. Again, this contributed to the iconic status for which it is known today.
Whether you are a Maverick or a Goose fan, the music of Top Gun has become one of the best known soundtracks of our time. From the theme song which drives you to identify with the air flight to the romantic Take my breath away these songs continue to be played almost 30 years after the film was made. The fan base for the soundtrack may be the reason that a second film is in production (I don’t see how they could make a great sequel as the main characters have aged 30 years, but they are). It will be interesting to see if the same memorable theme will be used throughout this new film as with the old. One thing is for certain; songs like Danger zone will not soon be forgotten.
The wizard of OZ
Over 70 years old and still loved by the masses, the Wizard of Oz stands as a pillar to the film and soundtrack world. It is true that the film was a musical, yet even so for one to last for 70 years and still have the popularity as when it debuted says something to the construction of the film. What has made the film lasts over the decades is the friendly and memorable lyrics to the songs. In contrast, The Wizard, which was released several years later, has not held to the same hype. This is mainly due to the music scores that were hard to memorize and identify personally with.
When it comes to the movie Titanic, James Cameron usually gets all of the credit. However, I would venture to state that without the musical talents of James Horner the film would not have been a success. Looking at the film’s most memorable scenes you will see that it was the music that drove the shot more than the dynamics of the shot. Do you even remember when My heart will go on first played in the movie? The odds are that you do not. Yet, the song is played at weddings across America every day and is associated with the film. The same can be said of the actual sinking of the ship. Anyone that knows his or her history will know the fate of the Titanic. It was the music that kept the audiences captivated while she sunk.
The list of film soundtracks could go on and on. Great composers have made iconic soundtracks. It is an art form that we recognize every year. To overlook the soundtrack in your own film would be a grave error. Careful consideration as to how the music will merge with your cinematography is essential. Using stock music as well as royalty free music throughout the film is a standard practice. However, you need to ensure that the soundtrack is originally composed and is easily recognized and remembered.