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  • So I have a question for you.

  • Off the top of your head could you sing any music from Star Wars ?

  • How about James Bond ?

  • Harry Potter ?

  • My last question : can you sing anything from a Marvel movie ?

  • I'm like the biggest Marvel fan that I know and I just...

  • I can't think of any of the songs.

  • - No. - No...

  • I should know this, but I don't.

  • Shit.

  • I didn't know they have, like, theme songs.

  • Why is this ?

  • Because the Marvel cinematic universe is now the highest-grossing franchise in film history.

  • More than Star Wars, more than James Bond,

  • more than Harry Potter,

  • so what is missing from their music ?

  • The first problem is that most of the music doesn't evoke an emotional response.

  • Take a look at this scene from the first Ironman :

  • Day 11. Test 37. Configuration 2.0

  • For lack of a better option Dummy is still on fire safety.

  • If you douse me again and I'm not on fire, I'm donating you to a city college.

  • All right, nice and easy.

  • It's kind of hard to hear it. So let's try that one more time,

  • But this time with just the music isolated.

  • Did you have an emotional reaction to that music ?

  • So what happens to the scene if we just take it out ?

  • Day 11. Test 37. Configuration 2.0

  • For lack of a better option Dummy is still on fire safety.

  • If you douse me again and I'm not on fire, I'm donating you to a city college.

  • All right, nice and easy.

  • The scene works just fine and it doesn't need any other sound.

  • And that's partially why you forget the music.

  • it's like the air conditioner in the background, after awhile you tune it out.

  • Another problem is that the music is used very predictably.

  • So that what you see is what you get.

  • If you see something funny you hear funny music.

  • If you see something sad, you hear a high note on the strings.

  • This is a really safe way to score a film, because all of the emotions are expected.

  • The music just tells you the same thing as the picture.

  • If someone looks scared, then you hear :

  • And this is the second reason the music is forgettable.

  • It never challenges your expectations.

  • But sometimes the Marvel films do have memorable music,

  • except the filmmakers don't let us listen to it.

  • Instead they cover it up with other sounds like this :

  • Denied enlistment due to poor health,

  • Steven Rogers was chosen for a program unique in the annals of American warfare,

  • one that would transform him into the world's first super soldier.

  • That narrator is just telling us things we already know,

  • And he distracts us from the emotion of the scene.

  • So how does this moment play without that distraction ?

  • Did you feel the difference ?

  • Film music is incredibly subjective and it goes through trends.

  • And over the last 20 years there has been a cultural shift.

  • Nowadays a lot of filmmakers feel that music should not be noticed,

  • That's a contemporary thing that I've heard very frequently,

  • "not supposed to be noticed"

  • Right but, why is it not supposed to be noticed ?

  • I grew up on Alfred Hitchcock's films, Bernard Herrmann, and i noticed every note.

  • And I find it a little bit baffling why that seems to be the consciousness

  • of music and film.

  • But there is one thing we haven't mentioned yet and it's very important.

  • Today blockbuster movie scores are composed to a particular process,

  • And that process starts with one controversial element :

  • Danny you groaned earlier when someone mentioned temp music, the pros and cons ?

  • For me temp music is the bane of my existence

  • it's my job to make the director forget everything he's heard in the temp,

  • I won't listen to it but once, I'll never listened to it twice,

  • and if they're addicted to it it's just going to make my job harder.

  • Let's back up a second : temp music is when you're editing a film,

  • and you take music from another movie and use it temporarily in your cut like this :

  • Tenp music is always supposed to be replaced by composers' original score.

  • But sometimes directors or producers will tell their composer to imitate the temp.

  • To our knowledge, this is the only time a studio has publicly apologized

  • for imitating temp music.

  • The far more pervasive effect is that now

  • most blockbusters are temped with each other's scores.

  • So they kind of sound like each other, but just within legal limits.

  • And as the Marvel franchise has become more popular, now other films sound like

  • they were tempt with Marvel music.

  • We want to emphasize : we're not blaming the composers.

  • Things don't get this way unless its systemic.

  • Before temp music became popular, directors would often reference other music

  • as a way to talk to the composer. But what changed everything was

  • modern nonlinear editing which allowed a director to put their favorite music

  • in the movie and have the editor cut to it.

  • Now, director points to the temp and says : "Make it like that".

  • And it's not because the music is the right choice,

  • but because they've listened to it.

  • Again and again and again for hours and hours

  • making a DVD that match and they go back with another idea another version the

  • next day with the same music, and at some point of the music stick to the picture.

  • - They can spend a year before you arrive.

  • By the way when you take that music out often the cut isn't right

  • because they're cutting to something that... It's very frustrating.

  • Part of the frustration is that filmmakers just reuse things

  • that worked in every other movie, so you end up with the lowest common denominator.

  • Remember this ?

  • Let's try something different.

  • So earlier in the film, Thor convinced his friends to do

  • something illegal and he was banished.

  • Now they're doing something illegal to find him.

  • He's not asking for their help, they're giving it willingly.

  • What if we heard this feeling in the music ?

  • We're not saying this is the right choice here, but it's worth trying out.

  • Because it makes the scene emotionally richer.

  • And all of the choices you see in Marvel films :

  • the background noise, hearing what you see, adding a narrator, temp music.

  • All of these stem from the same desire : to keep things safe.

  • This is not bad music, it's just bland and inoffensive.

  • And because Marvel sacrifices emotional richness for these safe choices,

  • the end result is this :

  • Oh... Marvel ? Na - oh...

  • So what is missing from Marvel music ? Risk.

  • The kind of risk that creates an emotional connection with the audience.

  • So that they carry the music with them. People do not remember safe choices.

  • Only bold original music, and do this :

  • But that being said, we did find one Marvel theme that still got this reaction :

  • Spiderman ! Spiderman ! Friendly neighborhood Spiderman !

  • Spins web any size, catch thieves, just like flies. Look out ! Here comes Spider-man!

  • Is he strong? Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood.

  • Can he swing from a thread Take a look overhead.

  • Hey there There goes the Spiderman.

  • In the chill of night At the scene of a crime

  • Like a streak of light He arrives just in time.

  • Spiderman, Spiderman, Friendly neighborhood Spiderman, Wealth and fame, He's ignored, Action is his reward.

  • To him, life is a great big bang up. Wherever there's a hang up, You'll find the Spider man.

  • -That was incredible ! Thank you so much !

  • Subtitles by the Amara.org community

So I have a question for you.

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The Marvel Symphonic Universe

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    浚祺蘇 posted on 2017/06/22
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