Who was the last person to win the best feature film score at the Grammys? For a lot of people, they just don’t know. Its not an area they pay attention to during the highly dressed award show. Yet at the same time, its one of the most profound and talent intensive awards to win.
Think of the most recent movie you watched. Did you take specific notice of the music throughout the film? More the likely your answer is no. Yet at the same time, it controlled the feel of the entire film. It made you happy and excited when something was happening to your liking in the movie and it also subconsciously made you feel sorrow and sadness at other parts. Fast paced scenes had alot of quick and sparatic notes, not soft violins and a quiet piano.
Having done music for film, i’ve learned that you’ve done a good job if no one notices the music. If you can subconsciously control peoples emotions without them taking notice, you’ve done your job. If your score and composition are out of place and don’t suit the setting, people will take notice. Its a weird way the brain comprehends music. Ever watch a horror movie on mute? Better yet, try watching a horror movie while you play the chicken dance or an equally quirky and more upbeat song. It diminishes the emotional effect of the film and you really notice how the music doesn’t fit. Yet an award winning score has the unique ability to bring people to tears, if its paired with a well shot scene.
Scoring film can be so bitter sweet, and ironic, but bring great reward to the writer.