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He’s been nominated a staggering 45 times for an Academy Award. And he’s taken home the Oscar on five of those occasions. His film scores are recognized worldwide and attached to some of the biggest blockbusters of all time, largely thanks to his relationship with director Steven Spielberg.
His name is John Williams and he is one of the best American film composers of all-time, if not the greatest.
If you think I’m exaggerating, I don’t blame you. That’s a bold statement to make (“of all-time“), but Williams’ music is truly astoundingly beautiful and instantly noticeable.
So I challenge you to take a look at the 5 most famous movie themes John Williams has composed and then tell me whether you still think he doesn’t deserve to be at the top of the all-time list.
You hop in your car, turn on your radio, and that song you love comes blasting through the speakers. You know every single word and start singing at the top of your lungs with complete disregard for other passengers or (if you really love it) other drivers.
This scenario isn’t unique. With pop music, we’re trained to listen for lyrics when we hear a song.
But with movies and other visual mediums, the expectations are different. You don’t usually head to a movie theater for a sing-a-long session of the latest Hollywood blockbuster. In fact, you may go an entire film without hearing one word sung throughout it.
On the flip side, however, movies like “Juno” could be full of songs with colorful lyrics.
So how do filmmakers decide when to use lyrics and not? As you already know, picking the right song is a crucial decision in the creative process — this is just another step along the way.
Whether you like it or not, when Apple started packaging their computers with iMovie in 1999, it opened up the world of video editing to a whole new group of people.
Apple armed these people with the tools to create. They became passionate about it and hungry to learn as iMovie continued to grow.
iMovie ’11 — the latest incarnation — continues to hone the editing experience with the addition of advanced audio editing features that allow you to add, delete, change, remix, shift, and shape songs and music to perfection in your project.
And since music is such a vital part of your video experience, knowing how to use these new tools is essential. That’s why I’ve put together a bunch of YouTube video tutorials to help you learn the best ways to edit audio within iMovie.
photo credit: vancouverfilmschool
The first instinct you have when listening to piece of music you’ll be using for a video is to visualize the cuts. A smash cut here, a jump cut there, fade out at the end.
By cutting to the music, you enhance the audio-visual relationship of the project while also “hiding” the edits from the viewer — in short, a win-win.
There are many ways to approach editing video to a piece of music — you can use the waveforms or scrub frame-by-frame, for example — but many of those methods can be cumbersome and time consuming. After all, some musical montages or music videos will have hundreds of cuts in only a few minutes.
So then how do you edit the video to be in sync with the music without it being some arduous task?
Well, there’s a simple trick to help you do just that.
photo credit: vancouverfilmschool
Whether you realized it or not, you’ve sat through two different types of music in all sorts ofmedia. From music videos to commercials to business presentations to Hollywood films, all of them use one or the other type.
Think you know what I’m talking about already? I’ll give you a hint: it has nothing to do with instruments or genre. It’s not royalty-free and licensed music either.
No, these two types are much more comprehensive then that.
And you’re going to want to know what they are so you can use music as effectively as possible in your video.
photo credit: newscred
At some point we’re all caught doing it: scouring through piles of music looking for a song.
But not just any song — the song. The perfect song.
The piece of music that will bring the audience to tears, or make them fall out of their seats laughing, or simply twinge their heart strings in just the right way.
Music has such a profound effect on videos that finding the right song — even for a simple sequence — is a crucial task. Chosen poorly and a scene will fall flat. Chosen correctly and the scene will retain an emotional resonance that’s unforgettable to an audience.
photo credit: photosteve101
Production music has the unique ability to add a masterful touch to your project. It can enhance school projects, company presentations, commercials, and feature length films. If you find the right song, it amplifies the tone of the video and focuses the theme of your work.
But the right music track doesn’t just fall into your lap — you have to go looking for it.
And what you find when you first start searching for music for videos is an unusually complex set of licensing fees, pricing structures, and performance limits. You also stumble into the issue of royalties, payments made to an artist based on the use of their work.
Often the legal jargon and the steep prices don’t make this music worthwhile, but there is an alternative: royalty-free production music. And here are the top 5 reasons why this is the type of music you want for your movie.
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