Finally, the long awaited second installment of SoundtrackCorner. In the first instalment I talked about some of my favourite composers and one of their compositions. This time I want to focus on Main Themes. I’m going to share five great Main Themes with you. I’m going to exclude some all time favourites, so no John Williams. You don’t need me to tell you why the Star Wars Theme is great and the same is true for Jaws and many other classics but maybe I can show you a hidden gem you overheard or maybe my hidden gems are just too obvious. Nevertheless, here are five great Main Themes, enjoy.
X-Men – John Ottman
Some superhero movies have a big problem, they don’t have a cool theme. The X-men franchise doesn’t have that problem.
Sleepy Hollow – Danny Elfman
Elfman is one of my favourite composers and Tim Burton one of my favourite directors. So Sleepy Hollow is a must for me n this list.
Dave – James Newton Howard
Dave is a quirky little movie with a soundtrack and a Main Theme to match.
Dragonheart – Randy Edelman
This is one of my all-time favourites. Dragonheart might not be the best movie but it has a great Score and an awesome Main theme.
The Right Stuff – Bill Conti
In my opinion one of the most subtle heroic themes ever. Just listening to this makes me want to watch the move again.
So what’s the screenwriting lesson here, this is supposed to be a screenwriting blog1. Well, listening to these tracks I see the movie and I get a clear idea about the tone. These Main Themes set the stage for the movie and it’s a sign of great artistry by the composers that in each of these cases the movie and the music are synonymous for each other. I can’t think of Dragonheart without hearing the music and vice versa.
Obviously most writers aren’t composers and that’s probably for the best so I’m not saying we should come up with our main themes but just like these themes, try to give your script an identity beyond the words. Try to give your script a voice, something recognisable, something identifying.
I have a couple of goals for this year, personal and professional but one of the main goals, well actually it’s the main goal, is to write more. I realized last year that the more I write, the more I write. Sounds redundant but what I mean is, that the more time I spend writing random things, the more pages I get done. It’s like exercise or warm up, after a blogpost I usually write more and better. So this year I want to write more posts on my blog. The #ProjectMomentum updates will continue but I’ll also introduce some new segments. I don’t know exactly what they’ll be but you’ll notice.
But Today I’m going to introduce the first new segment: SoundtrackCorner. Soundtracks have a special place in my heart, in a way it’s how my obsession with movies started and even today I still love listening to a good soundtrack.
Obviously there are different kinds of soundtracks and I’m specifically talking about scores, those roaring main themes, these suspenseful action cues and everything in between. There are many great composers who work in film (and television) and some of their work is truly inspiring and they elevate the movies to new heights. The list of great composers old and new is nearly endless and in this segment I want to highlight some of them and their work. So from time to time I’ll post about a great score and it’s composer but today I’m just going to give you a few things to sink your teeth into just to get you started.
I’m going to name drop some of my favorite composers with a piece of their oeuvre that I think you should now. I’m going to try to take the road less travelled, so don’t be surprised if I’m not talking about their best/most famous composition. Just to be clear, this is not supposed to be a complete list, I’m not trying to do a best of or what ever, I’m just naming some composers I like and a soundtrack I think you should listen to because you might not know that one, I’m working on a top 10 list but you’ll have to wait for that one.
Ok, here we go and don’t think too much about the order and I’m not commenting on my choices, I’ll do that in later posts: