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"The Shining Was Groovy!"

...said no one ever. They didn't! But they did say, "That movie scared me to death! From the very beginning it took you in. You knew this was going to be a scary movie right from the opening credits."

You know why? Because the music that was used over the opening credits was from a piece called "Symphonie Fantastique" from the composer Berlioz.

The opening to "The Shining" is an aerial shot that skims the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Underneath this imagery is the work of Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind. A variation on this Berlioz Piece. Put together, it looked and sounded like this...

Yikes! Sets us up nicely to see an innocent family get trapped in a haunted hotel for a frozen winter don't it?

But for a moment, let's pretend that the producers wanted to change The Shining into a movie about a bunch of groovy kids on their way to a weekend at a snowy ski lodge.

"But we already shot the intro!" Mr. Kubrick would say.

But as the music supervisor on the movie you would step up and say...

"I've got it, all I needed was a groovy Journey song! Look at this..."

Now "The Shining" IS groovy.

Voilà! Problem solved by a change of music. As a resourceful music supervisor you have just shown Mr. Kubrick that the music for ANY scene is a critical factor in determining the context of the scene. Although I'm pretty sure that ol' Stanley was well aware of this in peace.

I am finishing a little experiment of my own. I was given the silent footage from "Legend". I was challenged to write music to a specific scene without hearing the original soundtrack that was used or really understanding the context of the film. Never seen it. Let's see if you all think my choice would have met with Ridley Scott's approval.

Next blog!


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