Composing : This Smart Video Essay Breaks Down How Pixar Uses Music to Make You Weep Uncontrollably by Lucia Cascioli

Lucia Cascioli

This Smart Video Essay Breaks Down How Pixar Uses Music to Make You Weep Uncontrollably

Nathan Bell

That was fantastic thanks. Almost made me cry even just watching this video

Grant Griffith

I agree, brilliant. Thank you for sharing.

Matt Milne

Absolutely, you've got to lead the audience on. I find it very effective to make an audience fall in love with the main character, then make them think they're going to die, so that the audience feels the most jeopardy during the action, and is relieved and happiest at the end of the film.

Jim Pfeifer

Fantastic article! It also helps to illustrate how important the role of the composer is in creating the emotional backdrop throughout the film. You could't create this kind of effect by simply relying upon library music, lacking any kind of theme to be used and adapted throughout the movie for the most impact. This is the reason that people hire composers! I was watching the film Castaway the other day and noticed that the movie uses only one theme that is adapted throughout the entire film. Thanks for sharing this article!

Joel Irwin

Jim - I am doing this from memory and do agree with you that Castaway uses a central theme - Alan Silvestri is really good at that (e.g., Back To The Future trilogy). But as I recollect, this is an example of how only a dribble of music is used in the whole film (perhaps one cue in the whole film - when he is on the raft; or maybe two). This film is an example I use when I talk to people about how a feature can have minimal music - versus "Hook" which is the other end of the spectrum. Another good example of how a director can use sound effects (or perhaps just non-pitched percussion) instead of music to achieve perhaps a higher level of tension than can melody and theme. One of my two favorites are the 6 min car chase scene in Bullett or the 7 minute car chasing the train scene in the French Connection. In both, sound effects and design shaped the scene and made it more exciting. No need to use music to heighten the emotion. So point is - I agree what music can do but there are also places where no music is preferable.

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