Music and Outro
Episode #10 of the course How to make a viral video by Carlos P. Beltran
“For more than language, music taps into primitive brain structures involved with motivation, reward, and emotion.” – Daniel Levitin, Cognitive Psychologist
If there was ever a best practical tip for video producers, it is the careful use of music. Music tracks can manipulate, guide, and even change our perception of a scene. Throughout the years, we have all been (perhaps unknowingly) conditioned to respond to music.
Many accomplished feature filmmakers will perhaps talk about how image should always trump music and that the music score should merely be an “extra” in the whole picture. This view has been highly buffeted throughout the years. Adding or completely changing the soundtrack of a video can be the difference between its success and failure—music can spark emotions instantly that would not otherwise be present.
Watch the following videos in their original form and then watch remixed or altered versions featuring a completely different soundtrack.
• Original: Viral Video UK: Gangster Crab!
• Altered: Crab knife fight remix
• Original: The Shining Trailer
• Altered: The Shining (Happy version)
In the first example, we see how much a single track of music can modify a single shot of video. Altered, the crab holding a knife turns into a humorous yet classic action sequence. Think—which one made you smile more? If you could only share one—the original crab video or the altered one—which one would you share?
The second example shows the undeniable effect that editing and scores can have on your productions. The Shining (1980) is a horror classic by a personal favorite, Stanley Kubrick. The first one is the trailer for the original film. Notice the score and how it accentuates the dramatic scenes. This is masterful use of both editing pace and music to drive the viewer’s anxiety.
Now listen to the altered version of The Shining trailer. Editing and a different, upbeat (Danny Elfman-like) music track completely change our perception. If we had never before known the original The Shining, after seeing this altered, parody trailer, we would think we’re watching the trailer of a Hollywood comedy.
Music can be a shortcut to viewers’ emotions. Use it. Here are some resources for you to find music for your pieces:
Now it is all up to you. Remember, the 4 principles of viral videos are there to guide you. And the concept of clickability and shareability are there to help you tell the world about your video.
Capture reality through raw, real characters. Be concise when telling compelling stories. Be unique by using your own voice when crafting stories. And finally, focus on humanity; people want to see genuine situations and relate to them.
Make your video clickable by choosing an attractive headline/title; the product of the 4 principles in action will give you much-coveted shareability.
It was a pleasure being with you throughout these 10 days. Now go and make a viral video!
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