We talk a lot about finding your voice, but we don‘t always talk about the consequences of doing so. Namely, once you’ve found your voice, people have to make a decision about whether or not they like it. You’re drawing a line in the sand. For Director Niclas Larsson, he’s won and lost jobs based on pushing his style: “I tend to push a little too hard, perhaps. Then again, I don’t want to apologize for pushing a product and visual style. At the end of the day, I know I’m speaking a different language. I’m talking with experience,” Niclas told us.
Behind The Film: Salomon Ligthelm
We follow director Salomon Ligthelm into a world of abstract beauty on the set of his music video for “Easy” by Ayia. Along the way, he explores the challenges of bringing a deeply visual concept to life and talks about how his persistence in working with the band resulted in their collaboration.
At the end of a project, we simply want to walk away knowing we’ve done our very best work, creating the strongest film we could make. But between the start and finish, there’s nothing that simple. There’s the anxiety of pitching your vision to strangers, the unpredictability of production, and the tension of navigating post-production expectations from multiple stakeholders.
Watch any movie, and you’d agree that music carries an incredible amount of weight in storytelling. So often, you walk away from the experience not thinking twice about a score. But every so often, there’s a score that stands out. Not only has it created an essential background for the film, but it’s set the standard for other films within its genre. That’s what makes the films on this list so special. There’s magic when a great scene meets the perfect score. Magic that continues long past the release of a film.
Sometimes it pays to work in the trenches and do the DIY grind. You not only get the same experience as the film school folks, but you also get the personal experience of making it on your own. Building your own empire. Making your own mistakes. And then, one day, after this long and harrowing process, The Chainsmokers give you a call to shoot their newest video.
In a film, music can either be a life raft or the tip of the iceberg: something that sits on the surface, staying afloat, or something that hints at a greater narrative depth. One is a missed opportunity and one is art, and for directors like Phil Wall, behind Hulu’s The Standard, he’s not using his sound as a way to bail out. He’s using it to crack the door to something underneath the surface.
It’s easy to think of an ad’s soundtrack as something that enhances the emotional moments or simply fills out the rest of the edit, and sometimes that’s true. But, there are also times when the script is flipped, when music becomes the starting point, not the finish line.