Trailers for sale or rent

There are apparently two rules for the music in a motion-picture trailer: make it sound as rousing as possible, and if you can make it sound like Carl Orff’s O Fortuna, so much the better.

Cover art for Illusions by Thomas BergersenMusic for trailers, it appears, is a whole ‘nother industry from music for film soundtracks, mostly because the score will likely not be completed until after post-production, and by then two, maybe three, trailers will be circulating. There exists a market for this stuff besides Hollywood, and after being swept off my feet by one particular track, composed by Thomas Bergersen for his Two Steps From Hell production-music house, I decided I’d try out a full album of the stuff. In retrospect, I probably should have thought this through a little longer. Eighty minutes of trailer music, perforce, is going to sound like eighty minutes of trailers, less the stentorian voice that says “In a world where…”

Still, Illusions is fascinating because of those limitations: in a couple of minutes, the composer has to create something that will make you want to see whatever film is being promoted. And Bergersen knows his craft: he picks the musical textures, the vocal bits, the heavily echoed percussion, from a crammed-to-the-top bag of tricks, and if once in a while you hear something you think you’ve heard before, well, that, too, is part of the craft. (“Age of Gods” is the obligatory O Fortuna variation.) I’m not sure you want to drive to Dallas with these nineteen tracks as accompaniment: you’ll likely have aggravated your hypertension long before you reach the Red River. But as proof of concept — Two Steps from Hell offers a 37-track version to producers, to show you they mean business — it’s remarkably successful.

1 comment

  1. jsallison »

    24 November 2015 · 9:44 pm

    Akshully I think bastardi in f X50’s or the like (ewe too, chevy, dodge) with lift kits, dualies and two foot diameter pipes of screamingly loud obnoxiousness who have never, ever, seen a farm (these days they’re just manly jackasses manly station wagons) and who insist on getting in front of me to block my view forward do all that is necessary for my blood pressure and rapidly failing pleasant demeanor, thenk ewe veddy much.

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