Filmmaking Amateur | Grappling With Music and Garage Band
Have you ever watched a movie without music? Have you ever noticed music in a movie? Oftentimes, the music is heard but not noticed. Especially if the music is good. By good I mean more than simply being in tune or pleasant to the ears. Music in film carries most of the emotion. I've never done it but if you watch The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon you end up having a brand new experience in Oz.
I've been using pre-made music for all of my videos. It's much easier to take a track that has already been created and place it on the timeline to add the emotional appeal I am trying to make. Lately, however, I seem to be running out of music options. Sure, I could use popular songs but that is illegal and I have no desire to be sued over one of my videos. And yes, there are countless other options, both free and paid that will provide me with pre-made music options. But as I mature as a filmmaker I find myself wanting to have more specific timing or music to fit the mood I am creating.
I don't play an instrument (other than the occasional bongo session on weekends). I am not trained in music and I have no professional sense of notes and chords. But in today's world that really doesn't matter. Even the simplest of editing platforms provide ways to create unique songs or soundtracks.
I use iMovie exclusively at the moment for editing. As with all Macs, you also get Garage Band. Garage Band has pre-made music made with a large variety of instruments. All one needs to do is lay down a drum beat, add some guitar or piano. Throw in some harmonica or a banjo and some bass with some shakers or other rhythmic tools and you can create an endless number of tracks. Easy enough, right?
This week I took on the task of trying to create music specific to a video I am producing. I have found this process to be overwhelming. There are simply too many choices. Too many instruments to choose from and too many options for timing and music placement. While I was noble at heart, I am going to go back to using pre-made music at least to finish this project that is so close to being finished.
Making films is hard. Especially if I have to do everything. I can only become proficient at so many things at once. I'm still refining my storytelling. I'm still trying to get the most editing power out of iMovie. But I still need to learn graphics (which iMovie lacks). And I am still trying to figure out how to best render and process videos that I have made.
Music is very important in films. But my time to become proficient in this aspect of fimmaking is going to have to wait a bit longer.
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