How music can impact massively on film


Using music to enhance film

Music in film has such a wide function. It can serve a number of purposes and can be used for important, gripping and captivating moments or to help/enhance the storytelling. It is not only helpful but essential for any director/producer or editor to keep the music in mind when planning/shooting film for a project.

Setting the scene

Most films use sound that we know has been added: things like voiceovers, and background music. This is called non-diegetic sound. It can be used to set the scene of a film or video campaign and when used correctly, it can intertwine so tightly with a scene that it makes it impossible to listen to it out of context. A strong musical moment in a film is one of the most cinematic things a director can achieve.

Do The Right Thing by Spike Lee is a classic example of using music for effect. In this opening scene of the film music highlights the complex interplay of racial tensions, a hot summer day and a mixed neighbourhood in NYC.

Building the atmosphere

Using music or musical elements can enhance the narrative of a film. In our own award-winning film, “Dying Out Loud” the opening scene involves inmates singing a song with the lyrics giving us an entry point into the woman's life. Starting soft with this music not only juxtaposed the serious content of the film but made the entrance into the film from the audience perspective that much easier.

Building the atmosphere

This is one of the strongest functions of music in the movies. It can set the tone of the movie. Just in the way the score comes in for the first time in the movie makes it possible to know the genre and the “level of drama” of the movie. Of course this really strong function can be used to create plot twists later down the line.

We personally find the song below so powerful when used in this scene. Even listening to the track now we get goosebumps thinking about the moment when Begbie tries to kill Renton in T2: Trainspotting.

Music is a powerful medium to support video. If you’d like to know more about how we use music in the films we make, our approach to online advertising and what else we’re up to, make sure you follow us on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn pages or drop us a line at