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  • Garv Sawlani

Idea #53 - Musical Foreshadowing in Movies

Here's a break down of musical foreshadowing using two popular films - Interstallar and the Harry Potter Universe

The first video examines the crucial element that is embedded in the film by Director - Christopher Nolan and Composer - Hans Zimmer. To incorporate the intensity of time ticking by (thus imposing a deadline), the duo have used a storytelling device within the musical score so as to not distract the viewer from the scene.

A Time Endpoint, also known as the ticking clock, is a technique in which you tell the audience up front that the action must be completed by a specific time. It gives you the benefit of intense narrative drive and great speed, although at the expense of texture and subtlety.

The two tracks of Interstellar: Mountains and Coward have a hidden ticking clock within their beats to remind the audience of what's at stake, without distracting them from the focal scene.

The second video requires a bit of context regarding the Harry Potter Universe, but at large it discusses the various nuances and messages that have been hidden in the musical score of the series, and how we can understand characters and their relationships through the score associated with them, and through musical foreshadowing.

Hedwig's Theme, a particularly famous track from the score, is used to depict hope, and the depleting use of this track shows how Harry Potter is slowly losing hope, and things may come to a bleak end.

Lily's Theme is another track that is used for Lily and Snape to portray the bond that they share, and this is noticeable far before Harry actually discovers the link between the two aforementioned characters.

Through these two videos, we understand just how essential music is for a film, and how it can be employed as a storytelling device to elevate the plot and emotional essence of the film.

Written By: Hetvi Kamdar

Curated By: Hetvi Kamdar


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