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 Music score in Fight scenes 
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Joined: Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:11 pm
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Post Music score in Fight scenes
I was listening to a podcast interview from Gareth Evans, Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese on scoring The Raid: Redemption (http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=9323) and it got me thinking on how do you score the music for a fight scenes? Do you take the rhythmic quality of fight choreography into account when scoring the music? Or vice versa?

Evans says he orchestrate every punchs, block, and kicks as visual repercussion/beats in a fight scenes. I remember hearing Jackie Chan in an interview that he also does the same thing, using beats to structure his fight scenes.


Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:24 am
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
Usually the most appealing fight scenes I've seen have some sort of synchronising.
Doesn't really matter which comes first, the scene or the score, so long as the result's the same.

For example, the Lobby scene in the Matrix was shot specifically to sync with Spybreak by The Proppeller Heads. Where as the sword theft scene in Crouching Tiger where Michelle Yeoh fights Zhang Ziyi had it's score composed afterwards.


Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:11 pm
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
Most profesh movies are scored to sync with what's been shot. What I've started doing with my indie stuff is using something fairly minimal for background music and adding swells and stings from a royalty-free library when necessary.

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Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:51 pm
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
I think most movies are scored after the fact. I didn't know that The Matrix scene was shot to the music. That's interesting to know because I've been meaning to choreograph a fight scene that's entirely based on the music selected ahead of time.


Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:32 pm
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
I can't imagine choreographing to music, sounds like a total nightmare. Dealing with the shot lengths, edits might be imprecise

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Fri Apr 20, 2012 7:08 pm
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Quite the opposite actually, it makes things stupidly easy. Which is why a lot of people look down on it because it's seen as cheating. Most of Tarantino's stuff is done with pre-selected music. Cat People in Basterds, Stuck In The Middle With You in Reservoir Dogs.
You do have to have a pretty clear vision of what the finished scene looks like though.


Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:02 am
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
I think Tarantino has the soundtrack picked out, but I doubt he did what Eric was saying...which was to do it 40's musical style, in which every shot is rehearsed like a dance number.


Sun Apr 22, 2012 1:26 am
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
Having a clear vision of the finished scene is not stupidly easy though, that's the main caveat. You can do your shotlist, but that means sticking to the exact timing of it. It'd be a waste of time, I'd rather get a rough from the composer, then shoot something relatively close to that, and then let him re-compose after the edit's done.

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Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:19 pm
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Different strokes for different folks.
I guess that in your case you've watched a lot of 80s HK fights where there isn't any music and that's what you've learned from. Where as I used to be involved in an animation community where everyone did synced action scenes to music and being able to edit ahead of time in your head was what stopped you from spending hours animating something you'd end up scrapping.
I can come up with stuff without a soundtrack, but it makes me question all the time whether it's working or not. Usually I can fall back on stuff I've already imagined from listening to music in general, but I try to avoid it if I can.


Tue Apr 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
I often find myself editing to the beat of the music. Maybe not filming to the beat of the music. But before I sit down to edit my footage I already have the songs picked.


I think thats why certain fights in films like Blade or Mortal Kombat work so well. Nothing like popping your head to some kick ass music while watching a fight lol

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Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:02 am
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
I think there's a danger in over syncing your fights with the music. If every hit has a corresponding beat, then you lose the whole point of music: to emphasize parts of the fight. Pick one or two points in the song to line up with the most important hits of the fight.

If you sync up every hit, you're making every hit important. And when you make every hit important, none of them are important. If you want a case study in over syncing music, watch the new Total Recall. He opens a drawer! BOOOM! He walks outside! CYMBAL ROLL! And on and on..


Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:33 pm
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
(same goes for editing, don't edit on every beat. same reasons plus it feels cheesy once the audience 'gets' that you're doing that)


Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Music score in Fight scenes
Tough topic to have a conclusive answer, in pure opinion fashion, i think the music needs to be selected according to the type of "feel" you're after in fight

take jackie chan vs benny urquidez's fight in dragons forever, the score is intense, yet makes you feel on edge, and it gels well in the story of the fight when benny intially gains the upper hand, and that feeling of excitement behind it
in contrast to when they have their fight in wheels on meals, when jackie decides to treat the fight as a training scene (after getting beat up), you can see his playful nature come into effect with the light hearted soundtrack


Fri Aug 02, 2013 11:35 pm
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