>> Friday, February 08, 2008

You know what I'm talking about--that music in movies that amp the watcher's tension. We all know it's there, we all know it starts out soft, then deepens, then intensifies until it's all but blaring by the time whatever event is building in the movie climaxes.

I'm watching Double Jeapordy tonight. I really love this movie. I'm not sure why--I'm not one to analyze much. Especially not movies. Somehow I find using movies to decipher turning points and character development ... confusing, to say the least. Of course Ashley Judd is an incredibly strong, charming and versatile heroine, with a compelling mission--actually a dual mission, a truly evil villain and incredibly high stakes. And the tension ... constantly rising and becoming more complex.

But what hit me as I was watching it was the music during a scene where Ashley Judd, out on parole, had broken into a school to obtain the name and address of her target. Of course, the cops come and she's at risk of being exposed. If she's caught, she goes back to jail.

The music during this scene escalated from a low, barely noticeable background in increments as the situation became more dyer -- she hears a car outside, she turns off the lights, she continues to search the file cabinets -- more frantically now -- to get the info as she hears them enter the school and their voices and footsteps get closer.

And what I realized was that the music in movies is the equivelance of emotion in novels. The inner tension in both mind and body rise slowly and continue to amp as the situation becomes more risky, more complicated. To do that, I use internals, utilizing deep, third person pov and mix them with graduating physical responses to that stress.

So...how do you do it?


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