What’s Happening To Film Soundtracks?

What’s Happening To Film Soundtracks?

Can you sing a Marvel superhero theme tune? This video essay explains why you probably can’t!

What have the following film series have in common? Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman and The Terminator. Confused? Well, they all have memorable themes. Name one of those films and it’s a good chance someone could sing the title theme to you.

However take something a little more recent? As an example taken from the video, I’ll say Iron Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Can you sing the theme tune? No? Can you pick another Marvel film and sing that instead?

As this brilliant two part video demonstrates, the use of temp tracks in film production is changing the way film soundtrack is being created.

A temporary soundtrack is used whilst a film is in the editing stages. The temporary music is lifted from other films to help the director edit his film and so he can give his composer an idea of what he is looking for.

However, as the video demonstrates, this has been going on for so long that composers are creating the same music as the temp track but just different enough to make sure the studio won’t face any legal issues.

Watching these videos, it made me think about what I’ve been listening to. As a film nerd, I listen to the Dark Knight Trilogy, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Back to the Future, but a lot less of my catalogue is made up of anything recent. I think Every Frame a Painting, the people behind this video essay, have a valid point. I certainly don’t have any Marvel soundtracks in my collection.

If this subject it’s not really in your interest, I at least urge you to watch the second video which includes examples of scores that have been “imitated” for the film’s final release. I find the similarities staggering and never realised this had been happening in Hollywood.



John Abbitt

About the author | John Abbitt

@UKFilmNerd | John loves the movies and he used to write for his own website, The Tydirium Hangar Bay, in the late 1990's. Whilst the web page idea became lost in the passages of time, John's love of film did not. Now he's back, writing for The Unheard Nerd.

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