【Watching the Trend of Literature and Art】
Author: Wu Jingjin (Postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Musicology, Central Conservatory of Music, teacher at Shenyang Conservatory of Music)
The 2023 China·Beijing TV Drama Festival will hold a TV Drama Music Industry Research Forum; the 7th Xiamen Film and Television Industry Forum in 2023 will also focus on the theme of “Film and Television + Music”… Recently, film and television music hot spots have appeared frequently, triggering public concerns about the innovative development of Chinese film and television music. discussion.
As an integral part of film and television art, film and television music plays an important role in improving the artistry of works and expanding the influence of works. In recent years, the level of audience appreciation has steadily improved, placing higher demands on film and television music creation. However, with the trend of increasing production and industry expansion, the phenomenon of “one song in a drama becoming popular, and one song in a drama becoming popular” in film and television music has become increasingly rare. How to develop film and television music so that more high-quality products can be sung loudly, stay with us, and spread for a long time, and empower film and television creations, requires the cooperation and dedicated exploration of film and television practitioners and musicians.
Stills from the movie “My Hometown and Me”
The combination of sound and picture bursts out powerful artistic power
Film and television art is a comprehensive art that combines sound and painting and audio-visual. Film and television music is one of its core elements. From silent films inviting live impromptu accompaniment by bands to sound films initially focusing on songs and ignoring instrumental soundtracks, from letting music match the picture to combining music and pictures to create an overall atmosphere, after more than a hundred years of development, film and television music has gradually developed themes Melody, interlude, scene music, character music and other types.
Good film and television music can serve as a “metronome” to assist the narrative. The “Road Back Home” chapter of the movie “My Hometown and Me” uses Qin Opera music to allow the audience to deeply experience the regional culture of Shaanxi, where the story takes place; the “Ma Liang” chapter uses music clips from the dance drama “The Nutcracker” to hint at the story A dramatic connection to Russia, where the music comes from.
Good film and television music can also be a “catalyst” to exaggerate emotions. In the movie “Fengshen Part 1: Chaoge Fengyun”, Ji Fa, who has experienced a fierce battle, drags his tired body and rides a horse in the sunset wilderness, accompanied by the melodious sound of the flute, showing his heroic pride and homesickness. In the TV series “Glory of Our Fathers”, Fengqin, who was new to the Gu family, couldn’t sleep at night, so her two brothers kept her warm by the fire. The warm scene complements the lyrics of “Spring, summer, autumn and winter pass quietly, with you accompanying me” in the episode “Fire”, giving a concrete expression of the sincere friendship between people.
Good film and television music can also be a “megaphone” that strengthens the theme. At the end of “The Long Season”, all the mysteries are solved and the old Wang Xiang feels relieved. As he ran, he shouted to himself who drove a train more than ten years ago: “Look forward, don’t look back!” At this time, the ending song “Look Back Again” sounded. The lyrics and lines were in sharp contrast, and the meaningful meaning left an infinite impression on the audience. daydream. In the movie “Changjin Lake”, the music of “Yimeng Mountain Minor” was played when the veteran Lei Gong died. The gentle tones corresponded to the tragic plot, highlighting the feelings of the volunteer soldiers who were not afraid of sacrifice in order to safeguard the tranquility of the motherland and the happiness of the people. These clips give full play to the functions of film and television music in promoting plot development, intensifying dramatic conflicts, portraying characters, and deepening theme ideas, demonstrating the artistic power of directly touching people’s hearts.
Assist in publicity and marketing and expand the influence of film and television works
When viewers watch film and television works, they will not only leave visual memories, but also sound memories, and gain a synesthetic experience. When we hear “One is the fairy flower of Langyuan, and the other is the flawless jade”, the scene of Jia Baoyu wiping Lin Daiyu’s tears in “A Dream of Red Mansions” will appear in front of our eyes; when we hear “May the world be peaceful and peaceful with fireworks, I really still want to “Live another five hundred years”, you will think of the grandeur of “Kangxi Dynasty”. It can be seen that film and television music can form memory points, improve recognition, promote the promotion and distribution of film and television works, and expand the influence of film and television works. Especially in the context of the rise of new media such as long and short video platforms and social networking sites, which provide new promotion scenarios for film and television works, film and television music just meets their fragmented and personalized communication requirements and can help the information related to film and television works to spread quickly on the Internet. . Film and television music is generally short in length and is suitable for dissemination in the form of short videos; it can provide a wealth of “element materials” and meet the consumer demands of netizens such as secondary creations; the crossover between film and television and music can also produce the effect of superimposed influence, and many song singers The fan base of music creators has become “tap water” and transformed into the influence of film and television works.
Therefore, more and more producers are willing to spend time on promoting film and television music. For example, the movie “Miracle: Stupid Kid” released the theme song “Still a Stupid Kid”, accompaniment song “Broader Sea and Sky”, new wish song “Back to You”, work-starting song “Run Forward”, blessing song “Good Luck Song”, The collection song “Woo Woo Woo” and many other songs. In addition to the “song sea tactic”, practitioners also use film and television songs for event marketing. For example, the movie “Four Seas” held a “Four Seas Song Concert” and invited the film’s creators and singers to perform the film’s film and television music. On the day of the live broadcast, the number of viewers exceeded 1.2 million. There are also film and television works such as “About Winter”, which are directly adapted from popular classic songs, creating a nostalgic atmosphere during marketing and evoking the youthful memories of a generation.
As film studios pay more and more attention to film and television music, their promotion expenses have also increased, often reaching millions of dollars. However, the scale of the film and television market and the budget of film and television works are limited, and the investment in music promotion and distribution is large, it is necessary to reduce the cost of other links, especially music creation. Not only that, some practitioners regard film and television music as a marketing tool, focusing on its topicality and dissemination, that is, how many potential audiences it can attract, how many clicks and box office it can convert into, and even regard winning eyeballs as the “first priority” of creation. On the contrary, Ignoring the ideological and artistic nature of the music itself and its compatibility with film and television works.
Stills from the TV series “Glory of Our Fathers”
Electronic music technology provides more possibilities for creation
In recent years, technological development has provided convenient conditions for film and television music production. In the past, when producing film and television music, performers and singers were required to convert the notes on the music sheet into actual sounds. For larger band works, dozens or even hundreds of people need to be organized to rehearse and perform and record in the studio. This time-consuming and laborious production method is now gradually being replaced by electronic music production technology. A computer can complete the entire creative process, and can even produce many sound effects that cannot be achieved by traditional means. Electronic music production equipment can also form a storage library, and creators can directly retrieve sound materials based on the subject matter, style, and content of film and television works, and find suitable sound materials. These functions provide more convenience for film and television music creation.
However, the intervention of electronic music production technology has also further highlighted the problem of fast food and stereotypes in film and television music creation. In order to pursue fast pace and low cost, some music creators of film and television dramas, especially micro-short dramas, rush into creation without in-depth understanding and thinking of the content, plot, and theme of film and television works, and select music with similar styles from electronic storage libraries. The sound materials are simply processed, or even “canned music” is directly used, that is, some ready-made fragments of music to accompany or connect the plot. This results in film and television music with simple and unfocused melodies, “full of routines” in harmonies, and lack of individuality in orchestration. What’s more, there is a disconnect between music and plot. For example, costume idol dramas use Western classical music as the soundtrack and lyrical melodies for comedy segments. Not only do they not assist in telling the plot, but they overshadow the drama and reduce the overall quality of the film and television drama.
Correct the trend and change “assembly line production” to “tailor-made”
Compared with developed countries in the film and television industry, where film and television music investment accounts for 5% to 8% of the total cost of film and television dramas, and the soundtrack team has hundreds of people, China’s film and television music industry is still in the “small workshop” stage of operation. Film and television and The music cooperation mechanism also needs to be improved. How to better integrate music and film and television and serve each other has become a question before practitioners. First of all, producers should change their concepts, face up to the important role of film and television music, and provide broad imagination space and strong financial support for film and television music creation. On the premise of attaching importance to artistic quality, the communication function of film and television music should be appropriately utilized to open up the production and communication chain.
Secondly, film and television music creators should correct their creative attitude, improve their production level, be brave in innovation and breakthrough, and turn “assembly line production” into “tailor-made”. Life is the foundation of music creation. Only by being deeply rooted in life and rooted in reality can we create works that inspire and resonate with people. Therefore, creators should have the footwork to collect materials from all over the country, the vision to dig deep into the treasures of traditional folk culture, the brainpower to understand the characteristics of regional music and condense its essence, and the writing power to reinvent the wheel countless times. Only in this way can true feelings be revealed naturally, and film and television music can truly enter the inner world of the viewer and achieve emotional resonance and value recognition.
Thirdly, film and television music creators should work together with other film and television creators and work in both directions. No matter how beautiful and gorgeous the film and television music is, if it is separated from the film and television works, it is just “self-admiration”. Therefore, film and television music creators should have in-depth exchanges with directors, screenwriters, etc., fully understand various information and production processes of film and television works, accurately grasp the artistic style and plot direction of film and television works, and think about how to design the main theme and sub-theme , how to connect the front and back, how to design artistic highlights in different paragraphs, etc., so that music and visual images can interact with each other to build rich and full dramatic content.
In short, as the concepts of practitioners are updated and iterated, the film and television music market is becoming increasingly mature. In the future, we can fully expect that film and television songs will create a beautiful era of classic collections with superb artistic quality and far-reaching social benefits.
“Guangming Daily” (November 15, 2023, page 15)