The Weekly FMP Blog #3 – The Search For The 50s Feel (6th – 10th March)

Music is a big part of the 50s detective genre with smooth sax and piano playing while a deep sounding voice talks over it.

Yes, it’s cliché and yes, it’s been used many times but that’s what this genre is about and without the music there wouldn’t be anything special about it. In the past week, I have found music from YouTube, albums and films to help get a feel for the era I’m writing in.

Fallout 4 is a 1950s styled post-apocalyptic game set in 2287. The Diamond City radio station in the game is filled with vintage 50s music like ‘The Wanderer’ by Dion DiMucci, ‘I Don’t Want to Set the World On Fire’ by The Ink Spots and ‘Uranium Fever’ by Elton Britt. These classic songs really capture what 50s music was all about and is really distinct from the other generations of music. Some songs are really bouncy which isn’t what I’m currently after but the rest are really dark and gritty as it talks about nuclear war and violence, but still, make you dance inside. There are currently just over 100 minutes of upbeat, brilliant songs on the soundtrack and will help immensely when it comes to writing the script.

YouTube is full to the brim with originality and creativity and from a colleague’s love of old fashioned music, I found a channel called ‘PostmodernJukebox’. What they do on their channel is perform covers of modern day music but turn it into a mid-1900s genre of music. They have become very popular in recent years, obtaining 2.6 million subscribers in just under a decade. This all started with Scott Bradlee (the piano player) performing solos in his living room and has grown to a point where he brings in popular singers to perform covers and even go on tours.

My two favourites of theirs are ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ and ‘Gangster’s Paradise’ which are the best examples I can show you to see how amazing they are at what they do. Even though they are taking modern day music and manipulating it, I can still listen to them and it can have the same tone and feel to it as an actual 50s song.

Now looking at professional artists, Imelda May with her album ‘Mayhem’ is one of the best old style albums in recent history. Each song is a poetic and inspiring piece of music and is definitely my favourite album to date. She started singing when she was 16 and in 2002 began playing in her own band. Her first album, ‘No Turning back,’ was released in 2003, and since then has been making amazing music in the London area.

‘Too Sad to Cry’ is one of her best songs and captures the style and tone of old detective films – it could fit easily into any dark and gritty film. I am tempted to use this song in my film but I need to keep in mind that copyright exists and I need to be careful with the music I use to make sure I don’t get in trouble.

I haven’t watched all of the films I listed last week yet but when I do, I will pay close attention to the music, what it sounds like, what I feel when it comes on and what I can take away from it when choosing my own music. I’ll also dedicate a section in my reviews of the films for music just so I can flesh out my feelings and ideas.

Hopefully, all this will help me complete my script in the right mindset and should give me an idea of what music I want in my actual film. Next week is the hand in week for my Proposal, Time Planner, Action Plan and Harvard helper which I need to complete to pass this course. If I impress my peers with my idea and how I’m going to make, it should be smooth sailing, and I can then start going full throttle and getting this project done.

 

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