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Newton’s law of universal gravitation is this: Crazy people gravitate to the silver screen. Or that’s what it should be. You need only to step through a movie theater’s doors to find proof. There’s the inevitable Chewbacca or Iron Man in the concessions line, and the mother who won’t buy her kids candy but purchases a dog-sized bag of calorie-laden, sodium-stuffed buttered popcorn instead. Inside the theater itself, there’s even more strangeness to go around. Teenagers pull sodas and snacks out of backpacks and congratulate one another as though they’ve successfully smuggled crack cocaine onto an airplane. The lights dim, and a hyena laugh echoes around the theater at the most inappropriate moments, like when somebody gets their head cut off or loses their job. And, of course, there is always a perplexing contingent of people who don’t seem to want to watch the movie at all: the cell phone junkies, the serial snorers. One wonders how they can sleep at night knowing they spent twelve dollars and fifty cents on something they didn’t see.

There’s one more crazy person that you might not notice unless you’re watching a Marvel movie, or if you just like to sit through the end credits. She sits in the front and holds her breath during the last shot of the film. The screen goes black, the names scroll, and the girl stands up and waves her arms in time with the music. Tears stream down her face. Possibly she sings along with the orchestra.

That girl is me. I am the Credits Conductor.

Well, okay, I made up the part about standing up. I usually just sit in my chair and hold a private conducting session within the confines of my seat, but I have been known to let out a strangled cry of “I love you” whenever John Williams’s name appears on the screen. Am I embarrassed? No. No, I am not.

I love movies. I love their ability to reveal some of the craziness in this world and organize it through the medium of storytelling. Because of this, I’m a sucker for a great film score. Composers catalogue the emotional highs and lows of character arcs, form landscapes, and foreshadow key plot points through their work. They are storytellers just as much as any screenwriter. The shudder of strings, the magic of chimes, I just, I can’t…

 

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(Five minute interlude while I listen to Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings and breathe into a paper bag.)

 

Alright, I’m better now.

I created The Credits Conductor to discuss the role that individual pieces of music play in film storytelling. Because my focus is on how the music holds up other aspects of the movie, I have decided that I will not write any posts about a piece of music from a movie I have not seen. Warning – these posts may not be spoiler free. I am talking about the story, after all. I will try to warn the reader of potential major spoilers ahead of time but if you really want to play it safe, don’t read any posts for movies you haven’t seen. I also want to focus on pieces many people might not have noticed the first time they watch a movie – so the “Jaws” theme is out.

Maybe you’re one of the crazy people in the movie theater, too, or perhaps you’re actually sane (if so, good for you!)  Either way, feel free to leave a comment on any post and ask me questions or suggest film scores/ composers for me to cover. I’d be happy to do so. This site is, in some ways, my therapy – it gives me an outlet to talk about my obsessions so that I won’t crack and start singing “The Imperial March” in my sleep.

You get to witness my full and unbridled insanity. Lucky you.

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