I love Gilmore Girls.
There, I said it.
Probably not for the same reasons that my fiancee loves the show (the whole mother/daughter BFF’s thing), but I think it’s also one of the best written TV shows of our generation.
Amy Sherman-Palladino (the creator/long-time showrunner) is a master at writing witty, fast-paced dialogue that not only moves the story, but perfectly encapsulates the personalities of each character, and the relationships between them all.
The other thing that I’ve always loved about Gilmore Girls was the music.
Not only does the music sound good, but it always seems to be the perfect theme in the perfect place to help tell the story.
Turns out Sherman-Palladino was very particular about how music was used on the show. And very critical of how music is frequently used in film & TV.
I think music on television is just uniformly dreadful. It is mundane, it says nothing. They use it to say, “Here’s a funny moment!” … you know? It’s not an extension of the drama, it’s distraction. It’s like, “I’ll distract you, so you won’t know how shitty the show is…
She goes on to say that there were some Gilmore Girls episodes that they put in very little music, because they didn’t feel like the drama of the story called for it.
Sherman-Palladino views music as an extension of the drama. You wouldn’t just add extra dialogue, shots, or scenes to a film unless the drama called for it, right? But so many TV shows and films just throw music in for the sake of having music, so it doesn’t really mean anything.
To her, it was basically like “throwing a washing machine sound effect in there” under the dialogue–there’s no point to it, and it’s completely unnecessary and distracting.
For many filmmakers, it seems like music is an afterthought. I’ve seen many, many films where it seems like they just threw in a handful of canned music tracks (that sounded bad AND didn’t match the tone of the film) just so they could say that they used music in the film. But there was no rhyme or reason to it, and the music certainly did not help to tell the story.
So…how do YOU use music in your films?
In a really intentional way, or are you throwing it in like the washing machine sound effect? If it’s the latter, is this because you’re not sure how to use music really effectively?
Be honest here. Reply back to this email and let me know.
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I love Gilmore Girls.