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Thursday, November 08, 2012

Trailer Talk: "World War Z"

The recently released trailer for "World War Z" utilizes a similar musical motif to that used by "Promethius", but not to the same effect. First, the Prometheus trailer. Listen, particularly, to the music in the final 20 seconds:


Next World War Z, listen at 1:50:

No, it's not the same sound, but they're definitely imitating.

When the Prometheus trailer hit theaters, the web buzzed with anticipation, and much of the talk had to do with that primal, primitive, scream-like sound used in the trailer's music.  People bought the soundtrack before seeing the film, hoping to get that haunting, frightening score, but as it turns out, it was just a music track the trailer-editing company dropped in to the trailer, and did not come from the film at all.

I think the "World War Z" trailer is clearly imitating the effect used in the "Prometheus" trailer, but whereas the "Prometheus" effect sounds like a weird, alien scream, the musical effect in the "World War Z" trailer just sounds like a slightly upset whale.  I don't think it works here -- at least, not nearly as powerfully or viscerally as in the "Prometheus" trailer.

That's not to say that "World War Z" doesn't look exciting.  But if you're going to "borrow" a creative impulse from an earlier source (and let's face it, much of art requires this kind of "borrowing"), make sure it works in the context of what you're doing!

Frankly, with the ant-swarm-like imagery, I think something more in-line with the snake-pit music from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" might have been creepier...

What do you think?

1 comment:

Arnon Shorr said...

Now that Brad Bird re-tweeted a link to this post, I figure I should add some juicy detail.

The memorable "Primal Scream" from the Prometheus trailer came from a track called "Judge and Jury", from the album "Deus ex Machina" by Audiomachine. See this Fast Company article: