The Importance of Setting the Ambient

While watching a movie most people ignore important facts and important details that after watching the movie might determine if they liked it or not, but it doesn’t mean that your brain completely ignored them because your brain digests things very different from what you do. That is why I want to talk about the importance of setting the ambient of the movie with two examples, Baby Driver and Drive.

I recently watched Drive by Nicolas Winding Refn for the first time, and I felt something very similar to another movie called Baby Driver by Edgar Wright. I noticed some similarities, and I’m not only talking about the driving that both movies involve, which obviously do have something to do with the similarities, but I noticed how the first act of the movie set a very specific mood and they both create a completely different feeling from the first five minutes. The introduction to the characters is also intentionally messy and different from normal introductions, you get to know each character by a different reason and they are all unique and special. But the main focus here is how the music that each movie uses is completely different one from the other.

If you have seen Baby Driver you might notice how it seems like the movie is just a long playlist of songs, you find out why and how it is important while watching but it remains fascinating how everything that happens seems so synchronized and perfectly executed it pups you up and makes the movie far more entertaining. Mix that with the popular short fragment-fast paced filming style that Edgar Wright uses and you get two hours of pure adrenaline. This was all planned with a specific motive and is used in favor of the movie’s flow. It needs to be fast paced, because the life of Baby already feels like a movie and mixed with how he always listens to music gives him the feeling that he lives in a movie. This makes the movie unique in it’s own way.

Now, when you watch Drive you are also at the edge of your seat, but for different reasons, and the ambient has pretty much everything to do with it too. If you have watched Drive, you might have noticed that it is a dark and cruel movie revolving very similar topics as the ones used in Baby Driver, and from here, I want to mention something incredibly interesting that I noticed. Drive only has a few songs completing it’s soundtrack, but they don’t play during the most adrenaline filled moments, they only play during emotional moments, what do we have during those scenes where everything seems to fall apart you may ask? Ambient sounds, just the sounds of normal life, this causes our brains to feel more tense, specially since cinematographers of the 21st century have taught our brains that after a silence comes a big boom moment into existence, specially popularized by jump scares in horror movies, but as you may have noticed, Drive isn’t a horror movie, but your brain doesn’t know it, your brain thinks that something big is about to happen which causes a chain reaction in your nervous system causing it to put your whole body into a “defense mode”. That is why the movie feels fast paced even when we are getting long shots and relatively slow scenes. That is why the movie is so enjoyable, because it doesn’t feel long or tedious, it is easy to digest and memorable.

Now, both movies are exceptional examples of how to set the mood for a movie and I chose them because they have a similar thematic, but there are many other examples of setting the mood and letting you know what to expect, in fact I dare you to try to figure out what the directors or producers are trying to say with the next movie you watch just with the music that they play or the soundtrack they use. Who knows, you might enjoy watching movies even more this way.

I obviously have many things to say about both movies, they are great by themselves and have interesting concepts that could be talked about in the future on a post by themselves. But for now, let me know what your opinion is on this specific topic.

Sorry for not writing anything in so long. I have many scripts that are unfinished and I hope to publish more often from now on. This last month has been a bit hectic, but I’m back with new ideas and opinions.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review. Tell me what you think of this topic, do you consider the ambient sounds and music as something important while watching your movies? Let me know if you think I should make my reviews shorter or longer. I’d love to hear your opinion.

What should I review next? Tell me in the comment section below.

Published by nationsofthe21stday

I'm a pretty cool introvert, I think. I like books, short stories, and coffee. I'm trying to start a blog where I can share my opinion on movies, sometimes I feel like some movies are popular even when they don't deserve it and sometimes I feel like people watch movies, just because it's the "popular must-watch of the weekend". I want to give fresh and authentic opinions from a place of wanting to help. I also enjoy writing short stories, maybe one of these days I'll write something that makes me so proud that I will share it with you guys but for now, I'll share my opinion on movies.

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