by Emily Weber

Many things come to mind when I think of the 80’s: Duran Duran, big hair, jellyshoes, Molly Ringwald, and…. ROBOTS!  Yes, robots. We seemed to be pretty obsessed with robots in the 80’s, am I right?

Some of the worst and best movies of the 80’s featured a robot of some sort. Remember these trailers?  Short Circuit, Terminator, Spacecamp (ok, this one doesn’t feature robots, but it did have a robot!) and…

Anyone recognize the music in the RoboCop Trailer?  CLICK HERE for the answer.

Is it odd that one robot movie would use the music from another robot movie?  In my first TRAILER MUSIC TALK (TMT) article, I stated that it is not typical for a trailer to use music from the film in the trailer, but I never did clarify the use of music from ANOTHER film for a trailer – this does happen sometimes. But back to the robots…

There are a couple of blockbuster ROBOT movies coming up soon. One of them, ironically, is releasing on the same date as The Golden Trailer Awards in two weeks – the 3rd in a series of Michael Bay-directed movies based on a very popular 1980’s TOY called TRANSFORMERS. The other one stars Hugh Jackman and combines two things us Americans love: Fighting and Robots.

The Real Steel trailer has quite a bit of music in it, three of the tracks being “Kolniður” by Jónsi“Knuckle Up” supplied by Brand X Music, and the backend of the trailer contains the song, “The Wings of Icarus” by Celldweller feat. James Dooley.   For you TV/Film composer buffs out there, you are probably already quite familiar with Emmy award-winning composer, James Dooley (Pushing Daisies, Wilfred, Neighbors From Hell, Franklin & Bash, etc.).  For you trailer music and industrial/electronic music fans out there already familiar with the band Celldweller, I’m guessing you didn’t know about the collaboration that is “Wings of Icarus.”  Rock and/or electronic music mixed with orchestral elements is definitely not new in the trailer world, and for a minute there I thought the trend was going to die, but I can assure you from practically living inside the belly of the beast that hybrid music isn’t going away anytime soon.  I’ll let that statement be a little hint to all you trailer composers reading this blog…. My big question is will Celldweller and Jim Dooley collaborate again?  We’ll just have to see….

Does anyone remember the original Transformers movie from 1986?  The trailer contains the most rockin’ song ever! “Touch” by Stan Bush.  Damn, what a mullet!  Michael Bay’s various mullet-like hairstyles do not compare.

Having worked in the trailer music industry for as long as I have, I have seen trends come and go, and some trends stick around a long time (i.e. the hybrid styles I mention above). Of course there are the trend setters and the trend followers as well. In last month’s article regarding Superhero trailer music, I mentioned the challenge that trailer music suppliers are faced with in having to anticipate the type of music trailer producers will need for upcoming films. One of this year’s trends has been the low ‘barrrrrooom’ effect made with low brass and strings in an orchestra as demonstrated in the Inception trailer last year. I must give kudos to the 2010 trendsetter, Pusher Music, and their song, “Mind Heist” for starting that. I am impressed (or am I annoyed, now that I get asked for “Inception-y” music every day).  My friends who are film score buffs will argue that Hans Zimmer set that trend, but that is not my expertise, I’m the Trailer Music Dork. Having said that, let’s take a look at the Transformers 3 Dark Of The Moon trailer:

The first half is a fantastic cue provided by Methodic Doubt called “Thorgasm.”.  Make note of the style of this music and please do yourself a favor and watch it a second time with new ears listening to the sound design in this trailer. The second half is a totally rockin’ piece of music from Pusher Music called “Prelude.”.  I admit, I’m not into the Transformer movies, but this trailer makes me want to go see it!

I hope you are enjoying my monthly articles, I feel like I have touched on many things over the past few months: indie songs, major songs, orchestral music, rock, electronic/orchestral hybrids, etc. and maybe it’s got you thinking about trailer music in a different way. Tune in next month when I stray away from traditional music and will discuss sound design. Did you know that sound design can be musical? To be continued…



Emily Weber has specialized in music for trailers since approximately 2004. She currently works at Position Music, a trailer music supplier and publishing company/record label.