Gregory Harbin wrote:
I'm sure Scott…Steve…Frogurt, whatever his name is, could speak to why trailer editors have to use themes from earlier movies in trailers, and what forces end up making the same five themes be used over and over.
Get 'im in here!
As for why trailers use existing movie scores…
There's no universal answer to why another movie's theme is used in marketing, but the safest would be that it illicits the right type of emotion to tell a story that quickly.
In most cases, humans respond to emotion first, logic/story/context/everything else second. The quickest way to emotion is music.
Movie score music is generally designed entirely around emotion first, while a chunk of standard music may have other priorities, like singing about having boats and money or breaking up with your ‘boo right before prom (aw yeah gurl).
Regardless, I'd say it's not freakishly SUPER common to hear movie scores in trailers. I mean, think of ALL the trailers out there each week (plus it’s way expensive to license a movie’s score). Everyone here is probably in the upper 1% of observational intelligence, especially for movies, so when “I Am Legend” uses a (modified, drummed up) cue from “The Fountain,” it sticks out to ya’ll. In reality, 99% of people don't remember specific scores, they just feel something when they watch a trailer then remember that feeling.
Most trailers use library music, specifically made to sound like movie scores, with perfect timing for segmented, evolving storytelling. IE the new Harry Potter trailer is library stuff from years ago.