Almost Famous vs SE7EN, Revisited

I've been thinking a lot recently about the impact of sound on design. Yesterday, I decided to revisit the film title comparison I made between Almost Famous and SE7EN a few years ago.

Back then, I noted that the movies used identical strategies to opposite effect. Although I didn't think about it at the time, music played a big part in setting the tone. To explore this concept, I've switched the soundtracks between the two sequences (which are both about two minutes long).

SE7EN: Altered Soundtrack
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Almost Famous: Altered Soundtrack
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The result? SE7EN reminds me of one time when The Far Side got its caption swapped with Dennis the Menace in the newspaper. The music makes it all seem sort of nonsensical. Like a blissfully naive psycopath. Overall, it's too bizarre to really work.

Almost Famous shows a much more marked contrast. The visuals are neutral enough that the discordant music completely shifts them. Now, the sweet handwritten credits seem more like the 'to-do' list for a serial killer.

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