Thinking Like A Musical

Pacing Your Video With An Emotional Flow

If you’re in the process of creating any type of non-reality show, CSS Music suggests it might be wise to sit down and watch a musical or two. Better yet, support your local theatre groups or national touring companies and see one live; the impact of a live performance can be absolutely breathtaking. But why see a musical you ask?

Like a film that’s built in 3 acts, a musical does likewise, typically in 2 acts. While film and live stage plays/musicals share a commonality in exposition, development and conclusion, a musical adds another dimension: the impact of music that explores a character, advances the plot or creates moments of humor, pathos or triumph. And you can apply this methodology, even if your characters don’t sing a note!

Even putting together a corporate AV video, musical elements can take your show from ho-hum to historic. For example, when you’re writing the opening, why not get creative and use a style of music that sets the tone for the show? Remember, it’s no longer cool to be staid and simply factual. You want to engage your viewers from the start and hold their attention for the next X minutes.

As you get into the facts/figures/graphics portion of the presentation, scoring each element with music that reflects what’s on the screen can be dramatic. Even a usually starchy HR video can be brought to life with the right read from your narrator, underscored with the appropriate music. (Don’t be afraid to use stage directions in your script! Announcers really appreciate knowing the direction you want them to take.)

If you have a talking head as part of your presentation, imagine he’s singing instead of simply speaking. While it might get a bit goofy to change musical moods on every one of his/her talking points, a couple well-edited transformations might really make your video soar.


As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, CSS Music has served the AV/Video community for decades and we’re still here creating music for you guys & gals. (“Guys and Dolls?”) Rethinking your writing with an eye toward the emotional power of a musical may be just the ticket for your next show!