Rhythmical Surprises

Some actions in a movie are supposed to have a surprise or even shocking effect to the audience. This does not only apply for obvious jump scares in the horror/thriller genre but also in pretty much any other genre.

If you hit such a moment musically, it should also be surprising in a musical context. If you establish a steady and clear 4/4 meter with your music and the “surprising” hit point falls on a downbeat of your music, the effect of a surprise will be diminished by the music as it is quite predictable.

It is much more effective to place such hit points also on rhythmically surprising moments in your music. There is of course a danger of having the feeling of “superimposing” a rhythm that feels unnatural with the rest of the music. Try to make musical sense of such moments in spite of their unpredictability.

Also not every hit point needs to be handled like these, some accents can also be visually anticipated (e.g. an arm movement before the fist hits something) in which cases it is usually fine to place the hit (if neccessary) on a more predictable rhythmical moment.

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