music reporter

'Silence' music video making YouTube noise

Film marketing has taken on a new face this week: music videos on YouTube. A down-and-dirty video featuring footage from the Universal Pictures film "Dead Silence" has received more than 42,000 views. The video, made for less than $10,000, was cut to "We Sleep Forever" by posthardcore band Aiden. The Seattle quintet's label, Victory Records, pitched the song, and Universal execs decided to use it — but not in the film. In fact, the song is nowhere in "Silence," not even the end title. Now, it's a value add on the soundtrack album, which also features a score by former Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Charlie Clouser. The YouTube video also will be added onto the DVD release of the film.

Kathy Nelson, president of film music at Universal Pictures, says this type of guerrilla marketing is a vehicle to promote film releases online. In fact, Nelson is using this approach on the companion to the upcoming comedy "Knocked Up," from Judd Apatow, director and co-writer of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," and she's choosing small label partners rather than major powerhouses. The "Silence" soundtrack was released Tuesday on Lakeshore Records, and the "Knocked Up" album will be on Concord Records.

"Lakeshore and Concord are being much more aggressive about how to market online," Nelson says. "It's all about iTunes, YouTube and cyberspace."

"Knocked Up" represents another trend in film soundtracks: concept albums highlighting one artist — think Simon & Garfunkel and "The Graduate" or Badly Drawn Boy and "About a Boy." "Knocked Up" features numerous tracks penned by singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, produced by Joe Henry. However, because not all of Wainwright's songs found a home in the movie, Concord is releasing "Strange Weirdoes: Songs From and Inspired by Knocked Up," which will hit stores a week before the film's June 1 release.

"Judd really wanted to do this (inspired by) soundtrack because he felt like he wasn't going to be able to use all of Loudon's songs in the film," Nelson says. "Right now, nobody cares about soundtrack albums, so you might as well create something that is a concept album."

Logan Noh contributed to this column.
comments powered by Disqus