You've been thunderstruck! the marketing of film to an established popular music audience of AC/DC fans

Natalie Lewandowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Popular music can be used as a powerful marketing force when linked in conjunction with feature film. This paper examines the roles of scored and popular music in the context of film through the analysis of Australian film Thunderstruck (Ashton 2004). AC/DC very rarely grant permission for their music and brand to be used in any commercial ventures, including film (Tucak 2004: 1) - they did however agree to be associated with Thunderstruck. This association was extensively used throughout the film's script and marketing, as well as on the soundtrack album release. The film's affiliation with a high profile band resulted in an already established audience of music fans. This paper questions whether the association of such popular music groups in plot and sound design can positively affect the film's positioning to audiences. Enquiries are made about the decision making process in film soundtrack creation with regards to scored music and the selection of pre-recorded music tracks. The paper also examines the use of music as a comedic device within Thunderstruck and highlights the transferral of this humour onto the soundtrack CD. The paper investigates the role of music in contributing to the box office success of a film in which music is a major component. Furthermore, the paper questions whether Thunderstruck would have received similar box office results had AC/DC chosen not to affiliate themselves with the film. The paper bases its findings in both secondary interviews released at the time of the film and primary interviews with those involved in the film's music production, in particular the perspectives of composers Francois Tetaz and David Thrussell and their reflections on the infusion of AC/DC into an orchestral score.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInstruments of change
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Australia-New Zealand 2010 Conference
EditorsJennifer Cattermole, Graeme Smith, Shane Homan
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherInternational Association for the Study of Popular Music
Pages63-70
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780975774748
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Association for the Study of Popular Music Australia-New Zealand Conference - Melbourne
Duration: 24 Nov 201026 Nov 2010

Conference

ConferenceInternational Association for the Study of Popular Music Australia-New Zealand Conference
CityMelbourne
Period24/11/1026/11/10

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