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Lawrence Bender’s Production Duties and Developing the Kill Bill Vol. 1 Soundtrack

The art of selecting songs and instrumentals for a motion picture’s soundtrack requires tremendous thought. Simply inserting random songs at any point in the narrative won’t work. Appropriately matching the audio to the visual images on the screen, can create an amazing effect on the film. Improperly choosing music, however, could ruin even a great piece of cinema. The Kill Bill movies deserve great acclaim for their amazing choice of musical selections. Actually, director Quentin Tarantino and producer Lawrence Bender both deserve the bulk of the credit. The two truly delivered one of the most memorable movie soundtracks of all time.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 revisited Tarantino’s desire to draw attention to forgotten songs and music from years past. Lawrence Bender seems to be quite supportive of Tarantino’s artistic decisions. These decisions included picking odd selections such as “The Lonely Shepard” and a hyper version of the “Green Hornet” theme fit well at the points in which they can be heard. The use of Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang” helped establish the dark and grim events that eventually set in motion The Bride’s revenge many years later. “Flower of Carnage” paid a nice homage to the film that inspired Kill Bill Vol. 1, a Japanese film named Lady Snowblood. And then there’s “Battle without Honor or Humanity,” a fantastic choice for the incredible sword-fighting battle royal scene.

Lawrence Bender must have worked quite hard to assist in securing the rights for these appropriate selections. He deserves a lot of credit here. Securing the rights for songs isn’t always easy. The rights-holders sometimes ask for outrageous amounts of money. By pricing themselves out of the film, they deny people the ability to experience the selections for the first time. Also, a film might not turn out to be as great as it could be with secondary song choices cluttering the soundtrack.

Besides artistry, another benefit exists to creating a brilliant soundtrack. The soundtrack has the potential to sell well. Kill Bill Vol. 1 actually hit #45 on the Billboard 200 chart. That’s not exactly a multi-platinum seller, but a significant volume of copies did move. The revenue generated from the soundtrack sales further pushes up the profit margins of the Kill Bill movies. For Quentin Tarantino and Lawrence Bender to experience continued success, they must make money for the studios. Soundtracks help with this cause both through direct sales and related publicity.

The soundtracks also keep fans happy — a good business move to be sure.

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