Baby Driver SOUNDTRACK ANALYSIS How Edgar Wright Created An Action Musical


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Hi! Im Erik Voss, And The New Movie,

Baby Driver, is one of the most thrilling, entertaining films I’ve ever seen. Director Edgar Wright,, who also made Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. . the World, is one of my favorite filmmakers. His whole visual style, and the way he has been increasingly setting his films to music, with choreographed action scenes that play out like music videos.

Now With Baby Driver, Wright Takes

this method to a whole new level., writing the full 35 song soundtrack into the script, and letting each song dictate the narrative of the scene that it’s in. Now,. This is the opposite of how music normally works in films. Traditionally, scenes are written and shot and edited, and then a composer composes the score to the scene.


He said he was actually warned by director Quentin Tarantino not to write the exact songs. into the script before shooting, because often it’s hard for the studio to secure the rights to use these songs. But Wright did it anyway. And he blasted this music over speakers on set, and had actors and crew people listen to synchronized ipods.

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The end result is that it all plays out like an action musical. Like Stomp, but with cars. Honestly, it feels a lot more like after you see a Fast and Furious movie, and you’re driving home and some great song comes over the radio, and then suddenly you’re in a movie, Ba-da-da-da-da-da-da-da, then you’re getting pulled over, and you start crying because cops intimidate you. .


So, let’s look at the most interesting examples of how Edgar Wright uses specific music to construct a scene in Baby Driver. And spoiler warning, if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Seriously, go watch it. Okay, let’s start.

The Music In This Opening Heist

scene is UK by John Spencer, Blues, Explosion. Edgar Wright actually said this song is what inspired the whole film. Back in the 90s when he was 21 and broke, he listened to UK and noticed how it starts out with a steady blues riff and then two minutes in, it explodes into this frantic garage rock jam. He said how this shift in the music made him visualize an entire car chase film scene, and then years later. In 2011, after Wright made a few movies that were successful, he directed a music video for Mint Royale called Blue Song.


He said that that vision in his head transformed into this concept of a getaway driver waiting while a heist goes down, rocking out alone in a car to the beat of the music, with the song used as a timer for. The Heist. He actually planned for this music video to be the opening scene of his eventual film, Baby Driver, and six years later, that’s pretty much what he did. The first two minutes of Bell Bottoms is the timer for Buddy, Darling and Griff to rob the bank.


Then when they return, the music kick arrives and the chase begins, with each tire screech and police siren all set to the beat of the music. Now. This synchronization might have reminded you of the trailers for Suicide Squad, the way Gunfire and punches all correspond to Bohemian Rhapsody, However, Wright actually said that this is even more of a challenge than Suicide Squad. trailers were, because instead of an editor just matching up shots to music in an editing bay after the fact, he did this process on the set, in the direction of the actors and the stunt drivers.

And Yeah, This Is Way Harder, But Wright

did say it also saved money, because storyboarding each sequence into sections of a song forced them to think more mathematically, because then there’s zero-fat when you’re shooting it. Like, the song won’t get any longer, so the stunts have to be exact and stay within budget. Okay, now let’s move on to the sequence that comes immediatelyNK] a three–minute tracking shot following Baby on his morning walk to get coffee, set to the music of Harlem Shuffle by Bob and Earl. Now. You may have noticed that this song starts the same way as House of Pain’s Jump Around.

And Thats Because House.

actually sampled this exact riff from Harlem Shuffle. And Wright said that he intentionally wanted to catch us off-guard like this, and he does this throughout the film, using more obscure covers of songs,, while in other cases switching back to the lesser-known original version. Wright also got British UK Mark Nicholson, also known as Osymyso, to compose a new mix of Harlem Shuffle to blend in audio from people on the street, footsteps, people talking, dogs barking, an UK beeping as woman punches in her pin, even the actor Ansel Elgort saying Yeah yeah yeah to the beat of the music. I really have to watch this movie again, because even the words and the signs and the graffiti on the walls sync up to words that you hear in the song at that moment.


The point of all this is to put us firmly inside Baby’s head. A. that he suffered as a kid left him with a constant ringing sound, so he’s constantly listening to music to drown it out. SO when we go inside his head, we see that the world around him is alive with music.

Its As If Hes Composing All

of these sounds into his own personal life soundtrack, which is something he literally does later in this movie. Now, of course, this scene was carefully choreographed ahead of time. Wright brought in the choreographer Ryan Heffington, and he said he walked through the sequence with an UK camera over and over again to get it precise. The end result is this amazing sequence that looks like it could be from a musical like La La Land. Okay, let’s move on to the next big action sequence, the second heist in the truck.

And The Music Here Is Neat

Neat Neat by the Damned. Now Edgar Wright sent the script to the actors along with the Thumb drive containing the soundtrack, and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who plays Eddie No Nose. In this scene, saw this song, Neat Neat Neat, in the track list, and that is what sealed the deal for him to be in the film. And The fun thing about this song is that it’s too short. It’s only about 2 minutes long.

So When They Were Storyboarding The Scene,

the cinematographer of the movie, Bill Pope, told Wright that they were going to run out of song. These trucks just couldn’t move as fast as Wright would need them to to fit within the song. So Wright said he came up with a creative UK. He added this shot where they have to change cars, and Baby refuses to hit the gas until he resets the song. UK wait wait, I gotta start the song over.

Ok, Go.

” And. This is great, because it also tells us more about Baby as a character. . He is that obsessed with having music playing all the time, even if it slows him down for a second.

And Again, This Is Discipline By

Edgar Wright.. He insisted so hard on having this music that he crafted the story and the character around it. And. It led to this great character-revealing moment.

Now, We Could Probably Look At The Music

in every scene in Baby Driver like this, like even Baby meeting Debora in the Diner is structured around Carla, Thomas’s Baby and T Rex’s Debora and Beck’s Debra. And sure, I would love to dig into those, but let’s. With the action and fast-forward to this warehouse shootout. Now The music here is Tequila but instead of the popular Champs version that everyone knows, Wright again used a cover version, this one by the UK Brass. Now.

The Middle Of This Song Features A Dueling

drum solo, and when Wright first heard that, he said that it would be amazing to do a gunfight scene to that. And because there was so much gunfire in the scene, it drowned out all the music playing from the speakers on set or in the earbuds, so the choreographer and stunt guy had to teach each actor the rhythm of the shots. And then as they repeatedly shot the scene, they had to keep counting them in, like 5, 6, 7, 8, Bang Bang Ba-bang. And. Wright said that on one take when he was checking in with JAmie Foxx to make sure he had the gunfire rhythm down, Foxx was walking him through it.

, Saying This Guy Goes Up Ba-Ba,-Ba, And I

go Ba-ba, and then he jokingly mimed taking a drag on a cigarette, and Wright loved that invisible Cigarette so much that he had Foxx do it for the movie. So Yeah,. This is another example of this meticulous choreography to the music leading to a really fun, memorable image that Wright probably wouldn’t’ve had in the film otherwise. Okay, let’s take a look at. One last great example of Wright’s use of music in Baby Driver later in the movie-the Foot Chase.

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The Music Here Is Focus By

Hocus Pocus. God, I love saying that. Now. Wright said that this was his favorite part of the movie,, but that the studio actually. Cut it; they refused to pay for the scene, but he wanted the scene so bad that he paid out of pocket for two extra days of shooting to film it.

Now, Wright Said That He First

heard Hocus Pocus on a music show in England, and that he was blown away by this progressive rock song that,. Unlike most songs, changes tempo throughout the song. Now, like most songs just have one tempo that plays all the way through, which isn’t really helpful for film scoring, since the action changes so fast. But Wright described Focus as the perfect cardio track that dictates where Baby goes. Like fast guitars for when he’s sprinting, and then this yodeling section for when he’s hiding behind a tree, and then another shift when he’s running through the mall, and then an accordion section when he breaks into a car.


These were just the big examples of creative music editing that stood out to me, but what was your favorite musical moment in Baby Driver Also, are there any other movies or UK shows that you think would have benefited from this approach of letting music dictate the story Really, there is so much going on in Baby Driver, and I would love to do a full breakdown of all the missable stuff that I caught, but really, just more people need to go see this movie, and you can help get the word out by sharing this video, liking it, and tweeting with links to this video and your favorite thing about Baby Driver. You can hit me up on Twitter directly (@eavoss) or follow new Rockstars on Twitter (@newrockstars) and of course subscribe to this channel for all of our videos about film analysis and music in cinema. .

Weve Done This Kind Of Stuff For The

Wonder Woman theme song, Game of Thrones, and the soundtrack for Guardians of the Galaxy, so look around, I think you’ll like a lot of stuff here. And if you really want to be part of this channel and help us decide what kind of videos to make, you can contribute to us on Patreon. Thank you so much to all of our current donors, especially Chris Kell. All The Best to you and your Baby Driver on the way.

Congrats, Buddy.

Okay, thanks for watching, and Edgar Wright, if you’re watching this, I have a script that I would love for you to look at. .


Director Edgar Wright wrote the full 35 song soundtrack into the script, and let each song dictate the narrative of the scene that it’s in . He blasted the music over speakers on set, and had actors and crew people listen to synchronized ipods . The end result is that it all plays out like an action musical. Like Stomp, but with cars. The music in the opening heist scene is UK by John Spencer, Blues, Explosion. Wright actually said this song is what inspired the whole film. He said he was actually warned by director Quentin Tarantino not to write the exact songs. It’s hard for the studio to secure the rights to use these songs. But Wright did it anyway. And he blasted this music over speaker on set. He blasted it over speakers. He says he was a lot more like after you see a Fast and Furious movie, and then suddenly suddenly you’re in a movie, Ba-da-da, then you’re getting pulled over, and you start crying…. Click here to read more and watch the full video