Recording Studios In Film

The most powerful scene in a music movie is when they cut that hit record, when the star has a meltdown in the studio, when they create the sound that changes the world.

Here is CMD’s Top Ten Recording Studio Scenes In Film:

10. Music & Lyrics- “Way Back Into Love”

Decidedly one of the better romcoms out there, Music & Lyrics has a lot to offer in the way of catchy songs and music references. Hugh Grant brings the pipes as sort of a George Michael-type in this movie and Drew Barrymore supplies the charm. It’s a sweet and unique scene to watch two people fall in love over music and this movie is definitely many viewers’ first exposure to the process of composing and recording.

9. Boogie Nights- “You Got the Touch”

The unsung hero of this scene is John C. Reilly in the control room. His egging on of Marky Mark as he records this would-be Rocky theme gives the scene an energy and character that makes it unforgettable in a movie of unforgettable vignettes. You’ll laugh at how bad the song is until you find yourself singing it on the train.

 8. Straight Outta Compton- “Boyz N Da Hood”

Jason Mitchell steps effortlessly into the role of Eazy E in the NWA biopic, and plays the novice rapper who is made a star with a mix of comedy and sincerity. Watching this scene where he takes his first stab at Ice Cube’s legendary lyrics will remind you why they both are legends (and forever cement “Cruisin’ down the street in my 64” in your head). This is truly a movie that made biopics cool again.

 7.  Walk Hard- “Walk Hard”

Be sure to watch the scene from Walk the Line that this parodies too (“Folsom Prison Blues”), but this scene does everything right that a music scene can do. And it is hilarious. John C. Reilly does perhaps the most obnoxious cover of “That’s Amore” ever to be put to tape before John Michael Higgins as a Sam Phillips type and his Hasidic record executives stop and tell him it’s just not going to work. Dewey Cox gets that determined look on his face and launches into the most iconic parody song since Spinal Tap, and most surprisingly… it rocks! This movie and its soundtrack are far better than they have any right to be.

 6. Hustle & Flow- “Whoop That Trick”

 The handful of times I’ve worked with Terence Howard, one thing comes to mind. The man is dripping with cool. The juxtaposition in this scene of the home studio and his confidence and bravado makes it the only scene of its kind. While this may not be a professional studio, the performers make it feel like one.

5. Velvet Goldmine- “My Unclean”

This movie may be high on style and low on plot, but man, what style. This scene offers a great dramatic moment featuring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ewan McGregor, Toni Collette and Eddie Izzard- it’s a master class of awesome actors. This scene is a terse moment of realism in a movie of magical realism. Plus, it’s really fun watching Ewan McGregor try to bomb. 

4. Mrs. Doubtfire- Cartoon Voices

While this scene may be non-musical, it is definitely the most virtuosic on this list. The fact that Robin Williams is syncing his voices to the animation takes ADR to the next level. Perhaps the most fascinating part of this scene is that it was Robin Williams’s actual job. If you watch clips of him recording the genie for Aladdin, you’ll see a striking resemblance to this scene.

3. Bohemian Rhapsody- “We Will Rock You”

Is it the most factual movie? No. But does it give some cool images to some great music? Oh yeah. This scene gives a great cinematic look to this song and plays up the spirit of inspiration and Queen’s desire to connect with an audience. In a movie of great music scenes, this is a big highlight.

2. Dreamgirls- “Listen”

This song plays like the birth of a star. One of the central conceits of the movie is that Jennifer Hudson is the powerhouse voice of the group (and she definitely kills it). But because of that people spend the whole movie telling Beyonce she’s not as good a singer! Queen Bey! This is the scene where she steps forward to take her crown. And sure enough, two years later Sasha Fierce was born. 

1. Ray- “I Believe To My Soul”

What can I say? This movie is great, Jamie Foxx is great and Ray Charles is great. There is something so unromantic about this scene; it is straightforward, real and shows the nitty gritty of recording at the time. The cigarette smoke, the conflict, the confusion and the whir of the recording equipment make this studio scene feel like the most authentic you’ve ever seen.

If you want to create recording studio movie magic, contact us at CMD and you can rent out our Manhattan studio for your movie or show.

Finding a high end recording studio in Manhattan for location shots is difficult but can take a film project to the next level. We can help and give you the best-looking studio in NYC.