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Steven Spielberg shares before and after to show incredible impact of John Williams' music

Katherine Sidnell

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Steven Spielberg shares before and after to show incredible impact of John Williams' music

Featured Image Credit: AFI/Universal

Steven Spielberg has shared just how impactful John Williams' music has been on his films, with an incredible before and after.

To mark the composer's 91st birthday, the American Film Institute shared a clip of Spielberg explaining how the pair made movie magic together with the beloved film ET.

During the touching tribute, Spielberg said it was the mixture of footage and music that made audiences ‘fall in love’ with his movies.

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Speaking about his long-time collaborator, Spielberg made the comparison as the composer was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.

“I’m going to show what kind of shape our films are in before they get to John,” joked the director, as he shared a short clip of Elliot and ET flying in the beloved bike ride scene.

Though it’s still iconic, the scene lacks its incredible score by Williams as the pair fly through the air together.

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Spielberg goes onto explain how Williams creates his music, beginning at his 100-year-old grand piano and a yellow notepad.

Amazingly, Williams seemingly knows where every instrument should be, with Spielberg comparing him to countless other composers throughout history.

John Williams has produced iconic scores for Jaws, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones.  Credit:  Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
John Williams has produced iconic scores for Jaws, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

In a touching tribute to his friend, Spielberg told the audience: “Some of these orchestrations are as complex as Debussy, and as accomplished as Stravinsky.

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“It is during this arranged marriage of image and music that audiences fall in love with movies,” he added.

The beloved director even shared never before seen footage of Williams scoring the iconic bike ride scene, with a huge orchestra off camera.

Spielberg captured the incredible moment on a Super 8, unaware of how the film would become a classic for countless generations.

John Williams during the making of Saving Private Ryan. Credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo
John Williams during the making of Saving Private Ryan. Credit: Maximum Film / Alamy Stock Photo
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While the audio quality struggles to show off Williams’ score, the clip then changes to ET to show just impactful the music is.

The composer gained an Oscar for the soundtrack, one of just five Academy Awards he has gained over his extensive career.

It would also not be the last time Williams would work with Spielberg.

The pair have worked together on 29 films across a 50-year span, with their productions including Indiana Jones, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan.

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Their latest is partnership is on The Fabelmans, which is a loosely based on Spielberg’s life, and the director said the score was a gift from Williams to the director’s parents.

Williams and Spielberg began collaborating in the 70s. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo
Williams and Spielberg began collaborating in the 70s. Credit: Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

“John knew my parents well," Spielberg explained. "And loved introducing them to the orchestra during our scoring sessions, which made my Dad so proud, and left my Mom beaming."

He continued: “He wrote this score as a gift to them and, when he first previewed it for me on his Steinway, I knew he had made this his most personal gift to me as well.”

Topics: Film & TV, Music, Celebrity, Film and TV, Steven Spielberg

Katherine Sidnell
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