For those of us who first learned to love aliens via Steven Spielberg’s classic movie “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” there are so many unforgettable scenes, sights and sounds that you’d be hard-pressed to pick just one favorite element. From the flying bicycles to the Reese’s Pieces, to “Ouuuuch,” to John Williams’ sweeping supernatural score supporting it all.
If you need a refresher as to why the iconic, heartwarming film earned a lasting place in cinematic history it arrives on Blu-ray for the first time ever on October 9 in celebration of its 30th anniversary, but right now MTV News is happy to present you with the following exclusive clip from the bonus feature “The E.T. Journals,” which shows Spielberg and Williams working on (and singing!) the score together during post-production.
In the clip we see a 30-years-younger Spielberg and Williams sitting at the composer’s piano (Williams is seated, playing various versions of the “E.T. Theme,” while Spielberg is standing at his side) in what we can assume to be Williams’ studio with the movie playing in the background on a projector. The two have a playful back-and-forth discussion about when the theme should come into a scene and we watch them watching the movie on playback in order to pinpoint the perfect moment for the music to sweep us off our feet.
“I like that,” Spielberg says to Williams after he plays a few bars of the score over the scene. “As a matter of fact it seems like a very natural transition into the loneliness and out of the tenderness.”
“The thing is, where do we shift from the call to the theme?” Williams asks. “Is it when he smiles or touches the face? It could be anything.”
“That’s a wonderful question and your choices are as many frames long as the sequence,” says Spielberg.
If you are a score nerd like this writer, watching Spielberg and Williams figure out when to bring in certain notes and themes is like discovering buried treasure. And the way the speak to one another, with the utmost respect and appreciation is even better – not to mention the fact that the end of the clip features both Spielberg and Williams humming/singing parts of the score together. It is almost too delightful for words.
Check out “The E.T. Journals” in full, along with many more bonus features and behind-the-scenes looks back at making the movie next week when “E.T.” arrives on Blu-ray.