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Steven Spielberg and John Williams Creating the E.T. Theme Song

Universal Pictures

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Steven Spielberg and John Williams Creating the E.T. Theme Song

Watch this video and you’ll be humming the E.T. theme for the rest of the day.

This intimate video not only shows Steven Spielberg and John Williams in the midst of creating one of the more memorable theme songs in movie history, but the sort of A-B testing that goes into creating a film score.

The careers of Spielberg and Williams are largely inextricable from one another. The pair have been collaborating together since 1974 and have developed the scores for their shared films on all but five occasions.

Relatedly, all three of Spielberg’s Oscars (two “Schindler’s List” and one for “Saving Private Ryan”) are derived from feature films that had Williams as the composer. In the same vein, three of Williams’ five Oscars for Best Original Score are derived from Spielberg films (“Jaws,” “E.T.,” and “Schindler’s List”).

I may have tipped my hand for including that last bit of info, but Williams indeed won an Academy Award for his work on “E.T.,” making this fascinating video that much more impactful. It’s not often we see the ingredients being mixed together for what eventually becomes a history-making dish, but in this case, we get to peer behind the curtains at movie magic being made.

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