Yes, You’re Right. John Williams Is A Magician, Basically.

Yes, You’re Right. John Williams Is A Magician, Basically. August 18, 2015

Filtering out the noise to clearly see what the story needs is a lesson every great filmmaker has learned.

As someone greatly intrigued by the role (and importance) of music in movies, I find myself grateful yet again for the legendary John Williams and the (original, of course) Star Wars films. No, I’m not talking about The Auralnauts’ hilarious “Star Wars Without Williams” video, though that’s certainly once of the funniest (and most awkward) two minutes on the InterWebs.

Instead, I’m talking about this fantastic video clip, highlighted by Vashi Visuals’ Vashi Nedomansky in a blog post entitled “John Williams – The Music Makes the Moment” (and drifting through my timeline via /Film).

Here’s the set-up:

Behind the scenes as composer John Williams wrote the score for The Empire Strikes Back. After viewing the final edit it took him 7 weeks to write the score before recording it with the London Symphonic Orchestra. This video focuses on the emotional scene where Han Solo is about to be frozen into Carbonite and shows the before and after of the filmmaking process.

The Before/After comparison is just fantastic stuff for Movie Music buffs like myself. (So’s hearing David Prowse standing in Darth Vader’s …vocal shoes. And listening to Irvin Kershner talk about the Love By Way of Conflict.)

But my biggest take-away from the whole thing was that Nedomansky’s blog title isn’t quite right. Williams’ music certainly plays an integral part in the scene, and does a wonderful job of underscoring/highlighting stuff that’s going on there. Ford makes the scene, though. And he’d make it work even without the music.

Attribution(s): “Happy Williams” courtesy of Getty Images, which allows the use of certain images “as long as the photo is not used for commercial purposes (meaning in an advertisement or in any way intended to sell a product, raise money, or promote or endorse something);” “John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl” by Alec McNayrFlickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.

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