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John Williams TV Interview

Posted By Paul on March 29, 1999

Whew! I'm still recovering from that fantastic 60 Minutes special, but I had to throw up this report we got from Rob Roy about a John Williams feature on TV in the New England area tonight (which many other wonderful readers have informed us of).

Just saw Joyce Kulhaywik's(probably spelled wrong) exclusive interview with John Williams, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg on WBZ Channel 4 in New England. Here's the basics plus quotes:

Joyce mentions that Spielberg introduced Williams to Lucas, and how what she witnessed [during the interview] was a historic collaboration of old friends. John calls them "the Boys" and they call him "Johnny".

It breaks into clips of trailer A.

Jump to Abbey Road, where Joyce walks across the street ala The Beatles. She comments on how this will be the film of the millennium. Then they show Williams conducting the orchestra and chorus with a lightsaber battle playing in the background. [Very Cool. I love that chorus.] I think it might be the same footage as the 60 minutes piece earlier tonight.

Williams: "This is not like a normal action film, even though they would have a lot of music. This is a two hour and some minute film and we have two hours and whatever it is of music. But the orchestra plays beginning to end almost like a cartoon."

Lucas: "Basically what I do is: I sit down with him, I show him the movie, I go through and I say 'ok, I want the music to start here and I want it to stop here and I want it to be romantic or sad or exciting' and that's basically all i have to say to him."

A fast paced track plays in the background. Spielberg air-conducts? then touches his chest, like he's breath taken. Rick McCallum is sitting in the background.
Spielberg: "That's amazing."
Lucas: "I don't know how he did it but he just scored the last reel of the third movie." Laughs. "And I haven't even written it yet." More laughs.

Lucas: "We're having a great time. The orchestra is really on rare form. And Johnny is completely... just very invigorated. He's done an amazing job."
Joyce: "Tell me about John Williams and what he brings to the arena?"
Spielberg: "He brings your movie to the arena." Smiles all around.

Joyce says how this is the first of three movies and how "Williams paid special musical attention to Darth Vader, the saga's central character."

Williams: "Anakin is this little boy you see in the film. Who's a lovely little boy. He turns into Darth Vader. In Anakin's theme, which is a sweet kind of innocent theme of a young man, there are a couple notes, that if you listen very carefully, you will here Darth Vader's Imperial March."
Joyce: "How do you cope with the pressure of generating yet another theme for a mythic project like this?"
Williams: "For me it's more that there's so much anticipation for this film, you hope that it will live up to what people put there in their minds for it. I hope it will but we don't know. George has done a wonderful job with it. Wonderful costumes and characters and writing. We'll see. The public will tell us."

Cut to trailer B, Obi-wan yelling "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!" And fade to Williams conducting the piece of music that ends that trailer.

Hopefully, we'll have some sound clips of this to post soon.

Update! Reader Ross Jardine has pointed out to us that The Unofficial John Williams Home Page has posted an MP3 from the TV show--go check it out.






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