BEHIND THE SOUNDS OF E.T.

Jul 07, 2017

BEHIND THE SOUNDS OF E.T.

With music by John Williams and direction by Steven Spielberg, this timeless film comes to life with the live sound of the Philadelphia Orchestra. But, did you know that the last fifteen minutes of the film are scored as one continuous sequence? Composer John Williams developed each phrase and cue to line up exactly with the picture, but after several less than perfect takes during soundtrack recording, Steven Spielberg took the film off the screen and told Williams to conduct the orchestra the way he would at a concert. Spielberg actually re-edited the film to match the music recorded.

You may be familiar with the line “E.T. Phone Home”, but have you even wondered who voiced this famous alien? Not only is E.T.’s distinctive voice recorded by Pat Welsh, an elderly woman who smoked two packets of cigarettes a day, but 16 other people and various animals were used to round out the sound that came out of E.T.’s mouth.

To fully animate E.T.’s character, sounds had to be created for his motion. To produce the sound of E.T. waddling, they used a wet T-shirt crammed with jello. 

Make sure to check back for more Inside Stories on this season’s programming and we hope to see you Saturday night!