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Alan Silvestri: “Back to the Future’s” 30 Year Anniversary

Silvestri conductingNew York (CNN) It is one of the most memorable pieces of music ever written for a Hollywood film — often called, “The perfect movie with the perfect score.”

Happy 30th birthday to “Back to the Future.”

Alan Silvestri wrote the iconic score. He joined “CNN Newsroom L.A.” on October 21, 2015.

That was the day Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to in their DeLorean time machine in Stephen Spielberg’s sequel.

Back to Future Day

In the movie, McFly asks, “What happens to us in the future? Do we become assholes or something?”

That’s still up for debate three decades later. What’s not is “Back to the Future’s” lock as one of the top ten movies ever made.

Silvestri looks back at the making of a classic.

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Vause: “This is such an incredible piece of music. Pardon the pun — why do you think the movie and the music have stood the test of time?”

Silvestri: “That’s the question on everyone’s mind — and especially ours, the people involved in the film. Bob Gale (screenwriter) hit the nail on the head, as he usually does. And a significant part has to do with the overall themes of the film. In particular, the fact that someone gets to go back in time and spend time with their mom and dad as peers. So to go back and see your mom and dad as young people, as real people, is probably the secret drive and attraction for all of us. I think that’s a big part of it — aside from the great chemistry of the great writers and masterful editing and storytelling.”

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One of the most suspenseful moments of the movie is when McFly is racing towards the clock tower trying to get the DeLorean to 88 mph.

Vause: “It’s a scene that never gets old. But let’s talk about the music here because it’s what you wrote. It’s that trio combination: doom, tension, excess — repeated over and over and over. It really builds and it’s grand and fun at the same time. You were 35-years-old when you wrote that. It’s amazing!”

Alan way back

Movie Still 2Silvestri: “It was a very important film for all of us. Of course, music usually comes in at the end of the process. So you’ve had a chance to see all of the filmakers’ who have gone before you — and now they’re all standing up on the summit of Mt. Everest. Now they call down to you and they say, ‘OK, start your climb.'”

Vause: “I read that you had actually only heard the music twice before the movie made its premiere in 1985. Do you remember your reaction when you first heard it and saw it together on the big screen?”

Silvestri: “That’s an incredibly exciting time because, before that, you’re looking at everything fragmented scene by scene in pieces. But when you finally get to hold a box of popcorn in your hand and sit there in a dark room with an audience, especially, and see it all put together, it’s quite magical.”

Vause: “And it’s still magical today because the show is on the road. There’s live musical performances which accompany the movie, not just here in the United States, but all around the world. And the reaction has been pretty amazing.”

silvestri live bttfSilvestri: “It has been fantastic. It’s been fascinating to see the chemistry in the room because the very fact that there is a live orchestra on stage performing adds this kinda live quality to the entire event. And so we have found people cheering in places where they may never have cheered in the original film in the cinema… but because the audience is there, the musicians are there — things can happen, like in all live performances, and this live quality brings a different dimension. It’s a different way to see the film and audiences are seeming to love it.”

Written and produced by: Ben Bamsey for “CNN Newsroom L.A.

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