Paramount studio celebrated 100 years of movie music on Sunday during the Hollywood Bowl. With actor Jason Alexander acting as host for the evening that had all-star composers and musical selections from movie greats like The Godfather, Star Trek and Titanic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and conductor David Newman played selections of well-known scores while Paramount movie clips were projected on the giant screens.
Throughout 2012, Paramount has been celebrating their 100th anniversary in various way, including teaming up with the Hollywood Bowl for Sunday’s event.
The evening’s host, Jason Alexander, who is known for his role as George on Seinfeld, appeared in one Paramount film, Coneheads. Other notable actors were also in attendance and took the honor of introducing some of their own work to the crowd. Forrest Gump composer Alan Silvestri went on stage and explained how director Robert Zemeckis had originally rejected several themes he wrote for the Oscar-winning film before settling on the music that was used.
“Forrest seemed to have a mind of his own, musically and otherwise,” Silvestri said.
Michael Giacchino and Lalo Schirfrin discussed Giacchino’s initial difficulty in coming up with a new Mission Impossible theme built upon Schifrin’s original in which Schifrin’s advice was to “just have fun with it.” When he composed the original theme, Schifrin said he wanted something that would automatically “move viewers from the kitchen to the living room” to watch the excitement of Mission Impossible.
Additional scores included Nino Rota’s music for The Godfather from 1972 and The Godfather: Part II from 1974, Bernard Herrmann’s score from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo from 1958 and Henry Mancini’s score from Breakfast at Tiffany’s from 1961. There was also a 10-minute selection from J.S. Zamecnik’s score from Wings, the 1927 movie that won the first best picture Oscar award. When it came time to play a score from Titanic, Newman and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra chose to play a pulse-pounding selection from when the ship strikes the iceberg, as opposed to the more well-known love theme.
Other scores performed during the evening included Rudolph Kopp’s Cleopatra (1934), Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn (1942), Franz Waxman’s Sunset Blvd. (1950), Walter Scharf’s The Bellboy (1960), John Williams’ Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Steve Jablonsky’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), and Michael Giacchino’s Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol (2011).
The evening concluded with a performance of “Thanks for the Memories” by Jason Alexander and The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra with a montage of clips from some of Paramount’s greatest films.