Christmas day I opened up the last of my Christmas presents from the Mrs and was in complete disbelief to find two tickets to see E.T. in Concert at the Royal Concert Hall with a live orchestra. I was almost in tears just receiving the tickets so I knew that heading to the show it was going to be an emotional rollercoaster.
For those of you that don’t know, E.T. is the film that started it all. I can remember being about 4 years old, staying at my Grandma’s house for the weekend and she mentioned there was a film on later that we needed to watch. Sure enough night came and she flicked over the channel to E.T. I sat on her lap and was both transfixed and terrified. For years after I was petrified of the titular character and still hold the film as my first real bout with the horror genre. The likes of Spielberg and Dante created films that were classified as family friendly but packed some of the most horrific moments I can recall. I can remember so much from that night, I can recollect the exact moments I ducked behind the blanket and the moments I rejoiced when E.T. was rescued #spoileralert. That evening was a night that changed my life.
My grandma sadly passed away soon after, but moments like the ones I experienced that night and all of the stories she got to tell me are what I hold accountable for my love of filmmaking today. I don’t want to go all doom and gloom in this blog post but I owe that wonderful lady a lot. In the short time I got with her at the start of my life she had an incredible impact on me and really helped to shape me into the man I am today. This past Halloween the wonderful folks over at WeAreIndieHorror did an article on myself as their ‘Featured Fearmaker’ (which you can read HERE). Not only was it a huge honour to even be considered as I am a huge fan of the site but it was a great platform to express how much I owe my love of the genre and film in general to my wonderful Grandma. It will never be enough to summarise how thankful I am but for those hawk eyed viewers out there might may have noticed every Halloween when we release our annual horror short I dedicate it to ‘Grace Mary Williams’ – one of the greatest women I ever got to know. Each year we strive for bigger and better, our audience continues to grow and our ideas become more and more ambitious. I just hope that she’d be proud of all we’ve achieved through the years.
In an attempt to get the blog post back on track, where were we? A friend of mine had actually told me earlier in the year that the E.T. concert was coming in December and I knew a few people who were lucky enough to see Jurassic Park and Aliens live in concert months earlier. Everyone who had already been had said how amazing it was to see a film that had been so influential to them as a child on the big screen with the magic of a live orchestra. It was always something I wanted to experience and I still had yet to pop my Royal Albert Hall Cherry. E.T. seemed like the perfect opportunity and I am so incredibly lucky that I got to go and experience it the way I did.
First off let me start by stating how bloody wonderful the venue was! I couldn’t quite believe how beautiful the Royal Albert Hall really is in person. Although a hell of a lot smaller than I thought it would be having seen it on TV, it was the perfect venue for the perfect show. I always love it when I get the chance to take a road trip down to London and the E.T. Concert provided the perfect excuse for a little excursion to the capital.
The music to this day is from one of my favourite soundtracks of all time, now even more so. Just hearing those opening notes I get a tear in my eye as it brings it all back. E.T. was and always will be one of my favourite films and getting to hear the orchestra score each beat of the action on screen was a dream come true. The atmosphere was electric and admittedly I was crying throughout. I never understood before when I’d go to the theatre with my other half and she’d be in floods of tears at what we were watching, but I couldn’t help but well up as I wished I could have been there with my grandma to experience it all over again.
Check out my Video Diary (above) to get a flavour of how amazing the day actually was. I know that we published something similar when we headed to the ‘Grindhouse Planet Film Festival’ and this is something we can keep doing when we have film related road trips. If you want to keep seeing content similar to this here on the blog let us know.
The whole day was incredible. Similarly to seeing John Carpenter LIVE last year, another great movie related experience has been ticked off of the bucket list. Still at the start of the New Year I am keen to make as many fantastic memories as possible and this day out really got that new year’s resolution on track. A huge thank you to Charlie for being the most incredible partner in crime I could ask for. Seeing E.T. live is an experience I will never forget. If you get the chance to see a film scored live with an orchestra, you book those tickets, you won’t regret it! What are you waiting for?!
Thanks as always and until next time…
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