Cheat Sheet: Alan Silvestri
Date of birth:
26th March 1950
Place of birth:
New York City, US
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Forrest Gump, Back To The Future, Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest, Death Becomes Her, Cast Away, Predator
What you probably already know
You know that music man? The one that came from down the way? And he can play, what can he play? Yeah anyway, it turns out that man is Alan Silvestri and he plays, like, fucking everything. This man is responsible for some of the most iconic music in cinema history, with an almost flabbergasting range of genres under his probably-tambourine-encrusted belt. Most famous for his partnership with director Robert Zemekis, between the two of them they’ve produced an astonishing number of great films including Forrest Gump, the Back To The Future Trilogy, Death Becomes Her, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Cast Away and The Polar Express.
Outside of Zemekis’ bitchin grasp he’s also responsible for the soundtracks to films such as The Bodyguard, Father Of The Bride, Predator, Van Helsing, Night At The Museum and The A-Team. He’ll probably be remembered as the guy who came up with Forrest’s ‘feather theme‘ (yawn), and, more importantly, for gracing the world with the tear-inducing, ear-blasting gospel that is the Back To The Future sound-scape.
What you probably don’t know
Silvestri’s career happened almost by accident, and his ultimate success was entirely motivated by a helpful case of identical jumpers. Let us explain. After finding himself jobless in LA when a deal to help a friend arrange a CD fell through, a 20 year old Silvestri found himself mooching into a lonely travel lodge and bumping into a lyricist by the name of Bradford Craig. After a production company rang Craig with the mistaken idea that he was a composer, Craig put the phone on hold and asked the young Silvestri if he fancied a job scoring a film. Though he’d never done anything like it before, Silvestri immediately said yes (lad) and stayed up all night reading Earl Hagan’s book How to Score a Film, reckoning it probably contained all he needed to know. He was right.
Cut to a few successful low-budget films later, and Silvestri is gearing up to meet a young director who is desperate to find a NEW SOUND for his film Romancing The Stone. Sitting down, both men realise they’re wear the exact same jumper, and based on that alone (maybe), the director signs him up. That man was Robert bloody Zemekis and the rest is bloody well history. He also flies his own jet (like a boss).
Alan Silvestri quote:
“I enjoy wine but I don’t get crazy about it. That’s what I feel about film music. I enjoy it but I have other things in my life that I’m enjoying also. Wine is a symbol or an expression of the enjoyment of life and I think music is a very similar expression.”
What to say at a dinner party:
“What really is amazing about Silvestri’s work is that although his creations span so many genres – horror, comedy, romance, drama, thriller – what permeates it all is a triumphant joy in the human experience as a whole. It really will be fascinating to see what facets of his canon he’ll bring to Captain America”
What not to say at a dinner party:
“Der de DA DAAA! Der da DAAA! Der da da DAAAAA! der der DA DAA DAA! – wait, is that Indiana Jones?”
God only knows how mental those rousing string choruses will go when panning across Chris ‘AmeriBUFF’ Evans’ dew-gilded abs.