E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Presented by the Academy’s Science and Technology Council
in conjunction with the Palo Alto International Film Festival


Hosted by Variety tech columnist David S. Cohen

"I feel about it today much the same way as I felt about it in 1982,
which is that it’s a little piece of wonderment in my life."
– Steven Spielberg

As part of its "Prime Tech" screening series, the Science and Technology Council presented a 30th anniversary screening of Steven Spielberg’s "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," featuring an onstage discussion with members of the film’s crew.

Described by Spielberg as his "most personal film" and considered by many to be a benchmark in the science fiction genre, "E.T." continues to delight audiences with its emotional story of the intense relationship between the young Elliott (Henry Thomas) and the loveable alien who is trying to return to his home planet.

A great deal of ingenuity and technical expertise were needed to make E.T. a believable character, which was the number one goal of the many craftspeople involved. From the intricate sound design of E.T.’s voice to the complicated animatronic work that made him move, the film combined new technologies with established techniques to create movie magic.

Several key members of the film’s crew gathered for an onstage discussion of the role motion picture science and technology played in shaping "E.T."

Starring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, K.C. Martel, Sean Frye, Tom Howell. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Produced by Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy. Screenplay Melissa Mathison. Cinematography Allen Daviau. Film Editing Carol Littleton. Production Design James D. Bissell. Set Decoration Jackie Carr. Costume Design Deborah Scott. Music John Williams. Sound Robert Knudson, Robert Glass, Don Digirolamo, Gene Cantamessa. Supervising Sound Editor Charles L. Campbell. E.T.’s Voice Design Ben Burtt. Visual Effects Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren, Kenneth F. Smith. Universal Pictures. 1982. 115 minutes.

A new digital remastering of the 1982 release on HD Cam, courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

Academy Award winner: Music – Original Score (Williams); Sound (Knudson, Glass, Digirolamo, Cantamessa); Sound Effects Editing (Campbell, Burtt); Visual Effects (Rambaldi, Muren, Smith)

Academy Award nominee: Cinematography (Daviau); Directing (Spielberg); Film Editing (Littleton); Best Picture (Spielberg, Kennedy); Writing – Screenplay written directly for the screen (Mathison)

The "Prime Tech" screening series showcases Oscar®-nominated and winning films that have been recognized in at least one technical category. Panel discussions illuminate the art of filmmaking from a science and technology perspective, examining how technical elements can augment a film’s narrative capabilities and enrich the overall viewing experience.

Event Information

September 28, 2012
Outdoor Festival Village Stage