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City in the Clouds

Whoa! Another one of my all-time favorite cues comes to YouTube:

Dominic Sewell is going through the entire John Williams Empire Strikes Back score.

If this scene was in a movie today (even a Star Wars movie), it would last all of five seconds. But back “in the day,” all of this stuff was brand new and fresh—so the filmmakers really took their time.

It was a Buck Rogers-style fantasy world—a city in the clouds—come to life, and Williams’ music is perfect.

Probably James Cameron is the only filmmaker who truly understands the importance of taking the time to luxuriate in the environment. You really give the audience a sense of the reality of the fantasy—make the visuals spectacular, but ground them in the characters’ reactions to them—and that’s the kind of thing that forges an emotional connection.

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