Great American: Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg born December 18, 1946 is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. He is considered one of the most popular and influential film makers in the history of cinema. Spielberg has won many awards including the Academy Award for Best Director for Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Jaws (1975), Jurassic Park (1993), and E.T the Extra Terrestrial (1982) achieved box office records each becoming the highest grossing film made at the time. He is also one of the Co-founders of Dream Works movie studios.
As a child Spielberg always dreamed of directing movies. Spielberg's father Arnold once told his young son that he would have to start at the bottom of the movie business and work his way up. Steven responded “No, Dad. The first picture I do, I’m going to be a director.” Arnold Spielberg was very supportive of his sons goals, he helped his son by bankrolling the production of Firelight. He also helped Steven design miniature sets, rigged lights for scenes filmed in Steven’s studio, and built a dolly for the elaborate tracking shots. Steven included his three younger sisters, Anne, Sue, and Nancy in production as well. Anne served as script supervisor, Nancy played the key role of the girl being abducted by aliens, and all three of them bounced up and down on the back of a jeep to make it seem like the jeep was speeding through the desert. While filming Firelight Steven needed a hospital room for a scene in his movie, he went to the Baptist Hospital in Phoenix and talked them in to letting him have a room. They lent him some oxygen tanks and other medical supplies he could use for his film. He also needed an Airplane for another scene in his movie, he went down to the Sky Harbor airport and asked American Airlines is he could use a plane for 10 minutes before the plane lifted off or landed and they let him. At the end of filming firelight Spielberg said to one of his classmates “I want to be the Cecil B. DeMille of science fiction.” Many of his classmates and teachers thought of him as an oddball and a “nut” for being so consumed by moviemaking.
By the time of Firelight’s premiere, the teenaged Spielberg was already turning his dreams into a reality. He had met a man at Universal Studios recognized his extraordinary potential as a film maker and gave him advice about the making of Firelight. After becoming a famous movie director Spielberg announced to interviewers that Firelight was one of the five worst films ever made. Firelight premiered in 1964, and received mixed reviews.
Steven Spielberg was born to Arnold and Leahanni Spielberg. He is the older brother of three younger sisters. Spielberg began experimenting with filming in his early teens and would make movies for his family and neighbors to watch. After his parents divorced Steven moved to California with his father. He applied to the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television and The University of Southern California’s School of film and television but failed to gain entry. He attended California State University and got his first job in the film industry as an unpaid intern for Universal Studios. On October 12, 1991 Steven Spielberg married Kate Capshaw. Spielberg has always put his family before his career. Even though he is rich with lots of money he is still a typical father, he drives his children to school and often takes his family on set with him. Steven is known to dress very casual wearing jeans a T- shirt and a baseball cap on set.
Through the years Spielberg has learned many new filming techniques. When casting the crew and actors for the movie, Steven looks for actors who are not well known in the filming industry. He says he doesn’t want to cast well-known actors