Life of Steven Spielberg
A film director’s job is the hardest job that can possibly be obtained by any film artist. Making movies is not just about pressing record on a video camera and saying action. A Director has a series of different jobs and tasks to perform in the movie making process. One of the legendary directors and my personal favorite director is Steven Spielberg. I think that he performs his job better than everyone and has some of the greatest movies to prove it.
The Director has to deal with a numerous amount of jobs such as; the concept of style, subject matter, cinematography, editing, setting and set design, sound and score, casting and acting performances, screenplays and narrative structure, evolving styles and flexibility, and that is just a handful of some of the things that they are responsible for. Steven Spielberg was particularly good at Casting and Acting Performances. In the choice of Actors one director may take the safe, sure way by casting established stars in roles very similar roles they have played in previous movies. (Boggs 375) Spielberg is always widely known for evolving style and flexibility. This is when some directors do not arrive at a static mature style but continue to evolve and experiment throughout their careers. (Boggs 381)
Steven Allan Spielberg was the oldest and the only son of four children. His father, Arnold was an electrical engineer who worked in what was the newly emerging field of computers. His mother, Leah, was a concert pianist. Steven Spielberg’s mother and three sisters gave Steven a lot of attention and basically spoiled him. He was indulged throughout his childhood at home, however he was not treated the same way at school. Spielberg displayed little concern for his school work and barely made average grades. Spielberg was not the top scholar you would assume him to in high school. The Spielberg family had to move from home to home frequently because of Steven’s father’s job. They moved to New Jersey, Suburban Phoenix, Arizona, and their final destination ended up being Silicon Valley, which was near San Jose, California.
The First film that Steven Allan Spielberg recalled seeing in an actual movie theatre was “The Greatest Show on Earth”. This film was a spectacular 1952 circus epic directed by Cecil B. Demile. As a child Steven Spielberg began using his family’s home movie camera. He started recording camping trips and other family events but soon became dissatisfied with them and wanted to bigger and better things. At a young age he began to film narrative movies and attempted to set up shots with different angles and primitive special effects. By the time he was twelve years old he actually filmed a movie from a script using a cast of actors. He grew increasingly ambitious and loved the thrill of making movies and continued to make movies from then on.
When Steven Spielberg was sixteen years old, he filmed a feature length science fiction movie; he titled it “Firelight”. This movie was over two hours long and had a complex plot about an encounter with some aliens. His willing and helpful father rented a local movie theatre to show the film. This film cost Steven’s father five hundred dollars to make it. After one night of showing the film Steven easily made back the five hundred dollars to pay his father back.
Steven Spielberg’s poor grades in high school prevented him from entering the University of Southern California also known as UCLA. Instead of going there he was accepted to California State College at Long Beach. In 1970 Steven Spielberg graduated from California State College at Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in English. Steven Spielberg graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English because they did not offer any sort of formal film program. However for missed time in the film world he went and saw as much movies as possible during his time studying at the California State College at Long Beach. Spielberg had a heart throbbing passion for being in the film industry. Spielberg claimed that when he was seventeen years old he would put on business suit and carry a briefcase everyday past the guards at Universal Studios just so he could go in there and watch, admire, and absorb as much as he can before being caught. (www.snopes.com/movies)
Steven Allan Spielberg was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on December 18th, 1946. I would have to say that Spielberg is perhaps the most famous director and wealthiest film maker in the world. Spielberg went to California State University in Long beach. However he dropped out after his bachelor degree to follow his dream in the entertainment career. He began to earn his respect as an un-credited assistant director on the film “Wagon Train” in 1957. (movies.yahoo.com) A few more of his early attempts were “Battle Squad” which included World War II footage. He also directed “Escape to Nowhere” which featured children as World War II soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg. These films were all short films.
In his early years Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would success his future career in movies. In 1964 he directed a movie called “Firelight” this was a movie about aliens invading a small town. In 1968 he directed “Amblin” and Amblin also became the name of his production company. (www.movies.yahoo.com) this production company was responsible for the all time classic movie E.T. in 1982. However all of these films were just appetizers compared to his up and coming films soon to be some of the greatest films ever. Spielberg’s first major directorial effort was “The Sugarland Express” in 1974 starring Goldie Hawn. This film was a great film but it was his next film that was a tremendous hit. Everybody has either heard of or seen the movie “Jaws”. This movie is a class shark attack movie that actually became so famous that they made an attraction in Disney World for it. Between the years of 1975 and 1987 Steven Spielberg had a lot more hits. Some of his memorable movies were; “Close Encounters of the Third Time” which was a unique but original UFO story. A few other films were; I want to hold your hand, used cars, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Goonies, An American Tail, and Back to the Future. I consider myself to not really know much about the world of film but I know that the movies such as the Goonies and Indiana Jones are super famous and are still watched today in 2010.
In the late 1980’s Spielberg’s films found their way into the center of pop-culture. In 1988, he produced “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in 1988. The next year proved to be another good year for him after producing and directing “Always”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “Back to the future part II”. All three of these films were box office and very successful. Steven Spielberg began to get very comfortable with the animation world. Aside from the film Roger Rabbit he is also responsible for the “Tiny Toon Adventures” in 1990, The “Animaniacs” in 1993, “Pinky and the Brain” in 1998, “Family Dog” in 1993, and “Toonsylvania” in 1998. Steven Spielberg is also responsible for producing other cartoons such as; “The Land Before Time” in 1988, “Were Back! A Dinosaurs Story” in 1993, “Casper” in 1995 and “The Flintstones” in 1994. (www.imbd.com)
As a producer he was very active in the 90’s, responsible for films like “The Mask of Zorro” in 1998, “Men in Black” in 1997, and “Deep Impact in 1998. However, it was on the directing front that Spielberg was on top of his game. He directed and produced a movie called “Amistad” in 1997 that was shorted in the Oscars and in release due to the fact that its release date was moved around so much. He came back strong though the next year producing the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Some people believe that this is his all time best movie in his career.
Steven Spielberg has been extremely active in films and there are many other things he has done as well. He produced the short live T.V. “Sea Quest DSV” in 1993, an anthology series titled “Amazing Stories” in 1985. He created the video game series “Medal of Honor” which was based on the time of World War II. Spielberg was also the starting producer of “ER” in 1994. If you haven’t noticed Spielberg has a great interest in World War II. He and Tom Hanks worked together on the movie “Shooting War” in the year 2000. This movie was a documentary about World War II combat photographers. Spielberg also produced a documentary about the Holocaust called “A Holocaust Szemei” in the year of 2000. With all of these films, Television Shows, etc it is no surprise that Steven Spielberg is looked at as one of the greatest or not the greatest figures in the world of Film and Entertainment.