Steven Allan Spielberg

Group members: Alex Glick Jelly Gillotexternal image 110_20_steven_spielberg_.jpg


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 18, 1946, Steven Spielberg is one of the wealthiest and well-known directors in film history. Under the creative, watchful eyes of his Jewish parents Leah Adler and Arnold Spielberg, Steven Spielberg discoverred his love for film making at a young age. Along with his friends, Spielberg directed simplistic short films throughout his childhood, including a western that earned him his Boy Scout Photography Merit Badge. As youngsters Spielberg and his frinds would charge charge twnety five cents admission for people to watch their short films, while his sister sold popcorn. With Boy Scout recognition under his belt, Spielberg won a prize for a short war film at the age of thirteen and he wrote and directed his first independent film three years later. At age sixteen this science fiction film, Firelight, earned him a one hundred dollar profit; an accomplishment at the time, that figure can't even compare to the estimated three billion dollars that the acclaimed director is currently worth.

In the latter part of his sixteenth year, Spielbergs parents divorced and he moved to California with his dad. Threre he attended Saratoga high school, a period of his life that he later refered to as "hell on earth." But Spielberg made it through the flames and graduated from Saratoga High School before moving onto the University of Southern California to pursue his passion for film. Spielberg was not successful at USC (he failed to maintain a passing average) and transferred to Long Beach State soon after. But he eventually left this university as well to dedicate his time to film making. Struggling a bit as an unem,ployed student, it was not until he toured Universal Studios that Steven Spielberg got his break. He received an internship at Universal and, using an empty janitor's closet as his office, he created a film called Amblin' in 1968. The President of Universal Studios watched the film and called Spielberg the greatest young director of the time. This was Spielbergs big break.

At the start of his career, the majority of Spielberg's work was in television movies. TV films such as Duel, The Exorcist, and The Sugarland Express caught the attention of viewers and critics across America and paved the way for his extensive success on the silver screen. His first major film, Jaws, almost went under, but ultimtely did extremely well making Steven Spielberg a familiar and respected name in the film industry.

As his career progressed Spielberg experienced flops and successes in a vast array of films from various genres. He directed many adventure films including the Indiana Jones movies as well as science fiction and war films. ET The Extraterrestrial was in fact his highest grossing film unitl it was knocked out of the top spot by one of his later films, Jurassic Park. The 1980s proved to be an extremely successful decade for the realtively new director as he produced box office hits like Poltergeist, The Color Purple, and the fisrt american movie shot in Shanghai, The Empire Sun. By this decade's conclusion Spielberg had also released the third Indiana Jones film Indian Jones and the Last Crusade.

Spielberg with E.T.
Spielberg with E.T.
As Spielberg continued to pursue his passion, so success continued to trail at his heels. In 1991 he created the fantasy film Hook starring Robin Williams before returning to the adventure genre and completing Jurassic Park, one of the highest grossing films of all times. Soon after this Spielberg made a dramatic switch creating the film Schindler's List, a movie to later be named one of the ten best films of all times. In
1994 Spielberg built his own studio, Dreamworks, and produced hit after hit. He worked with the greatest actors in the business creating cinematic hits such as Saving Private Ryan, Minority Report, Catch Me if You Can, and War of the Worlds. Spielbergs most recent release was the fourth and final Indian Jones film, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, and it grossed over 780 billion dollars worldwide. Steven Spielberg has stunned the world with his cinemattic genious for decades now and he shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

Film Content & Themes

Like all great directors, Steven Spielberg's films often center around reccuring themes. Most of his films deal with the relationship between ordinary characters and the unknown world. His characters often come in contact with beings from other worlds and he expresses exactly how they interact with these strange beings and how they react to unusual encounters. Also, his characters often find themselves in extraordianry situations facing difficult challenges; this is evident in all of the movies on the Indiana Jones series.

The most promint theme among Spileberg's films is tension in parent-child relationships. In many of his works, fathers are often neglectfu
Spielberg along side of Clint Eastwood
Spielberg along side of Clint Eastwood
l, uninvolved, or merely absent (this theme most likely stems from his childhood experiences during the time of his paernts' divorce). But more often than not, the father figures change to become affectionate role models by the films' conclusions.

Spielberg's films generally contain positive messages and are optimistic in nature.

Style / Vision

Steven Spielberg has had great succcess in film making because of his his original style and unique vision. His lighting, music, and camera angles combine to form intense cinematic works that evoke various emotions and provoke curious thoughts.

Analysis of Key Film

E.T. The Extra-Terrestial is Steven Spielberg's most known featured film.

Major Films & Awards

Academy Awards Nominations:

Visuals / Trailers

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