Jul 15, 2020 in Informative

Steven Spielberg

Introduction

The contemporary film industry has important personalities who significantly impacted different aspects of movie making and the history of film industry. One of such personalities is Steven Spielberg, a film director, producer, editor, and screenwriter. He created a vast quantity of films, which were popular between the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century. This paper investigates Spielberg’s biography with the aim of finding the key factors that constitute his success in his profession and life. It focuses on such issues as his family life and values, the milestones of his career, major themes of his films, and his contribution to the movie industry. The paper suggests that Steven Spielberg became one of the key figures in the film industry because of his outstanding skills and talent, which brought him the recognition of the world’s film critics and moviegoers. This analysis enhances the understanding of Spielberg’s success in the movie industry as well as the reasons for recognition of his works among the primary stakeholders. 

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Steven Spielberg’s Biography

Upbringing and its Influence on the Character of Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg’s vision of life and his later attitude to one’s profession and colleagues were influenced by his childhood and family life. He was born in 1946 in an Orthodox Jewish family, which significantly impacted his behavior and education while bringing problems at school. Thus, Spielberg claims that his school years were rather difficult because of anti-Semitic prejudices. However, religion and good relationship with his family allowed the future director to withstand these problems and view life positively. Basically, his early years formed him as a friendly and creative person because of family values related with these issues.

Family Life and Values

The life of Spielberg’s family was significantly influenced by religion: the young boy was properly educated and had traditional Orthodox Jewish upbringing. His father was a soldier and participated in World War II, but he devoted much time to his family and his son in particular helping him to become a family filmmaker. As a result, the future film director noticed the peculiarities of relationships between the members of the family. Thus, the divorce of his parents was a factor that shifted his attention to dramatic events in life and the aspect of family relationships. Therefore, such values as positive attitude to people, respect for one another, acceptance of one’s destiny, and kindness were among those that Spielberg transferred into his professional life. 

Important Relationships in Steven Spielberg’s Professional Life

Steven Spielberg’s professional life has always been full of different contacts and relationship, some of which have always been important to him. One of such relationships was a long-time cooperation with a composer John Williams, who created the scores for the major part of Spielberg’s films. In fact, Spielberg’s movies put an emphasis on classical music due to the fact that his mother was a concert pianist and spent hours playing classical music. Furthermore, it is important to note that his cooperation with one more talented filmmaker, George Lucas, resulted in a series of films about an archeologist Indiana Jones. Both filmmakers were incredibly creative, which is why their cooperation allowed them sharing their ideas and learning different aspects of profession one from another. Spielberg often cooperates with people who have had a good impact on him, for example, actors and crew. In particular, one can often see such actors as Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Shia LaBeouf in the films created by Spielberg. The highlighted issue is a result of his difficult childhood, which is why the filmmaker attempts to create a friendly atmosphere of well-known to him people. Consequently, Spielberg’s friendly attitude with these actors results in efficient cooperation.

Career

The Beginning of the Filming Career

One may say that the filming career of Steven Spielberg started in his childhood because of his role as a family cameraman. It was one of the most critical steps in Steven’s life because he spent significant amounts of time with the camera since his childhood. In this respect, the critics claim that he filmed everything: “his family at home or at a campsite, his neighbors and schoolmates, and even the hubcaps of the family car as it pulled out of the driveway”. However, his professional career started in the 1970’s when he was hired to direct one of the episodes of a series called Night Gallery broadcasted by NBC. Therefore, his colleagues and critics noticed a new figure in the industry because of Spielberg’s unusual approach to the camera and the process of filming. Gradually, his experience in directing TV shows grew until he directed a debut full-length film The Sugarland Express, a crime drama based on true events. Despite being a box office failure, the movie was recognized as a critically successful work by Spielberg’s colleagues. Therefore, the film industry obtained a prospective filmmaker, who was capable of creating a product appealing to the audience. 

Recognition and Signature Movies

Spielberg’s recognition as a talented and prospective filmmaker started in the 1970s after several of his works that demonstrated his skills to colleagues, critics, and movie-goers. The first famous film created under his guidance was Jaws: “a raw nerve movie… banging your nerves and saying this is about a birth sac”. In this film, the work of the director was tremendous as he used some new approaches attempting to reach maximum realism. For instance, though the shark was mechanical, Spielberg insisted on filming in the ocean instead of a standard approach of using a water tank. As a result, this realistic work achieved tremendous success attracting attention to the director. Spielberg’s other movies that became box-office hits were Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, a series of films about Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and others. They demonstrate that Steven Spielberg is capable of working in different genres and discussing a vast majority of issues, which makes him a skillful professional.

Major Themes and Ideas 

Beginning with the genres of crime drama and horror, Spielberg was not going to stop and constantly explored new topics and themes for his films. As a result, his works affected different genres, such as adventure, fantasy and science fiction, comedy, history, and films for children. Scholars claim that his works may be divided into two main modes, which are “movies for children” and “movies for grownups”. For instance, he skillfully used the revival of the historical themes to render them in different settings in such movies as Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. At the same time, The Color Purple, Schindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan explore more serious and dramatic topics being directed at an adult viewer. Thus, exploring various topics from ancient archeology to World War II, Spielberg practiced his skills in capturing attention of the audience with the format of an adventure and war drama films. In general, the personality of Steven Spielberg is an example of an individual who constantly explores new horizons of one’s profession.

Contribution to the Movie Industry and Society

Steven Spielberg had a significant impact on the movie industry and the society overall. Thus, his works and expertise serve as a role model for other filmmakers because his technical skill is compared to that of Billy Friedkin, Francis Coppola, Brian De Palm, and Martin Scorsese. For instance, one of his special tricks is a special vision of mise-en-scene with the aim of creating suspense through the fear of the unknown. Moreover, the filmmaker did not stop on the film industry and is also famous for his philanthropy having made significant anonymous donations to different organizations. Some experts claim that as any professional, Spielberg enjoys receiving much money for his work, but his donation portfolio is “enormous” as well. Therefore, Steven Spielberg is one of the key figures in the modern film industry because of his creative impact and skills that allow him to take the art of filmmaking to a new level. At the same time, the outstanding filmmaker has such positive influence because of his childhood and family that gave him good manners, education, and a first camera.

Conclusion

To conclude, Steven Spielberg is a unique creative personality recognized in the world as an outstanding professional of the film industry. His devotion to camera and filming started in his early childhood with a role of a family cameraman. His family taught him to take criticism well, be patient in his deeds, and be attentive to people who are kind to him. As a result, he formed many long-term friendly relationships with trusted actors and crew members, which resulted in cooperation with some of them in many films. Having got his first professional job as a TV series director, Spielberg improved his skills and gradually switched to full-length movies that gave him an opportunity of actualizing his creativity. With time, the number of his successful movies grew granting him recognition of the world’s critics and movie-goers. Spielberg is capable of discussing different topics in his works ranging from drama and action to science fiction and history, which attract audience with various interests. Finally, he is well-known as a philanthropist and a film industry investor, which highlights his positive individual qualities. Therefore, without any doubt, Steven Spielberg’s impact on the film industry is tremendous as he uses one’s creativity, individual qualities, and cooperation skills for making excellent films contributing to the film industry.

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