• Steven Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
• Grew up as the only Jewish family in the neighborhood, this impacted his
childhood and later his movies.
• Looking for a distraction from life, young Spielberg picked up his father’s
8mm camera, which was to be his newfound hobby. In which he created
many short films, enlisting his family members as cast members.
• At the age of 13, Spielberg taught himself how to master camera
angles, technical tricks, and visual storytelling skills.
• His first feature-length film, “Firelight”, was two-and-a-half-hours long.
Firelight showed at a local movie theatre, whereby Spielberg made one
hundred dollars in profit in one night from his film.
• After graduating from high school, Spielberg attempted to enroll into film
school but failed due to poor high school grades.
• He attended California State College at Long Beach, and
majored in English.
• After graduating from college in 1970, Spielberg snuck onto
the Universal Studios lot and tried to convince producers to
look at his films.
• Spielberg’s film, “Amblin” told the story of a couple
hitchhiking from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific Ocean.
• Spielberg scrounged together fifteen thousand dollars from
his friends and family to make this 22-minute film.
• The film “Amblin” revealed Spielberg’s talent and a producer
from Universal Studios, contracted Spielberg for 7 years after
he saw the movie “Amblin”.
1973 - First assignment at Universal Studios
• Universal assigned Spielberg to make a film made for
television, “Duel”. “Duel” is about a traveling
salesman whose car is relentlessly chased down rural
highways by a large truck with an unseen driver.
• The American public enjoyed this thriller, and was
popular enough to be shown in theaters overseas.
The movie “Duel” may still be considered to be the
best American television movie ever made.
• The film “Sugerland Express” was released in 1974 as
Spielberg’s feature film debut.
• Inspired by a real incident, Spielberg constructed this
movie about a young couple that led a police chase
across Texas as they attempt to retrieve their baby
from the foster parents.
• It received praise from box office critics but failed at
the box office.
• “The Sugerland Express” won a Cannes Film Festival
Award for Best Screenplay
1975 – “Jaws”
• “Jaws” became Spielberg’s claim to fame, becoming the top-
grossing film of all time in 1975.
• The movie was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and
won a few technical awards.
• “Jaws” marked a new movie genre, the blockbuster. The
blockbuster movie could be interpreted as a highly anticipated
movie that made a lot of money and captured both critics and
• In 1998, the film was named by the American Film Institute as
one of the 100 best American films of the century.
1977 – “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”
• Spielberg created and directed “Close
Encounters of the Third Kind”, in 1977.
• He showed the viewing audience his
passion for science fiction.
• This film earned Spielberg his first Oscar
nomination for best director.
• 1977 - Spielberg told George Lucas he
wanted to make a film with the
James Bond character.
• Lucas suggested a movie set in the
1930’s about an archaeologist and his
• “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the
Lost Arc” came out in 1981.
• Spielberg won an Academy Award
nomination for best director.
• Later he directed the film’s two
sequels, “Indiana Jones and the
Temple of Doom” and “Indiana Jones
and the Last Crusade.”
1982 – “E.T.”
• In 1982, “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” toppled the film
Jaws from the all time top-grossing movie ranking.
• Appealed to suburban America, the story line became
a classic hit.
• Once again, Spielberg earned an Academy
Award nomination for best director,
Spielberg’s status was “the first director since
Alfred Hitchcock to become a household
1982 - Spielberg creates “Amblin” Entertainment
• Universal Studios restricted the
amount of films he could produce, this
was a hindrance to Spielberg’s
will, therefore, he was stimulated to
found his own production company
• Amblin Entertainment, using the E.T.
logo as its trademark of good fortune
from the movie E.T.
• At this point in his career Spielberg was
perceived more as of a producer than a
• Spielberg did not find producing as
satisfying as directing and gradually has
become less involved.ROBY VINCENT
1985 – “The Color Purple”
• Spielberg directed “The Color Purple” (which
launched Oprah Winfrey's career), as a response to
critics claiming that he can't make a "serious"
• This “serious” movie received a lot of “serious”
critical acclaim, and brought the Directors Guild of
America award to Spielberg for Theatrical Direction
in 1985, as well as 11 Oscar nominations, but not
one honoring the director.
• As a consolation prize, he did receive the
prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1987.
• 1987 saw the release of “Empire of the Sun”
“Always” was released in 1989
“Hook” was released in 1991.
These were each moderate successes, while the
latter two were pretty forgettable, especially by the
time 1993 came around.
• Spielberg made a major career
resurgence in 1993 with the special
effect-heavy dinosaur extravaganza
• Jurassic Park made an outstanding
impression, with a record-setting
opening weekend gross of $70 million
and a total gross of $357 million.
• The film encouraged and launched
other big money franchises, including
two sequels, the lost World: Jurassic
Park (1997), which Spielberg directed,
and Jurassic Park 3, which he produced.
• Also in 1993, Spielberg displayed an
affectionate, caring, and giving side of himself
when he released his sobering black and white
adaptation of Thomas Keneally’s prize winning
novel "Schindler’s List", the story of a complicated
real life hero.
• "Schindler’s List" earned over $100 million at the
• Spielberg gave all of his earnings from the film to
the Righteous Persons Foundation, an organization
that supports a number of projects that impacted
modern Jewish life.
• 2005 “Munich”
• 2005 “War of the Worlds”
• 2004 “The Terminal”
• 2002 “Catch Me If You Can”
• 2002 “Minority Report”
• 2001 “A.I.”
• 1998 “Saving Private Ryan”
• Roger Ebert (Sun-Times film critic) said: "If Spielberg never directed another
film, his place in movie history would be secure. No other director has been
more successful at the box office and few placed more titles on various lists of
great films. No director or producer has ever put together a more popular body
of work" (Filmmakers).
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