Five amazing facts about Steven Spielberg

By SSPDaily editionJan 27, 2024 17:03 PMShowbiz
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Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg. Source: ew.com

Steven Allan Spielberg, a legendary figure in the world of cinema, has achieved unsurpassed success in his career as a director, producer, and screenwriter. SSPDaily will tell you about five fascinating aspects of Spielberg's life and career that shed light on the man behind the camera.

Spielberg's unconventional path to cinema

Before he became a famous filmmaker in Hollywood, Spielberg faced rejection and difficulties along the way. After graduating from high school, he applied to the prestigious University of Southern California Film School three times but was rejected due to mediocre grades.

Despite this, he continued his passion for filmmaking by enrolling at California State University. He eventually dropped out when he took an internship at Universal Television in 1968. Ironically, in 1994, the same university awarded Spielberg an honorary degree, recognizing his outstanding achievements in the film industry.

Jaws: a turning point in Spielberg's career

At the age of 27, Spielberg was entrusted with the task of directing "Jaws," a monster movie that became a cinematic sensation. Despite the film's huge success, its production was far from smooth sailing. Filming at sea posed numerous challenges, including unpredictable weather conditions and the unwanted appearance of ships in the background.

The mechanical shark used in the film also suffered setbacks when it repeatedly drowned in salt water. Nevertheless, Spielberg's directorial skill turned "Jaws" into a groundbreaking classic and marked a turning point in his career.

The iconic alien shot: a real cinematic comic book

One of Spielberg's most iconic cinematic moments occurs in "E.T." when the main character, Elliott, flies past the moon. What makes this scene even more remarkable is that it was created without digital effects.

Spielberg and his team at Industrial Light and Magic carefully researched locations, using maps and astrological charts to find the perfect spot where the full moon would align with the trees. While Elliott and the alien were scale models, the moon and the surrounding landscape were real, adding to the magic of the scene.

Spielberg's personal commitment to "Schindler's List"

"Schindler's List," a deeply personal project for Spielberg, was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, grossing over $322 million on a budget of $22 million. However, what sets this movie apart is Spielberg's selflessness. He never received any monetary benefit from it.

Instead, he donated all profits from the film to the Shoah Foundation, an organization dedicated to preserving the testimonies of survivors of genocide, including the Holocaust. Spielberg's refusal to autograph memorabilia related to "Schindler's List" ensures that no one can exploit the tragedy for personal gain.

Spielberg's return to the university

Unexpectedly, Spielberg returned to California State University in 2009, 41 years after he dropped out. He was seeking a degree, which required him to make a short film as his final project.

Spielberg, always a visionary, asked for permission to submit a slightly longer film. His professor agreed, and Spielberg turned in "Schindler's List" as his project, which met all the requirements. This act symbolizes Spielberg's lifelong commitment to learning and his unique approach to education.

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