With Spielberg known as one of the most popular directors in American film history, you might have found yourself contemplating what film he first directed. The good news? I have the answer to this.
At the young age of 16, Spielberg successfully wrote and directed his first film, Firelight (1963) which was produced on a budget of only $500. Though you might know him better for his directorial role in Jaws (1975) as this is when he truly rose to fame.
Stay tuned to find out more about how he became known for directing and find out Spielberg’s take on what it’s like to be a director.
Spielberg’s Early Life
Spielberg has been passionate about filmography from a young age and it’s safe to say he has always been talented. However, Spielberg hasn’t always been accepted.
Around 1 in 5 students in the US experience bullying in their education. Spielberg has opened up about bullying, admitting that he was isolated as a child and most of his friends were made behind a camera.
In another interview with 60 Minutes, Spielberg revealed: “The same feeling I get every morning is the same feeling I got going to school every day… Being a bit of an outsider and not being normal, not being able to get the grades and compete.”
Though Spielberg’s early life was filled with misfortune, the fear generated from these misfortunes has been the driving factor in Spielberg’s successes.
To this day, Spielberg has his critics as with everyone in the industry, but he doesn’t let this defeat him. Spielberg uses the criticisms of others to improve his work. So, how did Spielberg get so famous? Well, let me tell you: it didn’t happen overnight! Read on to learn more.
Steven Spielberg’s Rise To Fame
In case you didn’t already know, I’ll give you some context on who Spielberg is, and how he has risen to fame over the years. Spielberg started in life just like most other people – as an average, working-class American born to a Jewish family, in Ohio.
Now, you might not believe it but Spielberg’s rise to fame started with rejection. Earlier in his career, Spielberg applied to the University of Southern California – a film school, not once but twice. He wasn’t accepted.
Instead, Spielberg went to California State University, Long Beach – a college that provides quality education at a lower price than other colleges. It took Spielberg 35 years to get his degree in Film Production and Electronic Arts.
Before obtaining his degree, Spielberg had already earned his first Academy Award for Best Director on his 1993 film Schindler’s List. Spielberg’s rise to fame doesn’t stop there. Now Spielberg has earned 192 awards and has received 205 nominations. That truly is remarkable!
Spielberg’s Take on Directing
By now, you might find yourself wondering what it’s like to be a director. You’re in luck because Spielberg has already answered that.
In an interview with InterviewMagazine in 2016, Spielberg revealed: “In a way, you’re f****** your movie when you’re making a movie, and there’s very little room for friends, for family, for anything else.”
As a director, it’s clear you need to take risks to see the benefits. That’s precisely what Spielberg does, and perhaps that’s why he’s so successful. Don’t you agree?
Later in the interview, Spielberg discussed his happiest moments as a director, saying: “My happiest moments are when I’m putting the picture together in post-production and things are working as I’ve planned.”
In my opinion, Spielberg’s attention to detail and his dedication to learning is what has enabled him to become as successful as he is today. Spielberg discusses that by paying attention to what’s already been produced in the past is what helps him to predict what his future movies should be like.