Biography of Stephen Spielberg

Essay by leoseeleyCollege, Undergraduate December 2002

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Born in Cincinnati on December 18, 1946, and raised in the suburbs of Haddonfield New Jersey and Scottsdale Arizona, Spielberg always had a love and fascination for the movie industry.

There is no doubt that Steven Spielberg is the most successful, brilliant and important filmmaker in history. That statement immediately begs a host of questions. At a conservative estimate, dozens of directors have created work of superior depth and artistry. Something like a dozen (including Tarrentino, Hitchcock, Cameron, Lucas, Kubric and Coppola) have achieved comparable "household" status in their day. A few have made a greater number of successful films, even a greater number of the enduringly best-loved films. But no other director-producer has been responsible for so many top-grossing hits, or more decisively imprinted his brand name on the films and the culture of his time, or had such a decisive and sweeping impact on both the industry's and the public's notion of what movie going is supposed to be about.

His father was an electrical engineer and computer specialist; his mother, a concert pianist. The young Spielberg grew up in front of the television set.

As a pre-teen, he charged admission to his home movies (which involved wrecks he staged with his Lionel train set) while his sister sold popcorn. At the age of 12, his first production was complete, including script and actors. Just one year later at the age of 13, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war movie he titled Escape to Nowhere. In 1963, at the young age of 16, his 140-minute production of Firelight (which would later inspire Close Encounters) was had one showing in a Phoenix movie house and brought in $100 profit.

After being denied entrance into traditional film schools, Spielberg entered California State University in Long Beach to study...