Steven Allan Spielberg is a well-known American actor, director, and screenwriter who was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1946. Steven has produced and directed several films covering a wide range of subjects and genres over the course of his four-century career. He is without a doubt one of the most powerful figures in the film industry, and he is perhaps Hollywood’s best-known director. Furthermore, Steven has amassed a sizable fortune as a result of his many high-grossing and critically acclaimed credits. Aside from these accomplishments, Steven has made important contributions to shaping various facets of the human spirit and contemporary art. Mr. Spielberg spent his early years in Haddon Township, Phoenix, and later Saratoga. During his childhood, Steven was mainly inspired by his father, Arnold Spielberg who was an electrical engineer working in computer development. His early directing efforts were witnessed in the film entitled Battle Squad (1961), which integrated the footage of World War II (WWII) with that of an airplane on a ground that he had designed to appear as if in motion (“Steven Spielberg Biography”). In addition, he directed other short films such as Escape to Nowhere (1961) which featured children soldiers in WWII, The Last Gun (1959) and Firelight (1964).
The next few years, Steven directed a couple of films that would portend his future in the movies industry. For instance, in 1968, he directed Amblin’, which featured a man and a woman hitching via the desert. The name was later given to his production company, which produces Spielberg’s films and classics by other distinguished directors such as Robert Zemeckis, Joe Dante, and Brian Levant. Steven also directed a few TV series including Marcus Welby (1969), Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971) and Rod Serling’s Night Gallery (1969). All of his work in short films and television hints the wellspring of talent that would dazzle people across the globe.
Impact on the Film Industry and Humanity
Steven will be widely revered as the pioneer of blockbusters, yet his impact on contemporary filmmaking exceeds box office bombshells. Initially, blockbuster was used to refer to successful movies, theater plays, and best-selling novels. Later, the usage of the term for films coalesced around Steven’s Jaw (1975) after which it was perceived as something new, a cultural phenomenon and almost a genre (Morris 435). Before the emergence of blockbusters in the film sector, summer was considered a slow season for the movie business. This trend, of course, seems ridiculous today as this period is usually when different film studios release their blockbusters like in the recent cases of Star Trek Beyond and Independence Day: Resurgence. The trend of releasing blockbusters during summer drew its root from the period when Spielberg’s Jaw was released.
Secondly, Steven’s movies have revolutionized visual and other special effects. Filmmakers have for many years relied on technological features to create visual effects. However, the tipping point came in 1993 when Steven Jurassic Park was released. In this regard, Steven assigned two teams on creating realistic dinosaurs. One team was supposed to use go-motion, and the other was to use Computer-generated Imagery (CGI). A few months later, the CGI team presented the director with a remarkable footage of a tyrannosaur marauding. Since then, the power of CGI has surpassed anything that the early generation of artists could have envisioned.
Spielberg did not just introduce special effects to movies; he also helped preserve people’s sense of wonder. This impact is most notable in one of his movies Close Encounters of the Third King, which prioritized the wonder aspect more than exposition or action (Towlson 33). Further, the humanity’s desire to celebrate the wonders of the world shows through in multiple of his fantasy and fiction movies. Simply put, Spielberg’s rich visuals are more than a mere cool thrill-ride; they reveal our sense of wonder.
Besides the spectacle, Steven has committed a significant part of his career to issues of war and the Holocaust. It is virtually impossible to explore the future of humanity without first safeguarding the past (Crabtree). In this light, Steven has done a lot to preserve the memory of the WWII in peoples mind. For instance, he has far from his Blockbusters portrayed heroes of the Holocaust and how they navigate hostile situations to do the right thing. Secondly, his WWII films such as Saving Private Ryan and the Empire of the Sun have solidified the image of the war for many people. Lastly, through his Film and Video Archive of the American Holocaust, Steven has helped archive valuable footage (“About the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum”).
Despite a few criticisms in his career, Steven’s body of work portrays a director who is widely cherished for his cause and spectacle. The director has pioneered various aspects in the film industry including the idea of Blockbusters and special effects in movies. Moreover, he has made a significant contribution to the preservation and shaping the memory of WWII. Altogether Steven’s legacy has been to encourage the production of films that are unadulterated both in the effects and actions while maintaining strong character roots.
“About The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.” Ushmm.Org, 2017, https://www.ushmm.org/information/about-the-museum.
“Steven Spielberg Biography.” IMDB, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000229/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm.
Crabtree, David. “The Importance of History.” Msc.Gutenberg.Edu, http://msc.gutenberg.edu/2001/02/the-importance-of-history/.
Morris, Nigel, ed. A companion to Steven Spielberg. John Wiley & Sons, 2017.
Towlson, Jon. Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Columbia University Press, 2016.