Steven Spielberg of Arcadia

Steven Spielberg

Steven Spielberg is one of the most well known directors, producers and screen writers of this era. He has been in the film industry for more than four decades and is viewed as one of the most popular directors and producers in film history. Spielberg’s big breakthrough as a director came in 1977 with “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, then went on to direct classics like “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and the “Indiana Jones” franchise.

Filmmaker, director and producer Steven Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Spielberg moved several times growing up and spent part of his youth in Phoenix, Arizona. While living in Phoenix, when Spielberg was 13-years-old, he won a prize for a 40-minute war film he titled Escape to Nowhere using a cast of teenage friends. The win motivated him to continue to make 15 more amateur 8mm films. When he was 16-years-old, Spielberg wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called Firelight, which would later inspire Close Encounters. He made the film with $500 he borrowed from his dad, and was shown in a local cinema for one evening, which earned back its cost. After attending Arcadia High School in Phoenix for three years, his family next moved to Saratoga, California where he later graduated from Saratoga High School in 1965.

Spielberg would become one of the youngest television directors for Universal in the late 1960s. Along with his three Oscar wins, he has received many other honors. He received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1986. In 2004, Spielberg received the Directors Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award and the French Legion of Honor in recognition of his work. The following year, he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

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