LOS ANGELES — Steven Spielberg is a living legend in the Hollywood film industry, one of the most culturally dominant industries in the world.
However, if you don’t focus on his name, or his company, or his latest award that is called “Legend of Our Lifetime” from U.K. film magazine Empire’ “Empire Awards,” he is a comfortably dressed film director with a family.
“I’ve been doing it from when I was 12 years old, 11 years old, I started taking 8 mm movies of my family on camping trips when I was a kid growing up in Arizona,” Spielberg recalled.
You could tell that he earned his way from Cal State University Long Beach to Hollywood because he walks around like everyone else around him—like he equally has some work to do.
During a day with his cast and invited press at Goya Studios in Los Angeles, he gave the vibe of being just somebody’s co-worker, grandfather, uncle or dad that happens to be the one directing the movie.
He shows the everyday challenges of staying in the filmmaking business, as well as the inspiration he has with using the imagination and American history that has shaped our political climate today.
He is the “2018 Spielberg” in tune with American history as shown in “The Post” and “Bridge of Spies.”
In between the history that sways society, he is the Spielberg that embraces the nostalgia of multiple generations, such as in his latest action adventure movie called “Ready Player One.”
“He is very kind; I feel like he is my grandfather. Every morning he hugs us. In Japan, we don’t do that,” said Win Moriaski, who waited 8 months to get the call back for his first American film role in “Ready Player One.”
According to Spielberg, “Ready Player One” for the past three years was his “great escape” in between “The Post” and “Bridge of Spies.”
“I was feeling it, but it kind of makes my wife and kids kind of crazy; they don’t know who dad’s going to be when he comes home,” described the father of seven on how dedicated he is to his movie projects.
Although he has a high sense of imagination, as a humble director, he whips into reality right on schedule by being “hands on” at getting his team focused.
“He spends a half an hour before each scene just morphing us into the person we are playing, so when we film the scene we feel like a totally different person,” explained “Ready Player One” actor Philip Zhao.
“I played a lot the Bee Gees!” Spielberg said about how he warms up or “morphs’’ his cast into their characters.
“He pulls out his phone, he hits the screen and starts playing ‘Stayin Alive’ by the Bee Gees and he starts walking towards me and starts nodding his head and he is holding up his phone and then he says ‘and action!’ said actor Tye Sheridan, about how Spielberg directed one of his scenes.
And creatively, he is perhaps like a father directing a yearly family video.
“You make my dreams come true” became the song during the end credits of “Ready Player One” after Spielberg learned that it was the screenwriter Ernest Cline and wife’s song when they walked down the aisle on their wedding day.
“I win guys!” Cline said, exactly like a son would probably say while looking back at a past experience together.
He wasn’t full of filmmaking jargon and did not mention the business end of making movies until asked about the rights.
“Where’s my producer?” Spielberg asked as both highlighted that it took three years of weekly calls to obtain the majority of the rights of their movie references.
Getting your team to make the weekly calls for the last three years to get the rights you need is one example of the endurance you need to make big motion pictures for so long. Continuously working on your craft inside and outside the studio is another example.
“Today, in my life I do all the videos of my family growing up and what we do every single year is. I have a really great editor, Andy, in our office and he cuts together the whole year in the life of my family, all my children, my grandchildren, and we have little screenings, it’s called the ‘Annual Family Video,’” he shared.
Spielberg is going nowhere else; he is stayin’ alive!