Steven Spielberg: Top 15 Quotes for filmmakers and storytellers


As a kid, no director inspired me more than Spielberg.

Sure there were others whose work was hugely influential, John Carpenter and Ridley Scott foremost. But Spielberg remained the person I most admired, someone whose films I wanted to model, whose career I wanted to emulate.

Perhaps it’s because he started his filmmaking career by shooting Super 8mm films, something I was doing too (HERE). Or maybe it was the legends of how he blagged his way onto film sets and getting his own office at the studio that inspired me – he felt, like me, an outsider who was breaking into the film business.

For a kid from the North of England, Hollywood seemed so very far away.

And somehow, Spielberg, like the man behind the curtain in the Wizard of Oz, made it seem that much closer and most importantly, achievable. And of course, he did direct several of the greatest films ever made.

Here are his top 15 quotes….

‘You shouldn’t dream your film, you should make it!’

‘When I grow up, I still want to be a director’

‘I love creating partnerships; I love not having to bear the entire burden of the creative storytelling’

‘My imagination won’t turn off. I wake up so excited I can’t eat breakfast. I’ve never run out of energy’

‘You have many years ahead of you to create the dreams that we can’t even imagine dreaming. You have done more for the collective unconscious of this planet than you will ever know.’

‘The only thing that gets me back to directing is good scripts’

‘All good ideas start out as bad ideas, that why is takes so long’

‘It all starts with the script: it’s not worth taking myself away from my family if I don’t have something I’m really passionate about’

‘I get that same queasy, nervous, thrilling feeling every time I go to work. That’s never worn off since I was 12 years-old with my dad’s 8-millimeter movie camera’

‘Filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself’

‘Audience members are only concerned about the story, the concept, the bells and whistles and the noise that a popular film starts to make even before it’s popular. So audiences will not be drawn to the technology; they’ll be drawn to the story’

‘If I weren’t a director, I would want to be a film composer’

‘You can’t start a movie by having the attitude that the script is finished, because if you think the script is finished, your movie is finished before the first day of shooting’

‘Tracking action without cutting is the least jarring method of placing the audience into a real-time experience where they are the ones making the subtle choices of where and when to look’

‘I don’t dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day; I’m dreaming for living.’

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones
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