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Spielberg the Director

Breaking into the movie industry, for Spielberg was said to be a very literal thing. Spielberg disappeared into the Universal lot while on a tour. He apparently found an abandoned janitors closet, cleaned it up, and turned it into a presentable office. Every day Spielberg would walk right past the security guards at the gate, wearing a suit and tie.

While on the inside, Spielberg started production on Amblin. It was a 24 minute movie about a pair of hitchhikers. The $15,000 budget came from a friend of his, who was also trying to break into the movie business. Amblin won several film festival awards, and more importantly, got him the attention of Universal Studios.

Spielberg was signed for 7 years with the Television Division. He Directed shows such as The Night Gallery, Marcus Welby MD, The Name of the Game and the first episode of Columbo. The contract allowed him to show off the diversity of his talents. He got to direct made for TV movies such as Duel and Something Evil. Duel was so good, it was later moved to foreign theaters.

Spielberg's first feature film was in 1974. The Sugarland Express was the a comedy/drama based on the true story of a fugitive couple who flees the authorities with their child, whom they refuse to give up for adoption. They hold a highway patrolman hostage while setting out to kidnap their child from a foster home. As they are being pursued by Texas authorities, they become heroes to the local residents. It won critical acclaim including a Cannes Film Festival Award in 1974 for Best screenplay.

In 1975, Spielberg directed Jaws. Only his second feature film, Jaws was a huge success. It was nominated for best film at the 1976 Academy Awards, and won 3 Oscars for Editing, sound and original score. Jaws would later be named as one of the 100 best films of all time by the American Film Institute. More importantly, it would open up the doors for Spielberg to work on many more great projects.

Spielberg would go on to create films such as Close Encounters, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. Rather than pondering the value of each of these movies here in the biography, The Steven Spielberg Directory has an entire page dedicated to each of these movies.