Passion and Perseverance: Superstardom’s Love Match

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The adolescent outcast is always the one who eventually surpasses the bullies. Although Steven Spielberg grew up feeling alienated from his peers, he found solace in his boundless creativity that ultimately found him favor in Hollywood.

“Steven’s a guy who rewrites the book of cinema every so often,” said actor Tom Hanks in a Biography channel special chronicling Spielberg’s gradual ascendance to fame.

Spielberg built his entire cinematic career out of his own innovation. The director never quite fit into school academically or socially. Instead, his education came from home and his extra-curricular activities.

In his youth, Spielberg spent playtime telling his sisters elaborate science fiction tales. At family gatherings, the boy of Jewish heritage would listen to his relatives recount stories of the Holocaust, which would prove as useful knowledge later in Spielberg’s filmmaking career. In his teen years, Spielberg acquired a video camera, which he initially used to document camping trips with his father. Shortly thereafter Spielberg was creating all sorts of mini, low-budget features. His “Escape to Nowhere” won Spielberg a statewide competition and “Firelight” was his first draft for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Eventually, Spielberg made it to Universal Studios as an unpaid clerical assistant. While helping out at the studios, he created a 25-minute feature “Amblin’” that became Spielberg’s ticket to Hollywood.

Although Spielberg was described as a Jekyll and Hyde character in his youth, he proved to be a sweet kid in the director’s chair that won the affections of actors. His professionalism and ability to stay cool under excruciating stress earned him the highest grossing film of the time, Jaws, at the ripe age of 28 and merely two major feature films tucked under his belt.

Nevertheless, regardless of his phenomenal success as a film director, it has remained Spielberg’s artistic passion, not fame, that drives his work.

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