Steven Spielberg, the multi-talented film personality, did not exactly have a fairy tale childhood. Being dyslexic and shy, Steven was often bullied by other kids at school. Though immensely talented, he was never counted as a brilliant student. He barely managed C’s in his studies, thanks to his preoccupation with cameras and movies. This often led to severe arguments between Steven and his father.
In spite of all these odds, at the age of 12, Steven shot his first movie “Fighter Squad” with his Dad’s 8mm movie camera. Dressing up his friends in ketch up spattered World War II uniforms, he shot the fight sequences in the cockpit of old airplanes stationed at Phoenix airport. By the time he had turned 17, Steven had shot 4 films using his 8mm movie camera.
After finishing his high school, Steven wanted to join one of the best film schools. But his poor grades stood in his way. Without many alternatives left, he enrolled in a program in the California State University–Long Beach. He was soon bored by his classes. Determined to get his movie career rolling, Steven dropped out of college.
One summer, Steven had worked as a clerical intern at The Universal studios. He knew that hanging around the locations where TV shows and movies were actually shot would really help him in understanding the industry better.
Though his internship was over, Steven realized that the guards might still recognize him from the previous summer and he might be able to sneak into the studio premises. Dressing in his father’s best suit and tie and carrying a briefcase, he succeeded in hoodwinking the guards who just waved back at him every time he walked by.
Once he reached the studio, he would hang around every department asking questions and understanding the technical details. Often, he would get kicked out from a set. But that didn’t keep him from going back later.
A few months into this game, Steven became a familiar face in the lot and people started assuming that he worked for someone or the other in the Studio. He even found an empty room to call his office.
Once he made some acquaintances within the industry, Steven didn’t hesitate to make the next move. He shot a film with his 8mm camera and requested the studio executives to take a look. When they refused to look at anything that was not shot using a camera bigger than 16mm, Steven re-shot the film using a rented 16 mm movie camera. In an attempt to get rid of this pestering guy, the executives informed him that they would only look at it if shot with a 35mm camera. Without losing zest, Steven shot the film again using a 35 mm camera.
Impressed by his will and persistence, the executives watched the movie and were amazed by his talent. The film, “Amblin”, went ahead and won a prize at the Atlanta film festival. Moreover, the Universal studios signed a seven-year contract with twenty-two year old Steven and now his career is history!
If you are strong willed none of your weaknesses is big enough to stop you from achieving your dreams
Persistence always helps you succeed.
Real life and hands on experience is the best teacher.
~ Gitanjali Banerjee