Monday, January 16, 2012

Steven Spielberg on fear

Steven Spielberg has a reputation as a movie director, which is just another form of being a story teller. Mostly he's taking other people's stories and interpreting them, with the help of a cast and crew.

Back in early December, he was interviewed in Entertainment Weekly, and I've been meaning to post this excerpt ever since I read the article. Here it is:

I read somewhere that you were nauseous every day while making [your first short film] Amblin'. True?

Yes. I've always had shpilkes (Yiddish for "nerves").

You didn't have a career yet - what were you worried about?

It's not even about the career. I have shpilkes now and I have a career. I think it's my fuel, basically - my nervous stomach. That's what keeps me honest, right? And a little bit humble, in the sense that when I make a movie, I never think I have all the answers. I think I've stayed collaborative my entire career because I don't have all the answers. I come onto the set - whether it was my first movie, The Sugarland Express, or Lincoln - and it cuts me down to size. It's a good feeling to have.
I know a lot of writer friends who feel this time every single time they embark on a new manuscript or a new round of revisions, and oftentimes it seems to catch them off-guard. I really like Spielberg's take on it - that the nerves fuel the creative process. Don't you?


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