Top 300+ Really Amazing Quotes By Legendary Film Director Steven Spielberg

Top 300+ Really Amazing Quotes By Filmmaker Steven Spielberg Quotes curated by Factober Inspiration

Written by Vishal for Factober

FACTOBER KNOWLEDGE & INSPIRATION

October 19, 2020

Steven Spielberg Quotes

Steven Spielberg is one of the most popular, influencers and genius film director. He is best known for producing and directing a high quality, best films that keep you engaged throughout the story. One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood’s best-known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Read these 300+ best quotes by Legend Steven Speilberg.

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  1. A lot of kids only know ‘E.T.’ from the digitally-enhanced version.
  2. A lot of the films I’ve made probably could have worked just as well 50 years ago, and that’s just because I have a lot of old-fashion values.
  3. A.I. is a Kubrick concept, a Kubrick approach, a Kubrick philosophy, generalled by Kubrick and charged by me.
  4. After a scary movie about the world almost ending, we can walk into the sunlight and say, “Wow, everything’s still here. I’m OK!” We like to tease ourselves. Human beings have a need to get close to the edge and, when filmmakers or writers can take them to the edge, it feels like a dream where you’re falling, but you wake up just before you hit the ground.
  5. All during the picture I called Daniel Day-Lewis Mr. President, but that was my idea. I also wore a suit every day which I don’t usually do when I’m directing. Everybody was dressed up in their period wardrobe. I did not wear 19th century wardrobe. I wore pretty good clothes from this era. I just wanted to blend in. We knew we were in the 21st century at all times. But once you stepped onto the stages of the White House, everybody really felt that they were making a contribution to remembering this critical moment in our shared history.
  6. All good ideas start out as bad ideas, that’s why it takes so long.
  7. All I have to do is pose for a picture and I’m getting married to the person standing next to me.
  8. All of my movies are about how I wish the world would work. I’ve made very few movies about how the world worked. I could name them on one and a half hands, about how my movies have been very reflective of how the world was exactly. A lot of my movies are really about the way I wish the world was, and that’s what this whole art form is all about. It’s an interpretive art form.
  9. All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives.
  10. All presidents swear an oath to the Constitution to keep this country united, and when the country fell apart, Lincoln had to put it back together again, with a lot of help. But he bore total responsibility.
  11. All the time, but when you have a story that is very commercial and simple, you have to find the art. You have to take the other elements of the film and make them as good as possible, and doing that will uplift the film.
  12. All those horrible, traumatic years I spent as a kid became what I draw from creatively today.
  13. All through my career I’ve done what I can to discover new talent and give them a start.  
  14. Am I allowed to say I really wanted this? This is fantastic.
  15. An animal has no intellectual capacity to justify or to find reasons to exist. An animal just exists because it’s the natural thing to do.
  16. And I may often question choices I make as a producer. But I’ve never questioned the choices I make as a director.
  17. As a Jew I am aware of how important the existence of Israel is for the survival of us all. And because I am proud of being Jewish, I am worried by the growing anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in the world.
  18. As long as there’s been Transformers, I’ve been one of the biggest fans. And I always thought that somewhere in this genius concept, there was a movie.
  19. At E3 games convention about partnership with EA: I am a gamer myself, and I really wanted to create a video game that I could play with my kids.
  20. 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. And I hope it always remains that way.
  21. Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story.
  22. Audrey gave more than she ever got. The whole world is going to miss her.
  23. Because of how much movies cost, it’s dangerous to be experimental on one film after the other. But we can experiment with television. We can do things that are fringe and bring ideas to the table that are offbeat and original.
  24. Because television doesn’t offer the kind of budget that a movie offers, you’ve got to be a little more careful where you spend the money to put the fiction in science.
  25. Before I go off and direct a movie I always look at 4 films. They tend to be: “Seven Samurai“, “Lawrence of Arabia“, “It’s a Wonderful Life“, and “The Searchers“.
  26. Before I go off and direct a movie, I always look at four films. They tend to be The Seven Samurai, Lawrence Of Arabia, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Searchers.
  27. Before statehood was achieved, Syria and Egypt had their tanks and military equipment lined up to invade Tel Aviv and destroy it; but the Israelis scrambled together an air force, some of it from old Second World War Messerschmidts, and the invasion was halted.
  28. Being a movie-maker means you get to live many, many lifetimes. It’s the same reason audiences go to movies, I think. When my daughter Sasha (Sasha Spielberg) was 5 years old, we would be watching something on TV and she’d point to a character on screen and say, “Daddy, that’s me.” Ten minutes later a new character would come on screen and she’d say, “No, Daddy. That’s me.” Throughout the movie she would pick different people to become. I think that’s what we all do. We just don’t say it as sweetly.
  29. Bloated budgets are ruining Hollywood – these pictures are squeezing all the other types of movies out of Hollywood. It’s disastrous.
  30. Casting sometimes is fate and destiny more than skill and talent, from a director’s point of view.
  31. Cell phones tend to bring us more inside of our lives whereas movies offer a chance to escape, so there are two competing forces.
  32. Close Encounters of the Third Kind” made so much money and rescued Columbia from bankruptcy. It was the most money I ever made, but it was a meagre success story. “Star Wars” was a phenomenon and I was the happy beneficiary of a couple of points from that movie which I am still seeing money on today.
  33. Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema’s distant future.
  34. Daniel did something first that made me sad. He wanted to wait a year. And it was a masterstroke because he had a year to do research. He had a year to find the character in his own private process. He had a year to discover how Lincoln sounded, and he found the voice. He had Lincoln so embedded in his psyche, in his soul, in his mind, that I would come to work in the morning and Lincoln would sit behind his desk, and we could begin.
  35. Desperate times require desperate measures. What Lincoln and the Lobbyist for the Amendment and the Manager of the Amendment and himself, what they did to get this passed was not illegal. It was murky, but what they did was noble and grand. How they went about it was somewhat murky, but nothing they did was really illegal.
  36. Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life – family, friends, country and career. He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic “Gandhi” and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in “Jurassic Park“. He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.
  37. Disney is the birthplace of imagination and has always been as close to the worldwide audience as any company ever has.
  38. Documentaries are the first line of education, and the second line of education is dramatization, such as ‘The Pacific’.
  39. Duel was almost a once-in-a-lifetime story. You don’t get stories like that all the time.
  40. Dyslexia! It is more common than you can imagine, you are not alone.
  41. E.T.’ began with me trying to write a story about my parents’ divorce.
  42. Even if I’d had a really happy relationship with my father and there was no emotional hiatus for a decade and a half, I probably would still have made some of the same choices for movies that I’ve made.
  43. Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry.
  44. Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.
  45. Everybody who works for Amblin Television has to do five jobs.
  46. Failure is inevitable. Success is elusive.
  47. Fathering is a major job, but I need both things in my life: my job to be a director, and my kids to direct me.
  48. For one thing, I don’t think that anybody in any war thinks of themselves as a hero.
  49. For the most part, everybody who fights in war fights to survive.
  50. From the day I started to think politically and to develop my own moral values, from my earliest youth, I have been an ardent defender of Israel.
  51. Godzilla (“Godzilla, King of the Monsters!“) was the most masterful of all dinosaur movies because it made you believe it was really happening.
  52. Godzilla was the most masterful of all dinosaur movies because it made you believe it was really happening.
  53. He gets a lot of points for being a techno-brat, but he is a very emotional storyteller.
  54. He never gave up. And he does that for us.
  55. History is so fleeting and we are so busy consuming media and the contemporary culture, voraciously gobbling it up, that we have no room to look back ever, and our young people have a tough time looking back.
  56. History opens up new worlds to film-makers all the time.
  57. I always like to play with my kids. I always have the time to do that. That’s my priority, always has been, so just interacting with my kids, and being with them is great.
  58. I always like to think of the audience when I am directing. Because I am the audience.
  59. I always like to think of the audience when I am directing. Because I am the audience.  
  60. I always think if it’s a good story, the audience can’t wait to run out of the theater and go tweet somebody with the gist of a story, in a nutshell, almost, because it was that interesting.
  61. I am a very impatient director.
  62. I am an American Jew and aware of the sensitivities involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  63. I am not attacking Israel with this film. In no way, shape or form am I doing that. I’m simply asking why the world feels that the only acceptable response to violence is counter-violence. I’m not answering that question. Just asking it.
  64. I basically went into business for myself. But it never amounted to anything. I learned a lot about editing and dubbing by watching all the professionals do it, but I never got a job out of my imposition.
  65. I believe in 3D for certain kinds of films. I certainly believe in using 3D for all things in animation because animation has such clarity and so much depth of focus. It worked great with ‘Avatar’ because 70 percent of that film is animated.
  66. I can’t describe it, what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. This means something. This is important.
  67. I committed to directing ‘Catch Me If You Can’ not because of the divorce component, but principally because Frank Abagnale did things that were the most astonishing scams I had ever heard.
  68. I committed to directing “Catch Me If You Can” principally because Frank Abagnale Jr. did things that were the most astonishing scams I had ever heard. And I’m a big fan of scams. I loved “The Flim-Flam Man”. I loved “Scarecrow” with Gene Hackman. I loved “Elmer Gantry” – which I think is a bit of a scam movie. “The Sting” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” were kind of scams. You know, some of those villains, you have to sympathize with them.
  69. I compose the frame literally with the camera. Unless it makes a story point.
  70. I didn’t read reviews earlier in my career, but I read them now as I’m older. I read them all.
  71. I don’t do the running commentary as the movie’s playing. I think you should be able to watch the movie without listening to me talk while the movies playing.
  72. I don’t dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day; I’m dreaming for living.
  73. I don’t drink coffee. I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. That’s something you probably don’t know about me. I’ve hated the taste since I was a kid.
  74. I don’t make unconventional stories; I don’t make non-linear stories. I like linear storytelling a lot.
  75. I don’t play online games. ‘Warcraft,’ I’ve played that, but I mainly play action games.
  76. I don’t really have a schedule of when I want to show my children my movies.
  77. I don’t think any movie or any book or any work of art can solve the stalemate in the Middle East today. But it’s certainly worth a try.
  78. I don’t think that anybody in any war thinks of themselves as a hero. The minute anybody presumes that they are heroes, they get their boots taken away from them and buried in the sand.
  79. I don’t dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day; I’m dreaming for a living.  
  80. I don’t drink coffee. I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. That’s something you probably don’t know about me. I’ve hated the taste since I was a kid.
  81. I don’t plan my career. I don’t think I’ll go dark, dark, dark, then light, then dark. I react spontaneously to what falls into my arms, to what is right at the time. I’ve never made a conscious choice, except maybe for the Indiana Jones sequels and “The Lost World: Jurassic Park“. They’re the only times I’ve said, “Okay, I need to make these pictures for the public because they’re craving it.” Also, with Lost World, I hadn’t directed for three years so I wanted to do something I felt secure making. I didn’t want to make a serious picture like “Schindler’s List“.
  82. I don’t work weekends. Weekends are for my kids. And I have dinner at home every night when I’m not physically directing a movie – I get home by six. I put the kids to bed and tell them stories and take them to school the next morning. I work basically from 9.30 to 5.30 and I’m strict about that.
  83. I dream for a living.
  84. I dream for a living. Once a month the sky falls on my head, I come to, and I see another movie I want to make.
  85. I even get inspired by movies that aren’t very good, because there’s always something good in movies that are collectively thought of as a failure. There’s good in everything, I find.
  86. I feel I’m all over my movies. I know my movies are all over me.
  87. I feel like I’ve been engaged to the British Empire since 1980 and tonight you have given me the ring knighthood.
  88. I feel there is no substitute for going out to the movies. There is nothing like it.
  89. I felt like an alien. I always felt like I never belonged to any group that I wanted to belong to.
  90. 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.
  91. I get very, very anxious on the set. I have a thousand ideas and I don’t censor myself. I wind up cutting some of them out in the editing room. I shoot needless footage and then don’t use it later on in the process.
  92. I go out and look for a good story to tell and if I like it enough and I decide to direct it, I become dangerously involved in becoming a part of that story.
  93. I guess my first digital movie was ‘Tintin’ because ‘Tintin’ has no film step. There is no intermediate film step. It’s 100% digital animation, but as far as a live-action film, I’m still planning to shoot everything on film.
  94. I had a great time creating the future on ‘Minority Report,’ and it’s a future that is coming true faster than any of us thought it would.
  95. I have a choice – I can either watch all the dailies, or I can follow the social media. I can’t do both.
  96. I have made almost as many films in England as I have in America. I will come back to England again and again.
  97. I have never before, in my long and eclectic career, been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty as I experienced filming ‘War Horse’ on Dartmoor.
  98. I interpret my dreams one way and make a movie out of them and people see my movies and make them part of their dreams.
  99. I interviewed survivors, I went to Poland, saw the cities and spent time with the people and spoke to the Jews who had come back to Poland after the war and talked about why they had come back.
  100. I just had a crazy, wild imagination all my life, and science fiction is the greatest outlet for me.
  101. I just think that the qualities of leadership are unknown even to the leader until he’s tested and given a challenge.
  102. I like that the best about DVD: how small it is.
  103. I like the smell of film. I just like knowing there’s film going through the camera.
  104. I love creating partnerships; I love not having to bear the entire burden of the creative storytelling, and when I have unions like with George Lucas and Peter Jackson, it’s really great; not only do I benefit, but the project is better for it.
  105. I love editing. It’s one of my favorite parts about filmmaking.
  106. I love history, so I do a lot of movies about history.
  107. I love my kids as individuals, not as a herd, and I do have a herd of children: I have seven kids.
  108. I love Rambo but I think it’s potentially a very dangerous movie. It changes history in a frightening way.
  109. I love to go to a regular movie theater, especially when the movie is a big crowd-pleaser. It’s much better watching a movie with 500 people making noise than with just a dozen.
  110. I made ‘Empire of the Sun’ in Shanghai in the 1980s and want to come back one day to make a movie in China.
  111. I made ‘Saving Private Ryan’ for my father. He’s the one who filled my head with war stories when I was growing up.
  112. I make some movies for myself. I do that sometimes when the subject matter is very sensitive and very personal and I really can’t imagine that I’m an audience member. I would lose myself too much if I thought of myself as the audience. There are other types of genre films that I need to be able to direct from the audience, to be right next to you watching the picture being made.
  113. I missed my dad a lot growing up, even though we were together as a family. My dad was really a workaholic. And he was always working.
  114. I never felt comfortable with myself, because I was never part of the majority. I always felt awkward and shy and on the outside of the momentum of my friends’ lives.
  115. I once said that CGI makes you less inventive. At the time I was bemoaning the loss of the practical stunt. If a stunt can be done practically and safely, I’d rather do it old-style.
  116. I quit college so fast I didn’t even clean out my locker.
  117. I said to George there’s only one person that can play Indy’s father and that’s James Bond, and the original James Bond and the greatest James Bond, Sean Connery.
  118. I simply adore ‘The Simpsons.’ I go to bed in a ‘Simpsons’ T-shirt.
  119. I think “cutting-in-the-camera” is the greatest lesson that any director can learn about filmmaking, because when you don’t got it, you don’t got it, and there’s no way to go back and get it…
  120. I think documentaries are the greatest way to educate an entire generation that doesn’t often look back to learn anything about the history that provided a safe haven for so many of us today.
  121. I think every film I make that puts characters in jeopardy is me purging my own fears, sadly only to re-engage with them shortly after the release of the picture. I’ll never make enough films to purge them all.
  122. I think every movie I’ve made after ‘Indiana Jones,’ I’ve tried to make every single movie as if it was made by a different director, because I’m very conscious of not wanting to impose a consistent style on subject matter that is not necessarily suited to that style. So I try to re-invent my own eye every time I tackle a new subject.
  123. I think in terms of chapters. Every time I finish a movie, it’s a chapter. When one of my kids graduates from school, that’s a chapter.
  124. I think it was ‘A Tale of Two Cities‘. It was required reading. How do you require a child of let’s say twelve years-old to read ‘A Tale of Two Cities‘? What I did was just make little stick figures in the dog-eared sections of the book, one frame at a time, in different positions. And it was like a flip-book. I just did flip-books and saw these images come to life. That was the first time I was able to create an image that moved.
  125. I think Lincoln had a unique parenting style. He let his kids run free and wild.
  126. I think most of my movies are personal movies. I think the most personal movie I’ve made is “Schindler’s List“. I think the second-most personal movie I have ever made is “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. I also find “The Color Purple” to be a personal film for me. So I’ve made a number of personal films. But I haven’t made a movie yet that is actually a mirror neuron of my factual life and I don’t think I ever will. My sister wrote a script about our lives and that might come around again some day, but I’ve always stayed away from anything that is too biographical.
  127. I think one of the worst things that happened to me was, you know, my voluntary fallout with my father. And then the greatest thing that happened to me was when I saw the light, and realized I needed to love him in a way that he could love me back.
  128. I think producers are more interested in backing concepts than directors and writers. I don’t think that’s the right way of making a decision about whether you’re going to back a film or not.
  129. I think that a movie can only be an adjunct or only a supplement to books, to different points of view, to scholars, historians and your own teachers.
  130. I think that the Internet is going to effect the most profound change on the entertainment industries combined. And we’re all gonna be tuning into the most popular Internet show in the world, which will be coming from some place in Des Moines. We’re all gonna lose our jobs. We’re all gonna be on the Internet trying to find an audience.
    I think that the Internet is going to effect the most profound change on the entertainment industries combined. And we’re all gonna be tuning into the most popular Internet show in the world, which will be coming from some place in Des Moines. We’re all gonna lose our jobs. We’re all gonna be on the Internet trying to find an audience.
  131. I think the greatest thing about DVD is the quality of sound and picture; the real estate to put more extras on; and, my favorite point is it stores quietly in very subtle places in your home .
  132. I think the key divide between the interactive media and the narrative media is the difficulty in opening up an empathic pathway between the gamer and the character, as differentiated from the audience and the characters in a movie or a television show.
  133. I think the secret of great acting is that you have to bring your imagination to the party. You have to have a great imagination and you have to bring it every day when you’re working. Your imagination and your skills as an actor are what see you through, not what you’re wearing or where you are.
  134. I think we need to take responsibility for the things we put on this planet, and also take responsibility for the things we take off the planet. We need to have limiters on how far we allow ourselves to go – ethical, moral limiters.
  135. I thought film was more important than life itself for many years. But I was naive to the world until my first child was born in 1985.
  136. I tried twice to get Cubby Broccoli to hire me to direct a Bond film. The first time I met him in person was after I’d done “Duel”. I told him I wanted to do a Bond picture more than anything else in the world and he said, “We only hire British, experienced directors.” So I failed in both categories.
  137. I turned down ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Spider-Man,’ two movies that I knew would be phenomenally successful, because I had already made movies like that before and they offered no challenge to me. I don’t need my ego to be reminded.
  138. I usually do about five cuts as a director. I haven’t ever directed a film where I haven’t made five passes through the movie, and that takes a long time.
  139. I want to be the Cecil B. DeMille of science fiction.
  140. I wanted to do another movie that could make us laugh and cry and feel good about the world. I wanted to do something else that could make us smile. This is a time when we need to smile more and Hollywood movies are supposed to do that for people in difficult times.
  141. I was a scared kid… I think I was born a nervous wreck, and I think movies were one way to find a way transferring my own private horrors to everyone else’s lives. It was less of an escape and more of an exorcism.
  142. I was fifteen, or sixteen. I was in high school. I was spending a summer in California with my second cousins. And I wanted to be a director really bad. I was making a lot of 8mm home movies, since I was twelve, making little dramas and comedies with the neighborhood kids.
  143. I was making a lot of 8mm home movies, since I was twelve, making little dramas and comedies with the neighborhood kids.
  144. I would love to do a musical. I would love that. I would have to find the right book, the right story, but some day I’m going to make one. I would really like to go off and direct a musical. That’s what I would really like to do when I grow up.
  145. I would love to see the British film industry get back on its feet again.
  146. I’d rather direct than produce. Any day. And twice on Sunday.
  147. I’m always in favor of Israel responding strongly when it’s threatened.
  148. I’m always in favor of Israel responding strongly when it’s threatened. At the same time, a response to a response doesn’t really solve anything. It just creates a perpetual-motion machine.
  149. I’m not a great man to my children. I’m just ‘Pop.’ The more involved I am with my kids, it keeps my head flat on top.
  150. I’m not in a race with anybody to make the biggest hit movie anymore. I am just trying to tell stories that I can stay interested in for the two years it takes me to supervise the writing and to direct them.
  151. I’m not really interested in making money.
  152. I’m very collaborative with everybody on the set.
  153. I’m very used to working with first time actors – you can just look back at ‘E.T.’ with Drew Barrymore, and Christian Bale from ‘Empire of the Sun,’ who’d never made a movie before.
  154. I’ve always been interested in how we survive and how resourceful we are as Americans.
  155. I’ve always been interested in UFOs.
  156. I’ve always been very hopeful which I guess isn’t strange coming from me. I don’t want to call myself an optimist. I want to say that I’ve always been full of hope. I’ve never lost that. I have a lot of hope for this country and for the entire world. . .
  157. I’ve always sort of time-locked and mind-blocked myself in my 30s, and that’s always the age I feel.
  158. I’ve always wanted to tell a story about Lincoln. I saw a paternal father figure; I saw someone who was completely, stubbornly committed to his ideals, to his vision.
  159. I’ve discovered I’ve got this preoccupation with ordinary people pursued by large forces.
  160. I’ve got a lot of examples about moments where I thought something would work on film and it didn’t work, but I never came to that decision with the film half shot, where I was stuck on a runaway train and couldn’t jump off. On those occasions where I have admitted defeat, that this is not going to work, I haven’t embarked on that project and made that movie.
  161. I’ve just always had a personal fascination with the myth of Abraham Lincoln. And once you start to read about him and the Civil War and everything leading up to the Civil War, you start to understand that the myth is created when we think we understand a character and we reduce him to a kind of cultural national stereotype.
  162. I’d rather direct than produce. Any day. And twice on Sunday.
  163. I’ll probably never win an Oscar, but I’ll sure have a lot of fun! I really believe that movies are the great escape!
  164. I’m not really interested in making money. That’s always come as the result of success, but it’s not been my goal, and I’ve had a tough time proving that to people.
  165. I’m very relaxed about Oscars. I’ll admit to you that I wasn’t relaxed before I won for “Schindler’s List”. I was pretty much worried about it and almost wanted to get one behind me to get the anxiety out of my gut every time December reared its ugly head. So after I won for Schindler’s and “Saving Private Ryan”, I have no expectations of ever winning again. Whatever happens, happens.
  166. I’ve always been very hopeful which I guess isn’t strange coming from me. I don’t want to call myself an optimist. I want to say that I’ve always been full of hope. I’ve never lost that. I have a lot of hope for this country and for the entire world.
  167. I’ve always been very hopeful which I guess isn’t strange coming from me. I don’t want to call myself an optimist. I want to say that I’ve always been full of hope. I’ve never lost that. I have a lot of hope for this country and for the entire world.  
  168. I’ve had darkness in all the films, in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial“, “Jaws“. There are moments in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that are brutally dark. I just don’t think people have stopped to study. They may not have stopped to think when they assume that I suddenly developed a dark side because of “Schindler’s List“. When critics carp about my dark side, I always wonder, “Well, did they really look in the shadows?”
  169. I’ve never used John Williams to tell people how to feel. I use John Williams to enhance my vision and my thoughts emotionally from scene to scene. He’ll signal when the shark is coming, which are the most famous single notes next to Beethoven’s Fifth. In telling a story, I will use every tool in my arsenal. I will do anything in my power to communicate the best story as I know how.
  170. I’ve taken the time to familiarize myself with the impressive field of Democratic candidates and am convinced that Hillary Clinton is the most qualified candidate to lead us from her first day in the White House. Hillary is a strong leader and is respected the world over. As president, she will bring America back together, rebuild our prestige abroad and ensure our protection here at home.
  171. If Bush, as I believe, has reliable information on the fact that Saddam Hussein is making weapons of mass destruction, I cannot not support the policies of his government.
  172. If I weren’t a director, I would want to be a film composer.
  173. If the world ran the way a crew runs a set, we’d have a better, more progressive world.
  174. In ’83, not only was there no such thing as performance motion capture technology, there was no such thing as digital animation. This was the analog era.
  175. In high school, I got smacked and kicked around. Two bloody noses. It was horrible.
  176. In the re-creation of combat situations, and this is coming from a director who’s never been in one, being mindful of what these veterans have actually gone through, you find that the biggest concern is that you don’t look at war as a geopolitical endeavor.
  177. It [Lincoln movie] had nothing to do with politics. It had nothing to do with holding a mirror up to the way we conduct our business on Capitol Hill. This was meant to be a story, a Lincoln portrait if you will. I think any time is the right time for a very compelling story, any time.
  178. 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.
  179. It boggles my mind how much I feel is left on my plate. There are things on the other side of the supper table stewing in pots that I’m not really even aware of. I would retire if I didn’t feel that way. [2009]
  180. It cost me about fifty dollars to make the movie, and I would charge a quarter a ticket, and at the end of the summer I might have fifty-five dollars. That’s kind of the way Hollywood works today. Small margins.
  181. It is not my job to compare my movies. I don’t like to compare my films with other movies because I don’t really have that perspective. It is an intellectual exercise, but it doesn’t intuitively come to me.
  182. It’s still a mystery to me, but even though my mother was like an older sister to me, I kind of put her up on a pedestal.
  183. John has given movies a musical language that can be spoken and understood in every country on this planet. John Williams is the most common language through which people of all ages communicate and remember to each other why they love movies. I am the only person who can say that I’ve collaborated with John for exactly half of his life. Without question, he has been the single most significant contributor to my success as a filmmaker. This nation’s greatest composer and our national treasure is also one of the greatest friends I have ever had in my entire life.
  184. Kurosawa is the pictorial Shakespeare of our time.
  185. Life is too short to do work you hate.
  186. Like, I took no poetic license with ‘Schindler’s List’ because that was historical, factual documents.
  187. Lincoln believed in the American people.
  188. Lincoln’s leadership is based on a number of precepts, but my favorite one is that he acted in the name, and for the good, of the people.
  189. Making a movie and not directing the little moments is like drinking a soda and leaving the little slurp puddle for someone else.
  190. Making a movie where the central character is a horse was a challenge. Because I’m scared of riding. I was thrown as a kid. One of my daughters is a competitive jumper, we live with horses, we have stables on our property. But I don’t ride. I observe, and I worry.
  191. Money to me is not a factor in my life.
  192. Most of my presumptions about a production are usually wrong.
  193. Movies are always in a state of locomotion. You start with a general idea of how it should feel and then you find you’ve got a runaway train. You have to race to catch up: the movie is telling you what it wants to become, and when that happens there’s no greater feeling.
  194. My dad took me out to see a meteor shower when I was a little kid, and it was scary for me because he woke me up in the middle of the night. My heart was beating; I didn’t know what he wanted to do. He wouldn’t tell me, and he put me in the car and we went off, and I saw all these people lying on blankets, looking up at the sky.
  195. My dad took me to my first movie. It was ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ in 1952, a movie of such scale it was actually a traumatic experience.
  196. My dad’s been responsible for a lot of my issues.
  197. My early exposure to all the leviathans of the Saturday matinee creature features inspired me, when I grew up, to make ‘Jurassic Park.’
  198. My father had many, many veterans over to the house, and the older I got the more I appreciated their sacrifice.
  199. My filmmaking really began with technology. It began through technology, not through telling stories, because my 8mm movie camera was the way into whatever I decided to do.
  200. My first reaction every time I delve into an episode of history that I don’t know very much about is… my first reaction is anger that my teachers never taught me about it.
  201. My first reaction, every time I delve into an episode of history that I don’t know very much about, is anger that my teachers never taught me about it.
  202. My head’s not in the clouds, but I think I’ve gotten too much credit for being an astute businessman.
  203. My imagination won’t turn off. I wake up so excited I can’t eat breakfast. I’ve never run out of energy.  
  204. My movies more often are told through pictures, not words. But in this case, the pictures took second position to the incredible words of Abraham Lincoln and his presence. I was less interested in an outpouring of imagery than in letting the most human moment of this story evolve before us.
  205. My problem is that my imagination won’t turn off. I wake up so excited I can’t eat breakfast. I’ve never run out of energy. It’s not like OPEC oil; I don’t worry about a premium going on my energy. It’s just always been there. I got it from my mom.
  206. My ritual is total blackout. No radio, no television, no internet, no newspapers. I just want to hear one number, which is the Monday-morning number.
  207. Naturally, it is a terrible, despicable crime when, as in Munich, people are taken hostage, people are killed. But probing the motives of those responsible and showing that they are also individuals with families and have their own story does not excuse what they did.
  208. Neary gazed down into her clear, guileless eyes. That was how he looked to her, a yelling machine. And she was prepared to accept more yelling because she loved him.
  209. Oh, torture. Torture. My pubic hairs went gray.
  210. On “Saving Private Ryan: Am I allowed to say I really wanted this?
  211. On “The Godfather” for the first time, I felt that I should quit, that there was no reason to continue directing because I would never reach that level of confidence.
  212. Once a month the sky falls on my head, I come to and I see another movie I want to make.
  213. Once a month the sky falls on my head, I come to, and I see another movie I want to make.
  214. One of my daughters is a competitive jumper, we live with horses, we have stables on our property. But I don’t ride. I observe, and I worry.
  215. One of the gratuities about being a director is that you can volunteer yourself out of difficult details.
  216. Only a generation of readers will span a generation of writers.  
  217. Our one goal is to give the world a taste of peace, friendship, and understanding through the visual arts, the art of celebration of life.
  218. People can relate to horses. Horses, I think, are basically in our genetic history. Horses were part of our culture, part of our collective society, for hundreds of years, and so, the horse is one of the most familiar animals to people of any race or culture or country.
  219. People have forgotten how to tell a story.
  220. People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
  221. People often tell me how much they love the digital skies that we obviously painted for ‘War Horse.’ Well, there’s not a single sky that we put in through special effects. The skies you see in the movie are the skies that we experienced – but it was definitely challenging at times.
  222. Poltergeist is the darker side of my nature, it’s me when I was scaring my younger sisters half to death. In Poltergeist, I wanted to terrify and I also wanted to amuse – I tried to mix the laughs and screams together.
  223. Remember, science fiction’s always been the kind of first level alert to think about things to come. It’s easier for an audience to take warnings from sci-fi without feeling that we’re preaching to them. Every science fiction movie I have ever seen, any one that’s worth its weight in celluloid, warns us about things that ultimately come true.
  224. Sadly, racial, ethnic, and cultural hatred and intolerance are not just history, they are current events.
  225. She wanted to go over and hug his tears away, but she was too frightened.
  226. So I try to re-invent my own eye every time I tackle a new subject. But it’s hard, because everybody has style. You can’t help it.
  227. Social media has taken over in America to such an extreme that to get my own kids to look back a week in their history is a miracle, let alone 100 years.
  228. Sometimes a dream almost whispers… it never shouts. Very hard to hear. So you have to, every day of your lives, be ready to hear what whispers in your ear. 
  229. Steve Jobs was the greatest inventor since Thomas Edison. He put the world at our fingertips.
  230. Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.
  231. Television has a different biorhythm than movies. I love the biorhythm of TV.
  232. The baby boomers owe a big debt of gratitude to the parents and grandparents – who we haven’t given enough credit to anyway – for giving us another generation.
  233. The best time of my life has been the three instances where I have been there for the birth of my children. That is, nothing [else] has ever come close.
  234. The bones of the story of ‘War Horse’ is a love story. That’s what makes it universal.
  235. The Color Purple’ is the kind of character piece that a director like Sidney Lumet could do brilliantly with one hand tied behind his back.
  236. The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.
  237. The essence of what it is to be American is the deep moral urge to be free, to freely express yourself and have the right to do so, and to look at all people as equals.
  238. The greatest films ever made in our history were cut on film, and I’m tenaciously hanging on to the process. I just love going into an editing room and smelling the photochemistry and seeing my editor wearing mini-strands of film around his neck.
  239. The Internet has been this miraculous conduit to the undeniable truth to the Holocaust.
  240. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Jihadism have nothing to do with each other.
  241. The Japanese had a very strong belief in Bushido, death before dishonour. They were fighting for their country; they were the aggressors in World War II.
  242. The love we do not show here on Earth is the only thing that hurts us in the after-life.
  243. The machinery of the democratic process is really no different today from what it was 150 years ago.
  244. The most amazing thing for me is that every single person who sees a movie, not necessarily one of my movies, brings a whole set of unique experiences. Now, through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time.
  245. The most expensive habit in the world is celluloid, not heroin, and I need a fix every few years.
  246. The most expensive habit in the world is celluloid, not heroin, and I need a fix every two years.
  247. The older I get, the more I look at movies as a moving miracle. Audiences are harder to please if you’re just giving them special effects, but they’re easy to please if it’s a good story. The audience is also the toughest critic – a good story that exists in your world may not be the first choice for an audience. So I just do the best I can.
  248. The one ingredient I bring to all of my films is the ability to listen to anybody who has a good idea on the production. I’m very collaborative with actors, with my writers, with my editor, my cinematographer, with Johnny Williams who does all of my scores. And I just think from a very young age my parents taught me probably the most valuable lesson of my life – sometimes it’s better not to talk, but to listen.
  249. The only movie that I would ever even consider retrofitting is the first ‘Jurassic Park,’ which I think would look pretty spectacular in 3D. That’s the only one of my films that I would consider doing in 3D.
  250. The only thing that gets me back to directing is good scripts.
  251. The only time I have a good hunch the audience is going to be there is when I make the sequel to ‘Jurassic Park’ or I make another Indiana Jones movie. I know I’ve got a good shot at getting an audience on opening night. Everything else that is striking out into new territory is a crap shoot.
  252. The person I enjoy working for more than anyone else is George Lucas. He’s the best boss I ever had because he’s the most talented boss I ever had.
  253. The public has an appetite for anything about imagination – anything that is as far away from reality as is creatively possible.
  254. The thing that I’m just scared to death of is that someday I’m going to wake up and bore somebody with a film. 
  255. The world would be a poorer place without “Doctor Who”.
  256. The world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who.
  257. There are parts of “Hook” I love. I’m really proud of my work right up through Peter being hauled off in the parachute out the window, heading for Neverland. I’m a little less proud of the Neverland sequences, because I’m uncomfortable with that highly stylized world that today, of course, I would probably have done with live-action character work inside a completely digital set. But we didn’t have the technology to do it then, and my imagination only went as far as building physical sets and trying to paint trees blue and red.
  258. There are so many rumours about so many of us in the public eye. Sometimes it’s too hard to deny what is not true.
  259. There is a fine line between censorship and good taste and moral responsibility.
  260. There is no such thing as science fiction, there is only science eventuality.
  261. There is something about killing people at close range that is excruciating. It’s bound to try a man’s soul.
  262. There were so many odd, strange things about Abraham Lincoln that I think nobody knew how to pigeonhole him.
  263. There’s a lot of confusion about the political ideologies of both parties [Democrats and Republicans] have switched 180 degrees in 150 years. It just too confusing. Everybody claiming Lincoln as their own. And everybody should claim Lincoln as their own, because he represents all of us, and what he did basically provided the opportunities that all of us are enjoying today.
  264. There’s been more written about Lincoln than movies made about him or television portraying him. He’s kind of a stranger to our industry, to this medium. You have to go back to the 1930s to find a movie that’s just about Abraham Lincoln. I just found that my fascination with Lincoln, which started as a child, got to the point where after reading so much about him I thought there was a chance to tell a segment of his life to to moviegoers.
  265. There’s no better way to test a person than to put them in the middle of a war. That’s clearly going to show what kind of a character you’re telling a story about.
  266. There’s nothing self-serving about what motivated me to bring ‘Schindler’s List’ to the screen.
  267. There’s no other way to learn about it, except through documentaries. I encourage documentarians to continue telling stories about World War II. I think documentaries are the greatest way to educate an entire generation that doesn’t often look back to learn anything about the history that provided a safe haven for so many of us today. Documentaries are the first line of education, and the second line of education is dramatization, such as “The Pacific.
  268. This is a time when we need to smile more and Hollywood movies are supposed to do that for people in difficult times…
  269. This is reality, Greg. Elliot from E.T.
  270. This opportunity … allows all of us to reach out directly to open a much wider door.
  271. This whole thing about reality television to me is really indicative of America saying we’re not satisfied just watching television, we want to star in our own TV shows. We want you to discover us and put us in your own TV show, and we want television to be about us, finally.
  272. Through careful manipulation and good storytelling, you can get everybody to clap at the same time, to hopefully laugh at the same time, and to be afraid at the same time. But you can’t get everybody to interpret the result in the same Way. And that’s thrilling to know – that everybody will see it differently.
  273. 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.
  274. Watching violence in movies or in TV programs stimulates the spectators to imitate what they see much more than if seen live or on TV news. In movies, violence is filmed with perfect illumination, spectacular scenery, and in slow motion, making it even romantic. However, in the news, the public has a much better perception of how horrible violence can be, and it is used with objectives that do not exist in the movies.
  275. We all feel that if we have a crazy idea that might get laughed at, there’s nothing wrong with seeing if there’s a crazy writer out there who agrees with us and can take it to a crazy network and somehow bring something that’s a little bit daft and edgy to life.
  276. Well, luckily with animation, fantasy is your friend.
  277. What I’m saying is that I believe in showmanship.
  278. What kept us going was the thought that David Lean, at 54, had done this every day for a year. David Lean was our criterion for survival – on filming “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in Tunisia.
  279. What kind of a horse? A miraculous kind of horse.
  280. When I did “War Horse“, I was struck by the reality of being out in the fresh air, seeing the sky changing and light moving, and seeing the performances in real time. But being corralled in a digital world with no way out on Tintin became so thrilling to me, I was completely enveloped and enraptured.
  281. When I don’t have a movie, I don’t take a job just for the sake of working. I just sit it out until I find something I’m passionate about.
  282. When I don’t have a story to tell, I’m a terror to live with.
  283. When I felt like an outsider, movies made me feel inside my own skill set.
  284. When I grow up, I still want to be a director.  
  285. When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, 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.
  286. When I was very young, I remember my mother telling me about a friend of hers in Germany, a pianist who played a symphony that wasn’t permitted, and the Germans came up on stage and broke every finger on her hands. I grew up with stories of Nazis breaking the fingers of Jews.
  287. When I was younger, all I cared about was what people thought of me and my films. Now I care less about catering, hand-serving, hand-feeding the audience. I’ve gotten to the point now in my life where I’m serving myself.
  288. When my children were born, I made the choice I wanted them to be raised as Jews and to have a Jewish education.
  289. When war comes, two things happen – profits go way, way up and all perishables go way, way down. There becomes a market for them.
  290. When you listen, you learn, You absorb like a sponge – and your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time.
  291. Whenever I try to tell a risky story, whether it’s about sharks or dinosaurs, or about aliens or about history, I’ll always be thinking, “Am I going to get away with this?” When I don’t have that worry, I won’t make that movie.
  292. Wherever you are, I will find you and I will bring you home.
  293. Whether in success or in failure, I’m proud of every single movie I’ve ever directed.
  294. Why pay a dollar for a bookmark? Why not use the dollar for a bookmark?
  295. With “Star Wars”, George (George Lucas) put the butter back into the popcorn.
  296. You can’t intellectually purge yourself of who you are. Whatever that is, it’s going to come out in the wash, the film wash. What you are is going to be relevant, if not to yourself, to the movies you make.
  297. 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.
  298. 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.
  299. You know, I don’t really do that much looking inside me when I’m working on a project. Whatever I am becomes what that film is. But I change; you change.
  300. You never really know how good of a leader you are until there is something there is lead us to, toward or through or to overcome.
  301. You shouldn’t dream your film, you should make it!
  302. You’re not alone, are you? Because I’m here.

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