Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Is he all he's cracked up to be?

In a theater in a building he may have well paid for, talking to 300+ students currently taking a USC film class called 'Spielberg', I'd have to say, "Yes, he is all that he's cracked up to be, and more."

I was lucky enough to attend as a guest.

Always attractive to catch people in mid-sit.

After a less than five minute interview by Dr. Drew Casper (the professor of the Spielberg class), Spielberg was thrown to the student sharks for an hour and a half of anything goes questions.

Spielberg responded to every question. He was very down to earth, candid and willing to share how he got certain shots. He was smart and funny.

One kid opened with something about his mom meeting Spielberg in a East Hampton's parking lot and telling him about her son who was going to SC. Spielberg quickly said he absolutely remembered the incident and the kid's much so that he followed up and checked if the kid was enrolled at USC or is she was BSing him. It could have easily been an improv on Spielberg's part but if it was he did a good job of acting in the moment and it was endearing.

Another student was disgruntled that they took away all the T-rex's screen time in Jurassic Park 3 compared to 1 and 2 and suggested it was a big mistake. Spielberg said he had control over the script and couldn't explain why he didn't do something about it. He then said he would correct that in Jurassic Park 4 and would remember him when he did it...although I don't see any sign of JP4 on the IMDB list of his future projects so it could have been lip service but again, it was entertaining.

I was impressed with the students - for the most part their questions were well-prepared and intelligent. If I had the opportunity to ask a question, I would have asked him if he had any plans or the desire to go back to his roots and make/direct a smaller movie.

Spielberg humbled by his standing ovation.

Oh, here's a tip for all my screenwriting friends...Spielberg really wants to make a musical but hasn't found the right script/story/book/idea yet. He's looking for something in the vein of his favorite musical...Singin' In The Rain. If you have one of those in your drawer dust it off and send it on over to his office.

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