Segments in this Video

Inspiration to Become a Filmmaker (04:13)


Steven Spielberg almost decided to not become a filmmaker after watching "Lawrence of Arabia." After watching the film several times, he realized characters can have themes. Watch clips from his most famous films. (Credits)

"Bridge of Spies" (01:13)

Spielberg describes how nerves help him direct effectively. He finds that his best ideas arrive when he feels truly panicked.

"Jaws" (06:17)

Martin Scorsese recalls how the L.A. Times thought the movie would be a disaster. Cast and crew members discuss the difficulties on filming, the music, and the imagery of the film. After the first shark sunk, Spielberg used barrels to allude to where the shark was located.

Spielberg's Overnight Success (03:54)

Spielberg loved to scare his sisters. Friends, family, and colleagues describe the day "Jaws" opened. The film took two and a half times longer to shoot than anticipated and cost three times its budget; watch a clip about "Dinah!."

Spielberg's Childhood (05:15)

Arnold Spielberg worked in computer technology; Leah Adler brought home a monkey for her children to play with. Spielberg's sisters describe how he was bullied as a child. Spielberg directed short films about World War II.

Moving to Hollywood (02:58)

Spielberg recalls breaking into Universal Studios. Friends and colleagues discuss rumors about the filmmaker. After being rejected from USC film school, he taught himself; Sheinberg offered Spielberg a seven year contract.

Television Contract (01:57)

Spielberg directed Joan Crawford in "Night Gallery" when he was 20-years-old. He worked on "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law," "Savage," "Columbo," and "The Psychiatrist."

"Duel" (04:03)

Spielberg explains how the film was about bullies and their victims. Friends and colleagues discuss its impact. ABC asked the ending to be re-shot to incorporate an explosion.

"The Sugarland Express" (05:00)

Half of the movie was shot inside a police car. Brian de Palma, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese discuss the impact of film production in the 1960s. Spielberg met Amy Irving.

"Movie Brats" (03:35)

The directors shared ideas and movie projects. De Palma gave Lucas the idea for a forward in "Star Wars." Spielberg directed a portion of "Scarface."

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (06:14)

Inspired by "2001: A Space Odyssey," Spielberg wanted the film to be a conversation between mankind and an alien species using music and lights. Cast, crew, and colleagues describe its impact and innovation.

Arnold Spielberg's Divorce (03:27)

Spielberg and his siblings discuss Arnold and Leah's strained relationship. Leah fell in love and married Bernie Adler.

"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" (07:41)

Originally, Spielberg wanted to focus on how divorce affects childhood and suburban America. Watch the director work with Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore.

Working with Children (01:56)

Spielberg wants to empower children to take control of their lives. Watch behind-the-scenes footage of the director with child stars.

"1941" (01:11)

After completing "Jaws" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Spielberg decided to direct a comedy. Bob Zemeckis and Bob Gale brought him the script; critics hated the film.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (04:29)

Lucas convincedSpielberg to direct the film. Every studio turned down the project because Spielberg always went over-budget and over-schedule. By following certain film formulas, actors could perform silly actions.

Spielberg Ruins Filmmaking? (01:41)

William Goldman blamed Spielberg for destroying the art form. Watch an excerpt from "60 Minutes."

"The Color Purple" (03:54)

Spielberg feels this is his first mature film. Oprah Winfrey describes how much bravery it took to tackle the subject matter. Spielberg confesses he was too timid to include Shug's vagina in the film.

Spielberg's Son, Max (01:18)

Parenthood changed Spielberg's opinion on personal life. He and Irving divorced.

"Empire of the Sun" (04:41)

The film is based on experiences that J.G. Ballard had in a Japanese internment camp. Cast, crew, and friends discuss the film's impact. Watch excerpts of the film.

Judaism (04:55)

Spielberg describes his first memory of the Ner Tamid; he was raised as an Orthodox Jew. He felt excluded and discriminated against because of his religion. Kate Capshaw converted to Judaism before they married.

"Schindler's List" (16:32)

Sheinberg insisted Spielberg make the film. Cast, crew, and friends discuss the production process and its impact. Watch behind the scenes and movie footage.

"Jurassic Park" (04:42)

The film marked the beginning of digital character creation. Spielberg wanted 30 foot dinosaurs that could run on set; Dennis Muren created the computer mockups.

Modern Filmmaking (05:06)

Crew discuss how Spielberg incorporates special effects shots into his films. Walter Parkes explains how risky releasing "Schindler's List" and "Jurassic Park" in the same year. Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen create their own independent studio, "DreamWorks."

Spielberg's Personal Life (01:20)

Spielberg discusses how he found authenticity from spending time with his family.

"Saving Private Ryan" (05:50)

Tom Hanks discusses shooting the opening scene on Omaha Beach. For 27 days the crew shot the scene in continuity. Colleagues discuss the film's impact.

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (06:46)

Spielberg discusses how his main characters tend to possess father-son relationship issues. He made "Saving Private Ryan" for his father. Colleagues discuss how the filmmaker has evolved.

Incorporating Modern Events (02:44)

In response to 9/11, Spielberg created "War of the Worlds."

"Munich" (08:37)

Colleagues and cast discuss the impact of the film. Spielberg discusses shooting the bombing sequence; it took three days. Experts discuss the impact of including the twin towers in the NYC backdrop.

"Catch Me If You Can" (04:00)

Spielberg does not question his film-making abilities. Cast and crew discuss Spielberg's impact. Arnold and Leah eventually reunited.

"The Bridge of Spies" set (07:47)

Cast and crew discuss collaborating with Spielberg. Spielberg discusses core crew members he brings on every film project. He watches "Lawrence of Arabia" each year for inspiration.

Credits: Spielberg (02:52)

Credits: Spielberg

For additional digital leasing and purchase options contact a media consultant at 800-257-5126
(press option 3) or


DVD (Chaptered) Price: $399.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $599.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $399.95



Steven Spielberg has built an unrivaled catalogue of groundbreaking films over the course of nearly 50 years. In this exclusive HBO documentary, Spielberg steps out from behind the camera to open up about his directorial influences and motivations, while sharing little-known stories behind some of his most iconic films. Acclaimed producer/director Susan Lacy charts the evolution of this iconic filmmaker, having conducted nearly 30 hours of exclusive interviews with the famously private Spielberg, as well interviews with his family, friends and colleagues. Examining his impressively varied filmography, the documentary reveals how Spielberg’s experiences fed his work and changed it over time, highlighting familiar themes—separation, reconciliation, patriotism, humanity, wonder—that recur in his work. A remarkably intimate portrait, the film combines personal narrative with an exploration of the creative process and craftsmanship that set Spielberg apart and cemented his legacy in cinematic history.  

Length: 147 minutes

Item#: BVL145183

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video, Dealer and Publisher customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.