The Man Who Listens

I am about to partake in a huge study on Steven Spielberg. I am a filmmaker and one of my greatest teachers through the years has been Steven. Through the countless behind the scenes looks, online interviews, and TV specials, I have learned A LOT from this Master filmmaker.

My “huge study” consists of going over several of Steven’s films on “mute“, and studying how he composes shots, directs acting, creates emotion, and tells a story. For each of the movies I will write a small paper on what I have learned and post them on this Blog for whomever to see.

This particular post will be devoted to what I think of Steven Spielberg now and why I am choosing to do this long and draining study.

Steven Spielberg is a story-teller, and naturally that interests me. Through out the years I have seen movies directed by this man that include many genres. That in itself is very unique. We have been introduced to completely new world, with movies such as Hook, Artificial Intelligence, and Jurassic Park. Steven has thrilled us with movies such as Indiana Jones and Jaws. He has brought us movies full us clever entertainments with The Terminal and Catch me if you Can. And, he has reached deep into our emotions with movies such as E. T., Saving Private Ryan, and Schindler’s List. These movies have span through more then three decades have all been hailed as great and powerful pieces of work.

Indeed, it seems as though I have chosen my teacher well.

What makes this man able to tell stories in so many genres, so well? Why are people so effected by this man’s movies? What has made Steven Spielberg one of the greatest story-tellers to walk this earth?

A few months ago I watched a interview with Steven Spielberg on Inside the Actors Studio. Through out the 2 + hour interview, Steven was asked some very compelling questions. One of the last questions was along the lines of, “If there is a God, what do you want Him to say to you when you show up at the gates of Heaven?” Steven answered, “thanks for listening”.

Right there Steven told me the secret to his success. With that answer he told me the reason why he has been able to effect me so greatly.

Steven Spielberg listens. God gave Steven a great gift and told him to use it. Steven chose to listen. I believe that Steven has been able to make so many great movies through so many different genres and over so many years, because he has heard God speak about the heart of what makes a story great.

Steven’s movies accentuate Life.

Whether it is a boy on a bike flying across the moon, a once corrupt man learning to live again, or a uncommon liberator crying out for one more soul. All powerful examples of the Life that comes from Steven’s movies.

God is the essence of Life and he speaks to us all. Steven is a man who has chosen to listen. It is amazing the power that comes from a man who is able to listen. It takes patients and guts, but the results are worth it.

The world has truly changed through one man’s ability to listen. I have been truly effected by Steven Spielberg; he inspires me to make stories of my own. Steven was once quoted saying, “I dream for a living”. This quote rings true through out his life.

I only hope to follow in his footsteps and become another man who chooses to listen.

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I am a Story-teller

Through the years I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I am and who God wants me to be. I most often lived in an interesting places, not quite bound to reality. I lived in a place that seemed different from those around me. As a child I could tell something was different but not always what. I was fascinated about things few would say were real. When I watched movies like Bambi or The Jungle Book, I saw them come to life. Images became emotions and I got caught up in those emotions.

Then I began to wonder. I wondered if I could go to these places I saw. I started to try. I started to play outside with my brothers and see if I could reach the places I saw in the movies I watched and books I read. It was wondrous. My imagination began to come to life. Mere sticks became magnificent weapons. Our back yard became great cities floating miles from the surface of the earth or great woods inhabited with huge human made forts that were populated by armies of children.  I began to experience stories through these weapons and environments. The stories were epic, they were full of adventure, triumph, and tragedy. I was beginning to realize my gift.

Through the adventures I saw on-screen and experienced in the back yard, I began to realize that I had stories in my head that needed to be heard. I began to understand part of what my God wanted me to do. I began to understand what my Vision truly was.

I am a story-teller. I will not limit my calling to just this, but I would not be angry if my only gift in life was the ability to tell stories.  For I truly believe that stories can change lives. Stories are not real in the strictest sense of the word, and they often are thought of as only entertainment. I am not against stories being thought of as entertainment and I can not help but admit that a story is, at least to some account, fiction and not something you can physically smell, taste, or feel.

I would argue however, that stories are more than just entertainment.  Perhaps they were never meant to connect with your physical feelings, but they are meant to connect with your emotional feelings. I feel that stories can affect your deepest emotions and move your spirit, to act.

My God has shown me some magnificent stories and he moves my spirit to show others. It is my calling. Images come to me at night and through out the day. Some are just seedlings.  Others are more fully developed.  For example, I see images of ordinary people fighting for freedom in the darkest of times. I see an image of a broke and uneducated man who has a dedication to a dream and is able to light up the world through the gifts he has been given. And, I see an image of a little child finally standing up to a world that has done its best to knock her down. Being a story-teller, is a great gift indeed.

The power however, comes from what others do with the story.

When the Story moves you to act, will you listen?

Weekly Comic #4

I am sorry I have not gotten to my blog for the week. I have what some might call, “writers block”. It is not that I do not know what to write about or that I do not have anything to say (I don’t think that has ever happened to me), I just do not know how to exactly say it. I hope you enjoy the Comic though :).

Weekly Comic #4