Steven Spielberg Gives A Tour of Universal Studios – Behind The Scenes of Movie Magic


We’re leaving Amblin this has been your home since 84 right?>>Yeah, this has been I built the building in the began it in 83, and we finished it like 8 months later at 84.>>I think because with the BFG opening the idea was where your old stomping grounds.. Get it?>>Well I have not left giant country since I entered giant country which was here at Universal Studios. This has been my giant country. I’ve always said that this is Universal’s been my ancestral home. All these years.>>Are the stories true that you use to sneak onto the lot here when you were a young guy? How old?>>Probably about 16.>>So you couldn’t be tried as an adult at that point?>>No, I would definitely been taken to juvenile court and gotten a suspended sentence before giving it a good try, but I wasn’t caught thank goodness. I had a pass for 3 days and I just took a chance, the guard would remember it I had been here on three consecutive days.>>So you were a regular?>>I walked in with no pass the fourth day and he waved me through with that way for the next three months to my Summer vacation.>>Really?>>This how I spent my summer vacation.>>What would you do?>>Watch television shows being shot. I would go all around the lot. Watching the kind of coordination on the set. Just watching everybody knew what they needed to do, and they did their jobs and it was very much like a kind of team sport.>>Did you see any filmmakers that you admired?>>Hitchcock, but I got thrown off that set (no!) yeah, I was on the Torn Curtain set for about 10 minutes before someone came and told me to leave.>>Did you get to see him?>>I got to see Hitchcock and Julie Andrews but they were, I was on the Phantom of the Opera stage. They were far away and I had just come to an entrance I was the back of the theatre there were 500 extras in this seats, that’s when an AD or a second AD or even a third AD got kicked off by a third AD.>>Did you show your papers?>>Why are you here? and I said I’m just here to watch they said well no this is a closed set and that was the end of it.>>This is Courthouse Square.>>This is where we shot Back To The Future and that was the clock tower there’s the time already set on the clock tower.>>But this existed before Back To The Future, right? It was…>>Yeah, this was always here we just I used what was available to us. But that gas station we put in for Back To The Future 2.>>Was it used for a lot of random TV shows and movies sets?>>Its been used for everything television series, movies.>>Before Back To The Future didn’t have a most famous use?>>Aaahhh, it was used i think to Kill a Mockingbird shot a little bit here, there were a lot of television shows that shot here, but this is most known for Back To The Future now, at least at least that’s what the trams say. The tour guides tell everybody which is most known for Back To The Future we like that. Going to watch out their are so many tours here now. It use to be just like to zip up and down the streets but I don’t how to get here because I go up Steven Spielberg Drive.>>That’s good, you know that one.>>I know how to get up there. I love being bifurcated with Jimmy Stewart that’s a great honor actually.>>The corner of Stewart and Spielberg.>>I love that was the greatest honors of my life being able to share a street sign with Jimmy Stewart. So this just goes up and these were all made, remember how many Western’s they made in the 50’s and 60’s? So these were probably the most the most utilized back lot in history is back here. And they’re just western streets as far they I can see even more than any old days. They were taken down for other sets. So it goes from Western to kind of Spanish.>>The Mexican style architecture really complicated>>And this is Jaws. The Orca used to be right there. I tell you that story? One of our many interviews?>>No no. >>The Orca was here>>The original Orca?>>The original Orca was here and I used to come out for about a couple of years after I made the movie to get all over my PTSD. I would just work through my own trauma it was trauma, traumatic.>>From making that film? Sitting in that boat alone for hours, I was just sit in that boat alone just working through and I would shake. I’d get in the boat and I’d my hands would shake and then I was fine and 5, 6 years went by I hadn’t seen the boat in 5 years. I decided to just come back and revisit, it was gone. Somebody unbeknownst to me or Sid Sheinberg who ran the studio.>>Yeah.>>Had torn it up and just thrown it away from the entire boat away. Because they said they said it was dry rot, there were termites will of course there were termites and dry rot. I’m going to actually ask them to rebuild it and put it back here. I’m going to actually see if they’ll do that. Because the tourist would love to see the Orca here.>>Its chance to kind of commune with that experience.>>Yes, when the experience was very good to me as you know the experience gave me complete freedom for the rest of my career. So the amount of success the film enjoy just gave me final cut. It gave me the chance to tell my own story.>>Steven Spielberg Drive is a long road a long road.>>It’s a long road, it’s a long and winding road. (laughing) Suddenly I feel like I’m doing a James Corden interview. James Corden, Corden interview.>>Exactly, yeah. We’ll start karaoke soon.>>There we go, so you know what this is.>>Is this How the Grinch Stole Christmas?>>This is Ronnie Howard’s movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Which is very very nice they kept this up. Then right around the corner is the infamous, Bates Motel.>>There it is.>>And it is and hasn’t changed very much the same color. They haven’t even repainted this place. It’s I think they’ve replaced some light bulbs.>>Wow.
>>This was a just amazing piece of our direction to have this here and have the you know Norman Bates’s mother’s house right up there it’s pretty extraordinary and it all seems so small now, you know? When you see the movie it all looks bigger yeah it’s funny thing about movies they make everything look bigger.>>Well that’s a little bit foreshortening, right?>>Actors look bigger, they make Directors seem bigger, but we’re not. We’re really not so this is and it was interesting when I shot War of the Worlds here. This is where Rick Carter located the 747 crash. We bought it for I think $50,000 and cut it up into little pieces. Brought it up here and built this neighborhood, for the crash site.>>So the houses weren’t here?>>We added these houses, that this is part of the Carters production design to have this entire plane crash right in the middle of a neighborhood.
>>Wow.>>And then shear the house that they were hiding in, in half, if you remember from the film. So all of all of these is just kind of scary to come up here. When you see the movie you’ll notice there’s not a single body in the scene. There’s no bodies in the airplane. And nobodies on the ground, that was an illusion that seeing the empty seats i thought was more powerful than having a bunch of dummies or extras.
>>Right. Not to be confused by the way. But real mannequins strapped into the to this to the seats it was a lot more horrible I thought just to have the whole thing empty. And then this is where Lost World was. This is the Lost World set.
>>Oh. No way. This was the second Visitor Center right around the corner. That invokes some memories.
>>Yea, like what kind?>>Bloody horror is how all these movies are to make. (laugh)>>I’ve never had a cakewalk. I have never made a movie that could be you know subtitled “The Cakewalk”, some of my films might seem like cake walks but they’re not at all. I like coming onto each movie you know with my experience not being what is going to keep me out of trouble.>>Yeah. That’s how you mix it up, how you stay fresh right? You told me before spelkis, nervous are a good thing, right?>>Good, nerves are good, they’re good.>>The announcement of Indiana Jones 5 is coming up. (un audible)>>Somebody told me I’m scheduled to make one of those again someday. But that’s not for a couple of years.>>An Ready Player One in between then?>>Ready Player One is what I’m going off next months to do.>>When you were prowling around the studio as a 16 year old, where there things you learn that became valuable or was more just inspiration?>>I basically took a master course in film editing. Because if it was a lot harder to stay on a set, for an extended period of time without really without me being questioned, “What am I doing here?”. But what the editors embraced me and all of them did. I probably learned more in editorial sneaking around here, than I did on any sound stage.>>How did you introduce yourself to them?>>I told I told the truth. I told all the editors I was unofficially here to learn how to be a Director.
>>Uh huh? And nobody blew a whistle on me,
>>(laughing) and they like having me around. And they played a couple of jokes on me. Like the day they asked me to go like down to an editing room and take out a filmed bin. A 16-millimeter film bin out of that editing room and bring it to the main lobby. And I did it because they could suddenly somebody’s asked me to do something.>>A job.
>>Yeah, a job. Great, so I ran into the room and there was some guy half naked you know behind the movie ola. He had no, I don’t know if he was dressed below the waist. He just was just totally stark naked from the waist up, and he was cutting on this thing. I’d say excuse me, and I took the bin out of the room and the guy stands up start shouting at me with using a lot of inappropriate language and I immediately recognized him it was Marlon Brando. I ran out of the room without the bin and the editors were suppressing their laughter because they didn’t want to be heard by Brando. But they were on the floor, they’re rolling on desks, they were laughing so hard.
>>What was going on?>>Brando apparently was cutting a documentary on Tahini. They had lent him a room and they played this a kind of uh I guess punked me.
>>laughing So he was just in there, he was in there going tribal and they sent this kid in>>He was tribal when he stood up I think he was wearing bathing trunks but ah, that was that was the only time i ever saw Brando in the flesh.>>(laughing) You got to see a lot of him. (laughing)>>Okay.
>>Thanks Steven.>>Thank you.
>>This was was really fun. [music]

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