Finding Transcendence on the Set of ET

I wanted to be a filmmaker because that film was a very transcendent film.

I had an interesting situation occur when I was very young: I was allowed and permitted to be on the set of Steven Spielberg’s ET, the Extraterrestrial at the very tender age of 12 as it was shot on location.  


This is of course before Steven Spielberg was an enormous superstar.  He was a powerful director but he wasn’t a superstar and I was allowed because I was probably non-threatening.  I was allowed to be right there as the shooting was taking place in the Redwoods of Northern California, all hours of the day and night.  It was a very, very powerful experience and I’ll never forget it. 

You can’t imagine the first time I saw this creature, ET, this alien in the middle of the night and they’re laying down fog and shooting. Steven’s saying "Action!" and his heart light comes on.  It left an impression and when I saw that film that summer, I remember specifically the moment I wanted to be a filmmaker because that film was a very transcendent film.  

And so I remember getting home and I looked up at the stars.  I had this euphoric feeling and whatever that was I wanted to be a part of it.  I wanted to impart that into the world.  And so I set upon the task of making a film immediately and ever since never really looked back.  I went to film school and I’ve been looking for projects that are worthy of being made. 

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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