Steven Spielberg tells new filmmakers to learn “how to be a storyteller”

Spielberg, director of Jaws, Jurassic Park, and West Side Story, shares his best advice for up and coming creators

Steven Spielberg and West Side Story

Few filmmakers have the kind of pedigree within Hollywood Steven Spielberg has. The famed director is responsible for some of the best movies ever made. On the back of West Side Story, his first musical, he has some advice for aspiring cinematic storytellers.

“Don’t worry so much about technique and don’t worry so much about where to put the camera or have a light,” Spielberg tells Collider. “Worry about one thing or think about one thing, preoccupy yourself with, how do you tell a story that’s really interesting, that you can get somebody not to walk out of the room right in the middle of your second act of your telling the story?”

He goes on to say that the most important thing is telling your story in a captivating way. “Once you’ve got that, there’s a lot of people in this world that will get around you and show you the ropes,” he continues, “but learning how to be a storyteller is the most important advice I can give you.”

Having directed the likes of Jaws, Jurassic Park, AI, and Schindler’s List, with a career that spans horror movies, drama movies, adventure movies, and more, Spielberg knows his way around crowd-pleasers. His latest, West Side Story, is set to be another, being a blockbuster musical released during the holidays.

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Ansel Elgort and Ariana DeBose head up the cast, playing Tony and Maria, a pair of lovebirds who can’t be together because of a rivalry between their gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. Spielberg’s version is based on the 1961 feature directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, in turn adapted from the Broadway version. Tony Kushner penned the screenplay.

West Side Story is out December 10, 2022 – check out our list of the best family movies for more all-ages fun.