There’s no doubting that Steven Spielberg movies are, more often than not, very, very good. The director has produced some of the best movies of all time and he has a special process for evaluating whether his work is any good or not.
From his early work on the thriller movie Duel and the monster movie Jaws, to ‘90s movies such as Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, Spielberg has pretty much mastered most genres of film. Then there’s the adventure movie franchise Indiana Jones, which is widely beloved. The guy just knows how to make a good movie.
In an interview with Time, Spielberg revealed his trick for knowing when a movie he has made is a good one, and it’s a pretty effective method.
“I run a movie for myself the first time, and if I can forget I had anything to do with the picture, and I’m halfway through the movie and I’m just the audience, then that is my litmus test for a film working,” Spielberg explained.
“It doesn’t mean it’s going to work for anybody outside of myself, but when I lose the aesthetic distance between the screen and where I’m sitting, the first time I run a picture that I’ve directed for myself, if I’m aware to the very end that I’m the director, and all I can do is find things to fault, then I know I have my work cut out for me. And I have to roll up my sleeves and fix everything. But when I can watch a movie and I can forget that I made the movie, that’s the first sign that I’m going to be pretty happy with it, that I’m going to be able to live with it,” he added.
Bearing in mind Spielberg has far more wins than misses in his filmography, we would say his process definitely works. Although, if you sit down and watch the original Jurassic Park movies and don’t realise you’ve struck gold, something is wrong.