Sunday, July 3, 2016

Check This Out: Spielberg Shares Stories on Universal Studios Tour

Left to right: Anthony Breznican and Steven Spielberg
If you are a native to Southern California and you love movies, there's a good chance that you're familiar with the Universal Studios Theme Park, and specifically the studio tour that takes patrons around the back lot to various sets from the studio's long and expansive history. However, have you had the chance to do it while receiving personal anecdotes from highly acclaimed, Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg? Probably not. Entertainment Weekly's Anthony Breznican got the chance to go down memory lane with Spielberg, and the results give some personal stories from the man who made some of the 20th century's most iconic works, including his feelings on the missing boat from the Jaws exhibit, and the times that he met Alfred Hitchcock and Marlon Brando. Check out the video after the jump to see all of the excitement.

While Spielberg's latest The BFG may not be doing the biggest business this weekend at the box office, there's a certain novelty to hearing the master revisit various sets from his movies. Thankfully, the legendary director still has a passion for film, and it comes across during each of the tour stops in the 10 minute video. While some of the details may be obvious to film buffs, such as Spielberg sneaking onto the studio lot at a young age, it's still fun to hear what he has to say about all of his old movies. If nothing else, it makes Hollywood sound like a whole lot of fun and makes one of the most successful directors in history sound enviably familiar, as he is as big of a fan of the masters as we are.

Check out the video below:

The tour wasn't specifically about Spielberg's movies, though it was a strong focus. Anyone who has been on the tour may already be familiar with the talking points of the Back to the Future exhibit and the portion dedicated to old westerns. He talks about how he sneaked onto the set of The Torn Curtain for a few minutes before getting kicked off by Hitchcock himself. He also discusses how he was punked into stealing a film reel from a shirtless Brando. However, it is when the director gets to familiar ground that things become most interesting. 

The most noteworthy story comes from the film that made him the name he is today: Jaws. As fans will know, there is the boat called Orca. It sat in the middle of a small set that appears on the tour in which an animatronic shark jumps out at passing tours. The Orca sat somewhere in the middle of the water, and was there until it was damaged. It personally affected Spielberg, and the one revelation that he has given is that he hopes to restore the Orca and get it back into th exhibit. Speaking as it remains the film that we owe Spielberg's successful career to, it doesn't seem like he will have to put up much of a fight.

There are other stories pushed throughout, such as why there's no bodies in the War of the Worlds exhibit. There's too much to get into here, so I'd encourage you to just watch the video. If nothing else, it's a nice way to do the familiar press junket interviews while exploring a director's rich past. The video may not provide much insight on The BFG, but it does reflect a film maker who loves film as much as we do, but has the capabilities to make it into something grander. It may not be the greatest of interviews, but it is definitely one of the funner ones to check out on this Independence Day weekend. 

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