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Moviefone: War of the Worlds
Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg Conversation

(26 June 2005) This week, Moviefone posted an interview between Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg about their latest project. It isn't very long or too in-depth but you will find that the Cruise/Spielberg War of the Worlds Podcast (Audio) does make a few interesting points for Independent Filmmakers. Among the things discussed:

  • What drew Spielberg to the story.
  • What Cruise likes about Spielberg as a director.
  • Commitment to story and creative exploration.
  • Spielberg's love of working with gifted actors.
  • Childhood stories Spielberg would remake.
  • Researching roles and creating character.
  • Advice for aspiring filmmakers. NOT about camera magic. It's about how you tell the story. Is it original, compelling and does it hold together?
  • Spielberg's early films in Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • Economy and ease of digital filmmaking creates opportunity. Derivative films okay in the beginning but must find original voice.
  • What makes Cruise commit to a story.
  • Spielberg on when to commit, on his "time" to tell a story.

I was most pleased to hear Spielberg say that he looks for original, compelling stories told with an original voice. As a professor in the Fine Art Department, our whole focus is having students create original work (whether in visual arts, graphic arts, animation, media or digital filmmaking) with an original, distinctive voice. As the Program Director for Media Arts, I know that MCC is distinct because we balance teaching the pragmatic, concrete machine skills with developing original points of view. It's exciting work.

The link above is for the audio only. If you have a lot of bandwidth, you can find the VIDEO of Moviefone's War of the Worlds Interview. Be sure to check out the Moviefone site for more video media.

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