This Is the Best Advice Steven Spielberg Has Ever Given

Steven Spielberg's advice he has from making 'The Fablemans'
Producer Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, Seth Rogen, Julia Butters, co-writer/producer Tony Kushner, Keeley Karsten, and Sophia Kopera on the set of 'The Fabelmans.'Credit: Merie Weismiller Wallace/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment
We've said it before, but this is from the mouth of a master...

There's that timeless bit of storytelling advice that we've all heard before. It usually goes, "Write what you know."

It has worked for countless writers and directors in the past, many of whom we've interviewed here on No Film School. It just means that you can and should use your life experiences as part of your writing toolbox. Who are you? How can your unique perspective bring audiences a story they've never seen?

This has definitely paid off for beloved filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose latest film, The Fablemans, is currently making the awards rounds and being lauded as one of the best films of 2022.

Spielberg won the Golden Globe for Best Director of a Motion Picture last week and gave a moving acceptance speech. We'd like to point out some stellar advice he slipped in while speaking.

"I’ve been hiding from this story since I was 17 years old. ... I never had the courage to hit the story head-on until Tony Kushner… The fact that everybody sees me as a success story, and everybody sees all of us the way they perceive us based on how they get the information. But nobody really knows who we are until we’re courageous enough to tell everyone who we are. And I spent a lot of time trying to figure out when I could tell that story, and I figured out when I turned about 74 years old. I said, 'You better do it now. You better do it now.'"

Watch his full acceptance speech below.

Spielberg has contended with broken families in much of his work, from E.T. to Poltergeist. But he has been open about how uncomfortable the process of making The Fabelmans was for him because he exposed himself in a different and deeply personal way. And with the film now as an Oscar front-runner, that process is paying off.

It might take you a while to muster the courage to expose yourself as Spielberg did in his latest film. But once you do, jump on the chance. "You better do it now," he says.

We also heard this advice straight from Kushner's mouth on the No Film School Podcast a couple of months ago. He told us about his collaboration with Spielberg, and how their conversation about this personal story went over several projects. Kushner also told Spielberg that now was the time—and we're so grateful he did.

You should listen to that entire conversation, which is below.

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