Listen to James Cameron and Steven Spielberg Talk About Their Favorite Moments in Sci-Fi

Steven Spielberg and James Cameron in 'Story of Science Fiction'Credit: AMC
Turns out these two legends have a lot in common. 

There's a short, underseen program called James Cameron's Story of Science Fiction, which aired on AMC and was not appreciated by enough people. Within the show, Cameron and Spielberg sat down and talked about all things science fiction. They revealed influences and childhood traumas, the stuff that made them the filmmakers they are today. 

In perhaps one of the best and most revealing interviews with both, each of them lauds the generations that came before them and the effect it had on them as filmmakers. You can read a transcript of their interview in Metro News, or check out the clips below. 

I loved hearing how much respect these guys have for the previous generation. With Cameron saying, "Most filmmakers my age and younger would say that you were the guy right ahead of them that blew their minds and made them want to do what they do. You created a vision of cinema that I don’t think had existed before." 

And Spielberg replied, "Well, there’s always a guy ahead of all of us. There’s a whole bunch of guys ahead of me. George Pal, Stanley Kubrick. Willis O’Brien. I think what inflamed my imagination when I was a kid was simply fear. I needed to do something to protect myself against everything that I was afraid of, which was most everything when it got dark."

When it comes to 2001: A Space Odyssey, neither one could hold back their love and appreciation for Kubrick. 

This is really a fun look at two masters talking about what made them into the filmmakers we know. While neither exclusively works in science fiction, the idea of sci-fi has helped shape their career.

When it comes to their influences and the influences of the genre, I was particularly taken with Spielberg's acknowledgment of how much science fiction is actually about the current events of the day. From the red scare to the nuclear destruction of the 40s and 50s, to what Speilberg's generation feared, with spacer exploration and the moon landing. 

What did you think of the clips? Let us know in the comments.      

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I always liked the story that when Steven was filming JAWS, after the days shoot, him and Dreyfus would retire to Spielberg's trailer and watch, of all movies . . . 2001: A Space Odyssey. I just wonder what influence those screening had on the films Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

May 21, 2021 at 2:14PM

Don E Nelson
vis·u·al sto·ry·tell·er

James Cameron made new Terminator... You really think that Cameron is OK?

May 22, 2021 at 11:22PM

Austin Atkins