A Birthday Tribute To The “Steven Spielberg Face”

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bill-swift - December 19, 2012

Today is Steven Spielberg's birthday and we wanted to wish the old geiser a good one - Not that he'd have a bad one since he's like a gazillionaire. I'm a huge fan ever since I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark when I was 4-years-old and thought that anyone who made movies with snakes, whips, and melting Nazis was OK by me. I've even forgiven him over the years for travesties like Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and War Horse...even though Crystal Skull made me cry in the fetal position for days. One of the most famous Spielberg's techniques is what's called "The Spielberg Face". This is the slow zoom on a face while they look at something before the audience sees it. It's a weird shot if you think about it. Most directors point the camera at whatever they want you to see but Spielberg is more interested in what the character's reaction is. Except in Crystal Skull where he decided to not show the actors repeatedly rolling their eyes and pretending to vomit.

Here is a nice mini-doc made by Kevin B. Lee about the Spielberg face and shows dozens of examples from his films.

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