Film Research

For a chosen film for each director I have researched details about the film, such as costs, profit/loss, actors, cinematographers, crew and locations.

For Steven Spielberg, I chose the film Jurassic Park.

How much did it cost to make?

Jurassic Park costed 63 million dollars to make.

What was the profit or loss?

The box office numbers for the money Jurassic Park made was 1,038,812,584 dollars.

Who were the main actors?

Sam Neill (Alan Grant), Laura Dern (Ellie Sattler), Jeff Goldblut (Ian Malcolm), Richard Attenborough (John Hammond), Bob Peck (Robert Muldoon), Martin Ferrero (Donald Gennaro), B.D. Wong (Henry Wu), Samuel L. Jackson (Ray Arnold), Wayne Knight (Dennis Nedra), Joseph Mazzello (Tim Murphy), Ariana Richards (Lex Murphy).

Who were the cinematographers?

Dean Cundey – there was only one cinematographer, a lot of the effects in the film relied on original art and model making.

Who were the main crew?

The entire crew is listed here:

Where was the film located?

  • The island: Kauai, a small Hawaiian island.
  • Interiors and night scenes: Universal Studios sound stages








For Quentin Tarantino, I chose the film Kill Bill (Vol. 1).

How much did it cost to make?

The cost for volume one was 55,000,000 dollars.

What was the profit or loss?

The profit for volume one was $176,469,428.

Who were the main actors?

Uma Thurman (Bride), David Carradine (Bill), Daryl Hannah (Elle Driver), Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii), Michael Madsen (Budd), Vivica A. Fox (Vernita Green),  Chiaki Kuriyama (Gogo Yubari), Chia Hui Lui (Johnny Mo), and Sonny Chiba (Hattori Hanzo).

Who were the cinematographers?

Robert Richardson

Who were the main crew?

All crew here:

Where was the film located?








For George Lucas, I chose the film Star Wars IV: A New Hope.

How much did it cost to make?

11 million USD

What was the profit or loss?

$786,598,007 profit worldwide

Who were the main actors?

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin), Alec Guiness (Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2 -D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), David Prowse (Darth Vader), Phil Brown (Uncle Owen), Shelagh Fraser (Aunt Beru), Jack Pervis (Chief Jawa), Alex McCrindle (General Dodonna), Eddie Byrne (General Willard), Drewe Henley (Red Leader).

Who were the cinematographers?  

Gilbert Taylor

Who were the main crew?

Where was the film located?








Other ‘Best Of…’ Programme Analysis – 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments

The ‘Best Of…’ programme I have decided to analysis is 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments. I chose to analysis this because it is a great example of a ‘Best Of…’ documentary as it is through, and also relevant as it counts down movie moments which links in to the theme of filming and directing.

The layout of the documentary is chronological. They show the countdown in order from 50 to 1, instead of all over the place. This makes it easier to understand for the audience and creates build up for the final selected moment/scene.

The intro also reflects the manner of programme. It first introduces itself as a programme so the audience know what they are watching, and it also builds hype and investment. It then also introduces itself as a proper programme/documentary which is reflected in the intro titles. This tells me that if I were to create a documentary on the best directors, I would want it to be presented officially through these methods.

The layout also shows routine. For each numbered scene, it pops up with the number, shows the footage and tells the audience what the scene is, includes voice over, and cuts in with comments from the actors and/or other famous figures.

The numbers are in the font of Harry Potter text, and it includes graphics and the theme tune in the background. This is to make the frame seem more appealing, and also reflects the franchise so the documentary is more relevant. In my documentary I may also want to do this with themes from each director’s most loved films to make the programme appear more appealing.

It then shows the footage from the scene, and a voice over frequently passes comment. This explains the scene and it’s relevance for the audience so they can understand further why it’s such an iconic scene in the franchise. I could do the same with my documentary by showing a scene from one of the films of my chosen directors and showing why it’s so iconic. For example, the opening scene in Jaws by Spielberg.

It then goes to a comment from one of the actors describing how they felt when filming that scene and what it means to them. This shows empathy and gives an insight to the audience to behind the scenes. I could include this in my documentary by interviewing the directors about their thoughts on the scene.

It then sometimes cuts to another famous figure talking about how they felt watching the scenes, and why they agree it is iconic. The effect of this is it provides an outside opinion and reflects how the audience feel about the scene. I could do this for my documentary and show the opinions of a focus group or voluntary famous figures which would also provide an outside outlook which supports my programme.

These factors of the programme are what makes it a memorable documentary, so in mine I will make sure to cherry pick these factors in order to create the best and most successful documentary I can.


Research Log – Steven Speilberg – Film Reviews

Source: IMDb

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Short description: A list of all of Speilberg’s directed films, ratings, and the reviews of his most loved films.

Why is this useful? Why has or hasn’t it been used?

Information obtained:

A list of all of Speilberg’s directed films, and the ratings:

Firelight: 6.0

The Sugarland Express: 6.8

Jaws: 8.0

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 7.7

1941: 5.9

Raiders of the Lost Ark: 8.5

E.T: the Extra-Terrestrial: 7.9

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: 7.6

The Colour Purple: 7.8

Empire of the Sun: 7.8

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: 8.3

Always: 6.4

Hook: 6.7

Jurassic Park: 8.1

Schindler’s List: 8.9

The Lost World: Jurassic Park: 6.5

Amistad: 7.2

Saving Private Ryan: 8.6

A.I Artificial Intelligence: 7.1

Minority Report: 7.7

Catch Me if You Can: 8.0

The Terminal: 7.3

War of the Worlds: 6.5

Munich: 7.6

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 6.2

The Adventures of Tintin: 7.4

War Horse: 7.2

Lincoln: 7.4

The Bridge of Spies: 7.6

The BFG: 6.4

From this we can see that Speilberg’s highest rated and most loved directed films are Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Jaws and Catch Me if You Can.

The top review for Speilberg’s most loved film, Schindler’s List is:

Screenshot 2017-03-24 at 6.19.41 PM.png

The top review for Speilberg’s second best loved film, Saving Private Ryan is:

Screenshot 2017-03-24 at 6.22.37 PM.png

The top review for Speilberg’s third best loved film, Raiders of the Lost Ark is:

Screenshot 2017-03-26 at 1.21.38 PM.png

The top review for Speilberg’s fourth best loved film, Jurassic Park is:

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 09.11.35

The top review for Speilberg’s fifth best loved film, Jaws is:

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The top review for Speilberg’s sixth best loved film Catch Me if You Can is:

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 09.19.34

Research Log – Steven Speilberg – Early Life and Career

Source: Wikipedia

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Short description: An insight into the early life and film career of Steven Speilberg.

Why is it useful? Why has or hasn’t it been used?

Information Obtained:

Early Life

Steven Speilberg was born on the 28th of December 1946. He was born in the state of Ohio.

‘His first home movie was of a train wreck involving his toy Lionel trains, then age 12. Throughout his early teens, and after entering high school, Spielberg continued to make amateur 8 mm “adventure” films.’

‘In 1958, he became a Boy Scout and fulfilled a requirement for the photography merit badge by making a nine-minute 8 mm film entitled The Last Gunfight. Years later, Spielberg recalled to a magazine interviewer, “My dad’s still-camera was broken, so I asked the scoutmaster if I could tell a story with my father’s movie camera. He said yes, and I got an idea to do a Western. I made it and got my merit badge. That was how it all started.”At age thirteen, while living in Phoenix, Spielberg won a prize for a 40-minute war film he titled Escape to Nowhere, using a cast composed of other high school friends. That motivated him to make 15 more amateur 8mm films. In 1963, at age sixteen, Spielberg wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called Firelight, which would later inspire Close Encounters. The film was made for $500, most of which came from his father, and was shown in a local cinema for one evening.’

‘After attending Arcadia High School in Phoenix for three years, his family next moved to Saratoga, California where he later graduated from Saratoga High School in 1965. His long-term goal was to become a film director.’ He then moved to LA with his father.

‘In Los Angeles, he applied to the University of Southern California’s film school, but was turned down because of his “C” grade average. He then applied and was admitted to California State University, Long Beach.’

‘While still a student, he was offered a small unpaid intern job at Universal Studios with the editing department. He was later given the opportunity to make a short film for theatrical release, the 26-minute, 35mm, Amblin’, which he wrote and directed. Studio vice president Sidney Sheinberg was impressed by the film, which had won a number of awards, and offered Spielberg a seven-year directing contract. It made him the youngest director ever to be signed for a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio. He subsequently dropped out of college to begin professionally directing TV productions with Universal.’

Early Film Career

‘His first professional TV job came when he was hired to direct one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery, written by Rod Serling and would star Joan Crawford. Crawford, however, was “speechless, and then horrified” at the thought of a twenty-one-year-old newcomer directing her, one of Hollywood’s leading stars. “Why was this happening to me?” she asked the producer. Her attitude changed after they began working on her scenes.’

‘The first was a Richard Matheson adaptation called Duel. Based on the strength of his work, Universal signed Spielberg to do four TV films.’ This received high and special praise which was significant to Speilberg’s career.

‘Studio producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown offered Spielberg the director’s chair for Jaws, a thriller-horror film based on the Peter Benchley novel about an enormous killer shark. Spielberg has often referred to the gruelling shoot as his professional crucible. Despite the film’s ultimate, enormous success, it was nearly shut down due to delays and budget over-runs. But Spielberg persevered and finished the film. It was an enormous hit, winning three Academy Awards (for editing, original score and sound) and grossing more than $470 million worldwide at the box office. It also set the domestic record for box office gross, leading to what the press described as “Jawsmania.” Jaws made Spielberg a household name and one of America’s youngest multi-millionaires, allowing him a great deal of autonomy for his future projects. It was nominated for Best Picture.’

From Jaws, Speilberg was given the platform to become one of the most successful film directors of all time, and went on to direct some of the most credible films of all time, such as Jurassic Park and E.T The Extra Terrestrial.


Research Log – George Lucas – Early Life and Career

Source: Wikipedia

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Short description: An insight to the early life and film career of George Lucas.

Is this useful? Why or why has it not been used?

Information Obtained:

Early Life

‘Lucas was born and raised in Modesto, California. He is of German, Swiss-German, English, Scottish, and distant Dutch and French descent. Growing up, Lucas had a passion for cars and motor racing, which later inspired his films 1:42.08 and American Graffiti. Long before Lucas became obsessed with filmmaking, he yearned to be a race-car driver, and he spent most of his high school years racing on the underground circuit at fairgrounds and hanging out at garages. He attended Modesto Junior College, where he studied anthropology, sociology, and literature, amongst other subjects. He also began shooting with an 8 mm camera, including filming car races.

‘Lucas then transferred to the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film’. At this college he ‘became good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg’.

Film Career

‘Lucas saw many inspiring films in class, particularly the visual films coming out of the National Film Board of Canada like Arthur Lipsett’s 2187. 

‘Lucas fell madly in love with pure cinema and quickly became prolific at making 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems with such titles as Look at Life, Herbie, 1:42.08, The Emperor, Anyone Lived in a Pretty (how) Town, Filmmaker, and 6-18-67. He was passionate and interested in camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director, and he loved making abstract visual films that created emotions purely through cinema.’

‘In 1967, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. Working as a teaching instructor for a class of U.S. Navy students who were being taught documentary cinematography, Lucas directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967–68 National Student film festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was awarded a student scholarship by Warner Bros. to observe and work on the making of a film of his choosing. The film he chose was Finian’s Rainbow. In 1969, Lucas was one of the camera operators on the classic Rolling Stones concert film Gimme Shelter.’

‘His first full-length feature film produced by the studio, THX 1138, was not a success. Lucas then created his own company, Lucasfilm, Ltd., and directed the successful American Graffiti (1973).’

From this, he gained enough wealth and reputation and became director for the ‘highest grossing film of all time’, Star Wars (1997).