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Backstage With Spielberg at the VES Awards

When Steven Spielberg finally took the stage to receive his Lifetime Achievement award at last night's 6th Annual VES gala, he thanked all the VFX talent assembled at the Kodak Theatre. "This room dreams for a living -- and thank God for that!"

Spielberg then described the fun and laborious task of shooting his first effects shot as a kid for a space movie. Using poster board chock full of holes for stars and armed with a slow moving 8mm camera, Spielberg made the best of it, and then had to wait two-and-half weeks for the film to be processed and mailed back to his home in Arizona.

"It's a glorious time, and with enough money we can do everything," Spielberg exclaimed about the current digital revolution. He then singled out the amazing work he's seen on the Internet before singling out some of the VFX people he's collaborated with over the years, beginning with Douglas Trumbull and ending with his mentor, George Lucas.

Spielberg also took the opportunity to recommend that the VES add a student film award category to provide "incentive go get into the business."

Meanwhile, backstage, Spielberg told VFXWORLD about the vital role of previs on his latest film, INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL: "I get to make the movie before I get to make the movie. The only bad thing about that is it takes about 25% of the spontaneity out of making onset discoveries because you fall in love with the previs. You don't give your imagination the chance to fly so much when you're in the practical 3D reality model of the set. So I had to fight that early, specifically by throwing out a lot of previs."