Producing the Spielberg Brand




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This chapter looks at the manufacture of Spielberg’s brand, and the limits of its usage. Spielberg’s directorial work is well known, but Spielberg’s identity has also been established in other ways, and I focus particularly on his work as a producer. At the time of writing, Spielberg had produced (or executive produced) 148 movies and television series across a range of genres that takes in high budget blockbusters and low budget documentaries, with many more to come. In these texts, Spielberg’s status as branded entity is explicit. His name is used as a marker of cinematic quality, to promote the films in question as “Spielbergian” experiences, or to suggest some kind of thematic concordance with Spielberg’s directorial work. In each case, Spielberg’s name confers a kind of “value” on the production in question. Throughout the first half of the chapter I seek to outline the nature of his brand, and I focus on his early work as a producer of high profile, family-oriented productions. In the second half I look in greater detail at Spielberg’s later career as a more serious filmmaker, focusing on his role as a public figure following the release of Schindler’s List in 1993. I conclude by examining some of the Holocaust documentaries he has produced since the 1990s.



Film Studies, Steven Spielberg, Film Production


Russell, J. (2016) Producing the Spielberg Brand. In: Nigel Morris, ed., A Companion to Steven Spielberg, Blackwell, London


Research Institute

Cinema and Television History Institute (CATHI)