Gerald R. Molen
Excerpts from biography about Steven Spielberg

Below are excerpts from a brief photograph-oriented biography of Steven Spielberg.

Source: Susan Goldman Rubin. Steven Spielberg: Crazy for Movies. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (2001).

Page 69, about the making of "Schindler's List":
Steven [Spielberg] insisted on filming in actual locations--the streets of Krakow, Poland, in the old Jewish ghetto; Schindler's factory and apartment building; and Auschwitz...

Producer Jerry Molen went to Poland with Steven to scout locations. Back in Los Angeles he met Branko Lustig, a Croatian who had done many films in Poland...

Photo caption, page 69:
Branko Lustig, Jerry Molen, and Steven [Spielberg].

Page 70:
"I believe a divine hand was sitting on Steven's shoulder throughout the filming process," said Jerry Molen. "When we needed snow, it snowed. If we didn't need snow, it stopped."

To make Schindler's List, Steven had to coordinate and direct a huge number of people. The film had 126 speaking parts, 3,000 extras, 210 crew members, and 148 sets in thirty-five locations. "Directing a movie is like running an army," says Marvin Levy, spokesperson for Steven Spielberg...

Page 74:
In March 1994, at the Academy Award ceremonies, the Spielberg family sat beaming and cheering as Schindler's List won an Oscar for Best Picture. The Academy gave the movie six more awards, including one to John Williams for Best Original Score... Finally, Steven won his Oscar as Best Director. In his acceptance speech he thanked "the six million who can't be watching this among the one billion watching this telecast tonight. In so many American schools, the Holocaust really is a footnote in the history books."

"Every day was filled with emotion," recalls Molen, thinking about the making of the movie. "Atrocities of the past. As Steven said so eloquently, 'I'm standing right here where fifty years ago people were loaded on trucks. If it were not for a different time . . .'" There wwere tears in everyone's eyes.

Page 76, about the Shoah Foundation, which Spielberg founded to record on film the eyewitness testimonies of thousands of Holocaust survivors from around the world:
"The majority of Holocaust survivors are in their seventies and eighties," said Steven [Spielberg]. "The window for capturing their testimonies is closing fast. This archive will preserve history as told by the people who lived it and lived through it."

The [Shoah] foundation's goals have always been to also record testimony from non-Jewish survivors--Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and other minorities the Nazis regarded as "subhuman."

Steven put together a team of people to work on the project. Jerry Molen and Branko Lustig, the producers of Schindler's List, were on the founding advisory committee. Other members of the team included child survivors such as Branko...

Web page created 25 December 2002. Last modified 19 September 2005.