Steven Spielberg was, for the longest time, one of the most famous successful people who never graduated from college. He had initially dropped out in 1968 to pursue a career in film. Unlike most wannabe student filmmakers, he actually wound up finding success almost immediately.
He made a short film called “Amblin” which may sound familiar, as he would later found a production company with that same name. The short film got him a gig directing for television, which in turn got him a gig directing the cult favorite “Duel” and that, finally, landed him in the director’s chair for “Jaws”, the movie that changed everything as far as cinema goes as the first real summer blockbuster.
And then a little over a decade ago, Spielberg decided that, after winning Academy Awards for movies like “Schindler’s List”, the one thing that was missing from his mantle was his college degree. So, he enrolled in courses at Cal State Long Beach and earned the final credits needed to graduate in 2002. If you were curious, no, he did not actually attend any lectures, instead studying independently. However, he was still required to submit term papers and, for his advanced film making class he also needed so submit a student film.
The film he submitted was the aforementioned “Schindler’s List.” And since that film was accepted by the professor as his official submission, it retroactively turned “Schindler’s List” into the greatest student film ever made. But don’t worry, if you’re working on your own screenplay for a class of your own right now, first of all get out of that Starbucks because how cliche can you be, but secondly, we’re sure it’ll be just as deep and meaningful as Spielberg’s student film.