Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg got some rough feedback early in his career, with one studio hating his work so much they brought someone else in to reshoot the entire thing.
The three-time Oscar winner told “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert about his experience on the TV horror anthology series “Night Gallery,” where he directed part the 1969 pilot and then was brought back for another segment after the show was picked up.
That one didn’t go as well.
His segment was to be about 11 minutes long, and he decided to do it almost entirely as a single shot.
“I staged the whole thing across four sets in one shot,” he told Colbert. “Story-boarded it, rehearsed it, everybody was excited about it.”
Everybody, that is, except the studio bosses who saw the rushes the next day.
“They were appalled,” he said. “Where’s the close-up coverage? Where are the over-the-shoulder shots? Where are the prerequisites for making it look like a television show?”
That led to a phone call from an executive who called Spielberg’s work “one of the most irresponsible experiences I’ve ever had with a director working for me.”
That unnamed executive told Spielberg they were going to reshoot the entire segment ― with another director.
Spielberg wouldn’t name that executive but said he ran into him again about 15 to 20 years later.
“He said some very nice things,” he recalled with a chuckle: