Steven Spielberg gets personal with James Cameron discussing inspiration behind Close Encounters: Watch

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Apr 19, 2018

We can’t think of anyone better to interview some of sci-fi’s greatest auteurs than, er, one of sci-fi’s greatest auteurs. Which is why we’re more than a little excited that James Cameron is hosting his own awesome new show, AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, which will premiere April 30.

In a teaser clip released by Entertainment Weekly the Oscar-winning Avatar director gets off to a stellar start as he sits down with the legendary Steven Spielberg to discuss how he got interested in making his iconic 1977 movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

“My father was the one who introduced me to the cosmos,” Spielberg says, when asked what inspired his young imagination to go down the route of making the film. The director goes on to explain that when he was just 6 or 7 years old, his father built a 2-inch reflecting telescope that made it possible for him to see the rings around Saturn.

Spielberg adds that his father took him to view a meteor shower through the telescope in New Jersey, and the experience later inspired his work on Close Encounters. He explains: “We got out there, and we lay down on his Army knapsack, and we looked up at the sky, and every 30 seconds or so there was a brilliant flash of light that streaked across the sky. I just remember looking at the sky, because of the influence of my father, and saying, 'If I ever get a chance to make a science fiction movie, I want those guys to come in peace.'"

It's fascinating to hear Spielberg talk candidly about how such childhood events would manifest in his imagination and cinematic vision, and we can’t wait to see the full episode once the six-part series begins.

As well as Spielberg, the Terminator visionary will be discussing the sci-fi genre at length with a whole other slew of notable interviewees, including George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Sigourney Weaver, Will Smith, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.