Published On: Mon, May 26th, 2014

Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen Celebrate the Twentieth Anniversary of DreamWorks SKG

Steven Spielberg, Jeff  Katzenberg and David Geffen, individually three of the greatest talents in the entertainment industry, got together in 1994 to form SKG, originally as a film studio but later specializing in animation.

Steven Spielberg Jeffrey Katzenberg David Geffen.

Industry giants Steven Spielberg, Jeff  Katzenberg and David Geffen are used to be the center of attraction, and especially were during the recent Cannes Film Festival, when the celebrated the 20th anniversary of them getting together to form DreamWorks SKG.

Initially established as a film production and distribution entity  which also developed video games and was involved in television programming, the trio began to focus their joint-venture  in  movie animation, eventually spinning off part of the business to become DreamWorks Animation in 2004.

Since the  spin-off, DreamWorks Animation  has grown to become one of the most  successful studios in  Hollywood history, having either produced or distributed (and sometimes both)  more than ten  box-office  super hits   which have individually grossed more than $100 million each.

Overall since its founding SKG has  released a total of 28 feature films and have brought in  more than $11 billion at the “global box office”.

dreamworks-logo

However, it is in the animated sector that they have enjoyed a great success, particularly with the Shrek series, with the studio, marking their prominence as leaders in the animated film industry by being the inaugural winners of Oscar award for animated feature films  in 2002 for “Shrek One”, following the success again in 2006 with “Wallace And Gromit”.

To mark the occasion of the 20th anniversary, SKG  were out in force at the Cannes Film Festival at the launch of  their latest animation  spectacular,  “How To Train Your Dragon 2 ” at the Palais des Festivals

After the showing, in an interview Jeff Katzenberg, emphasised the need for DreamWorks Animation to retain the policy of constant diversification, with  developments in animated television series and content for the Internet being very much on their targets for the future.

Katzenberg explains his rationale by stating that the studio has long been aware that new production is no longer a growth business, ” going on to speculate that within the next decade, films, animated or otherwise, are liable to only spend around three weeks in  the movie theatres, before making their way to  other formats.

A market where DreamWorks Animation is making major inroads, is  China, with their footprint in the country, beginning with the creation of Oriental DreamWorks in 2012.

Based in China’s Hollywood equivalent city,  Shanghai, Oriental DreamWorks hope to be releasing animated movies specially produced for the Chinese market within two years, plenty of time to keep pace with Katzenberg’s prediction that   China will be the number one market in the world for animated content by 2017.

Jeffrey Katzenberg began his career in the media industry as assistant to Barry Diller, then the Chairman of Paramount Pictures.

Diller obviously saw Katzenberg’ s potential, placing him in several key positions within the company despite his youth, until he was eventually given the difficult task of bringing some life into the Star Trek franchise, which Paramount owned. Katzenberg’s vision saw the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture which became a major hit for the studio in 1979 with just twenty-nine years old.

In 1984, Michael Eisner, left his job as President of Paramount Pictures to become (CEO) at The Walt Disney Company. Eisner knew that Katzenberg just the man to take charge of Disney’s ailing motion picture division.

Katzenberg pet project at Disney was the  founding of Touchstone Pictures, responsible for such Eighties icons as Down and Out in Beverly Hills and Good Morning, Vietnam.

It was during his time at Disney that Katzenberg also began to develop his interests in animation,  where he was  behind some of the studio’s greatest hits, such  as Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

David Geffen sprang to prominence in the music business when he established the Asylum Record label in 1970, following that up with Geffen Records ten years later, and DGC Records  ten years after that, as well as being one of the founding members of DreamWorks.

 

Steven Spielberg attended the film school at the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television. (CSULB), although  his studies were severely attempts hampered by the later discovered fact that Spielberg suffered from dyslexia. Despite two separate attempts  Speilberg  gave up on his dream to graduate, until  thirty-five years later , he  achieved his dream, by completing his degree as an external student at CSULB, being awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film Production and the Electronic Arts.

After leaving CSULB went to work as an intern at Hollywood’s Universal Studios where he spent most of his time working and learning with the studios editing department.

While serving his internship at Universal Studios in 1968, Spielberg was given the opportunity to make his first short film for theatrical release, a 26-minute cameo entitled Amblin’.

Sidney Sheinberg, at that time the vice-president in charge of production at Universal’s TV arm, was shown the film, and was impressed. Impressed enough, just a year later, to offer Spielberg the chance to become the youngest director to be signed by a major Hollywood studio.

Since then, during a career which has now spanned more than four decades, Spielberg’s films have become classics of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking, causing them to be considered among the most and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema.

Spielberg has won an Academy Award for Best Director on two separate occasions- first for Schindler’s List in 1993 and Saving Private Ryan three years later.

In addition, three of Spielberg’s film productions, Jaws in 1975, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1982, and Jurassic Park in 1993,  were the highest-grossing film in each decade.

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