Made first 8mm (3 1/2 min.) film while in grade school; set up a tree-planting business to pay for film and equipment while in teens
Won first contest with 40-minute war film, "Escape to Nowhere" at age 13
Made first amateur 8mm feature film, "Firelight" at age 16; father hired local theater to screen film
Professional debut with 24-minute short, "Amblin" (shown at Atlanta Film Festival)
Signed to seven-year contract as TV director with Universal-MCA
TV directing debut with the "Eyes" episode of the anthology series "Night Gallery"; segment starred Joan Crawford (NBC)
First feature-length film for TV, "Duel" (ABC)
Wrote story for feature film "Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies"
Feature directorial debut, "The Sugarland Express"
Breakthrough feature film, the summer blockbuster "Jaws"; also first collaboration with actor Richard Dreyfuss; film brought in 100 days over schedule (and comparably over budget); reportedly the first director to do so
Reteamed with Dreyfuss on the sci-fi classic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind"; received first Best Director Oscar nomination
First feature as executive producer, Robert Zemeckis's "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
Witnessed rare film flop with the large-scale comedy "1941"
Made a cameo appearance as the Cook County Clerk at the end of John Landis's "The Blues Brothers"
First collaboration with executive producer George Lucas and first collaboration with actor Harrison Ford, "Raiders of the Lost Ark"; garnered second Best Director Academy Award nomination
First film as producer, "Poltergeist," helmed by Tobe Hooper
Helmed the blockbuster "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"; also served as one of the producers; became the top-grossing movie of all time pulling in $399 million in its initial release; earned third Best Director Oscar nomination as well as a Best Picture nod; re-released on 20th anniversary in March 2002 with minor changes and enhanced digital effects
Helmed the "Kick the Can" segment of "Twilight Zone ¿ The Movie"
Directed the sequel "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom"
Formed production company Amblin Entertainment
First TV series as executive producer, "Amazing Stories" (NBC)
Produced and directed "The Color Purple," adapted from Alice Walker's novel; movie received 11 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, but not one for Best Director
Executive produced first animated feature "An American Tail"
Made the underrated WWII drama "Empire of the Sun," which featured a young Christian Bale in his acting debut
TV acting debut as himself in a segment of "The Tracey Ullman Show" (Fox)
Served as a founding member and VP of the Artists Rights Foundation
Directed the second sequel "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"
Helmed the less successful "Always," a remake of the 1943 feature "A Guy Named Joe"; third film with Richard Dreyfuss
Helmed the lavish "Peter Pan" update "Hook" starring Robin Williams as a grown-up Peter and Dustin Hoffman as the title character
With wife Kate Capshaw, co-hosted "Shattered Lullabies" ¿ a documentary on high infant mortality rates in America; broadcast on Lifetime as an episode of "Your Family Matters"
Signed a one-year deal to produce "seaQuest DSV" a 22-episode series, a joint effort between Universal and Amblin Entertainment
Directed his most commercially successful feature "Jurassic Park"; film outgrossed "E.T." to become the top movie of all time
Co-produced and directed his most critically acclaimed feature "Schindler's List"; first feature shot in black-and-white
Formed the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation to videotape the testimonies of Holocaust survivors
Invested in a CD-ROM company Knowledge Adventure; participated in the creation of five titles
Along with mogul David Geffen and former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, formed DreamWorks SKG, a multimedia entertainment company for the production of live-action and animated features, TV programming, music and interactive software
Announced that DreamWorks SKG would grant their filmmakers "moral rights" to protect the original versions of their films after release
"Champs", an ABC sitcom from executive producer Gary David Goldberg, became the first DreamWorks TV series (only lasted for a month)
Received story credit on the premiere episode of "High Incident," an ABC cop drama; the first hour-long dramatic series from DreamWorks; was reportedly involved with production, casting and operating a camera during portions of the pilot
Helmed the sequel "The Lost World: Jurassic Park"
Helmed "Amistad," a film based on a real-life 19th-century legal case involving slaves who staged a mutiny on the ship carrying them to North America; author Barbara Chase-Riboud claimed that the film's script was based in part on her book; subsequent threats of lawsuits and articles tainted film's release
Bounced back with the acclaimed WWII story "Saving Private Ryan," starring Tom Hanks; earned second Best Director Academy Award
Returned to filmmaking with "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," based on a story by the late Stanley Kubrick; also wrote screenplay
With Hanks, produced the HBO WWII miniseries "Band of Brothers"
With the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, served as presenter of "Broken Silence," a series of five documentaries about Holocaust survivors; aired on Cinemax
Served as a co-executive producer on Woody Allen's "Hollywood Ending"
Directed the sci-fi thriller "Minority Report," starring Tom Cruise and Colin Farrell
Executive produced the hit Sci-Fi Channel miniseries "Taken"
Reunited with Tom Hanks, who co-starred as an FBI agent pursuing the first teenager ever to make the Ten Most Wanted list (Leonardo DiCaprio) in "Catch Me If You Can"
Received star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Again paired with Tom Hanks for "The Terminal"; also starred Catherine Zeta-Jones
Executive produced "Into the West," (TNT) a saga spanning 65 years of U.S. history from 1825 to 1890; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Miniseries
Once again collaborated with Tom Cruise for "War of the Worlds," a remake of the 1953 film, which chronicles a Martian invasion of Earth
Helmed "Munich," a film based on the book <i>Vengeance</i>; detailed the tragic aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics; received Academy nominations for Directing and Best Picture and a Golden Globe nomination for Directing; was also nominated by the Directors Guild of America
Produced the Clint Eastwood directed WWII dramas, "Flags of Our Fathers" and the companion piece "Letters from Iwo Jima"; earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture as the producer of "Iwo Jima"
Teamed with Mark Burnett for "On the Lot," an "American Idol"-meets-
"The Apprentice" Fox reality series
Executive produced "Transformers," the live action film based on the franchise and toy line
Returned to direct the fourth installment of the adventure series "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," starring Harrison Ford in the title role
Re-teamed with Michael Bay (who directed) to produce the sequel "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"
Re-teamed with Tom Hanks to executive produce HBO's 10-part miniseries "The Pacific," which earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Miniseries
Co-produced the J. J. Abrams directed thriller "Super 8"
Re-teamed with Michael Bay (who directed) to produce "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"
Directed and produced "The Adventures of Tintin"
Directed the WWI-set drama "War Horse," based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and the 2007 stage adaptation of the same name
Produced and directed "Lincoln" about the 16th U.S. President, starring Daniel Day-Lewis