Few people have done more to advance the cause of science fiction — or warn us about killer cyborgs — than filmmaker James Cameron. So it makes sense that the director of the first two Terminator movies, Aliens, The Abyss, and Avatar would be fronting AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, premiering April 30. In the six-part series, Cameron explores the sci-fi genre through interviews with such notables as George Lucas, Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Sigourney Weaver, and Steven Spielberg.
In an exclusive clip from the show, Spielberg reveals how his father took him to see a meteor shower when he was a kid, and how that helped inspire the friendly aliens to be found in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
“He took me to a knoll somewhere in New Jersey and there were hundreds of people lying on picnic blankets,” Spielberg says in the clip. “I put the scene in Close Encounters. And 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.’”
Watch the full clip at the top of this post, and check out a teaser trailer for the series above.