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Famous Hollywood Directors' First Short Films

Written by : Tech Trends Team
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The short film is a short format of cinema, and a ticket/resume to the film industry to direct big feature films. Many International iconic filmmakers started their careers with short films, who later went on to make greatest cinematic achievements in the history of cinema. In this golden age of short films, let's recollect, how the legendary directors started off their careers and their approach towards filmmaking by watching their first short films and compare them to that of their present-day super hit films.

1. Stanley Kubrick – Day Of Fight (1951)

Kubrick Initially chose a photographic career, but later shared his love for filmmaking, with his close friend and intended to direct the film version of Homer's 'Iliad'. He realized that It would cost him a lot to make a film, he started producing short documentaries to gather the money, later renting the high-end camera, started off making short movies and the below one is a 16-minute black and white documentary 'Day of the fight'.

2. Roman Polanski – The Fat And The Lean (1961)

This is the Silent short comic film made by R.Polanski after completing his graduation at the National Film School in 1959. This experience made him to debut with 1962 feature film 'Knife in the water'. Polanski is one of the most sort after directors in the world cinema today. He made many path-breaking films such as Knife in the water 1962, Repulsion 1965, Rosemary's Baby 1968, Chinatown 1974 that won many awards and rewards at prominent film festivals all over the world.

3. Ridley Scott – Boy and Bicycle (1962)

This is the debut short film by Ridley Scott, while he was still in the Royal College of Art in London as a cinematography student, he started making a 27 min short film, later he went on to make Alien 1979, Blade Runner 1982, American Gangster 2007, The Martian 2015 and other landmarking films.

4. Martin Scorsese – What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing In A Place Like This (1963)?

This American director is best known for 1980 Raging Bull, Taxi Driver 1976 and Gorillas 1990, was a student at New York University's Art's school, where he made his first short, 'What's a Nice Girl like you doing in a place like this?' and his most famous short The Big shave in 1967, which later took him to mainstream cinema.

5. Krzysztof Kieslowski - The Office (1966)

'The office' is the first short as a writer & director of this Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, He directed it while still, he was in a film school. The film runs for 5 mins which contain interactions of the officials in the government office through the service window. The scene focuses on the clerk handling requests from people seeking state aid.

6. David Lynch – Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) (1967)

This is an experimental animated short directed by David Lynch for his thesis project at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The film was made with a budget of $200. He made many such short films before debuting with the 1977 feature 'Eraser head'.

7. Steven Spielberg – Amblin (1968)

He is often considered as one of the pioneers in the field of cinema. He delivered many path-breaking movies. During his initial days he too applied for the film course at California University, while still in the university, he got an internship at Universal studios in the editing department, where he got an opportunity to make a short film for theatrical release and went on doing 26 minutes short titled 'Amblin'.

8. George Lucas – THX 1138 (1971)

This famous director is best known for 'Star Wars and Indiana Jones series', used to watch many inspiring films that come from the National film board of Canada before he got obsessed with filmmaking technique. Later, he enrolled a filmmaking course at the film school and started working as a part-time teaching instructor for U.S. Navy students and made a short film called Labyrinth: THX 1138.

9. James Cameron – Xenogenesis (1978)

He is one of the greatest filmmaker ever in the history of cinema, widely known for making highest grossing movies and Highest Oscar-winning movies such as Avatar, Titanic, Terminator in the years 2009, 1997 and 1991.

He started his filmmaking career with short films and his directorial debut was with a science fiction short titled 'Xenogenesis' in the year 1978 with a budget of 20000$.


10. Sam Raimi – Within the woods (1978)

He is best known for cult horror series such as 'Evil Dead' and also famous for directing 'Spider-Man Trilogy'. At the very young age, he got fascinated with a super 8 camera, that his father brought home. One day he started making a short film teaming up with his schoolmates and that later resulted in making a horror short 'Within The Woods 1978' whose success made him make many more films in that genre and Evil Dead was a classic among them.

11. Tim Burton – Vincent (1982)

Tim, after completing his education at California Institute of Arts in Valencia started his career as a character animator with Walt Disney Productions. Later directed 6 min short 'Vincent' a stop-motion animation film based on the poem written by himself. Tim made many successful films such as Pee-wee's Big Adventure, the Batman series, Plant of the Apes series 2001, Alice in Wonderland 2010.

12. Quentin Tarantino - My Best Friend's Birthday (1987)

This great filmmaker with non-linear storylines and heavy violent content such as Reservoir Dogs, Pulp fiction, Kill Bill, Inglorious bastards, Hateful eight etc movies too started his film career with a short film titled 'My Best Friend's Birthday'. He co-wrote and directed the above short film with his friend.

13. Christopher Nolan – Tarantella (1989)

This short film of Nolan is based on a Public Broadcasting service, whereas his other short film is based on a psychological thriller in the year 1977. C. Nolan went on to deliver many super hits such as Memento 2000, Insomnia 2002, The Dark Knight 2008 and can't forget to mention his '2010 Inception and 2014 Interstellar. He too started making short films at a very young with his father's camera, after his graduation he started making them professionally starting with Doodlebug 1997.

Hope, you had a great time watching the above shorts of film legends, please write us your suggestions in the comment section below.

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