Before they became the big shot filmmakers that they are now, they were of course once students making their initial attempts at filmmaking. In this week's list, we're putting the spotlight on these early works by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, and Roman Polanski!
“Freiheit” by George Lucas
A little over a decade before he released his very first “Star Wars” film in 1977, George Lucas, 22, was a student at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Here, he created “Freiheit” (the German word for freedom), a two-minute short depicting a man in an escape attempt. It doesn’t really tell a complex story, although the sampling of audio clips towards the end discussing different ideas of freedom is pretty interesting, if not thought-provoking.
“Amblin’” by Steven Spielberg
It was in 1968 when Steven Spielberg, he of the “Raiders of the Lost Art,” “Jaws,” and “Jurassic Park” fame and a then student at the California State University, Long Beach, when he filmed “Amblin’.” With a running time of a little over 25 minutes, “Amblin’” is a silent film about a hippie couple who hitchhiked their way through Southern California to the Pacific Ocean. Ironically, this movie was said to have caused him to drop out of school; however, it’s also what led former Universal Television’s Vice-President Sid Sheinberg to have Spielberg sign a seven-year contract with them!
“What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place This?” by Martin Scorsese
“What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?” is a comedy narrated by the lead character, a writer named Harry, who tells his inexplicable fascination and attachment with a photo that he bought from what seemed like a bookstore and hung on his wall. Martin Scorsese was said to have created this, his first film, back in 1963 when he was a 21-year old film student at the New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts under the tutelage of Prof. Haig P. Manoogian.
“Boy and Bicycle” by Ridley Scott
Filmed in 1962, “Boy and Bicycle” was Ridley Scott’s first film made while he was a photography student at the Royal College of Art in London. However, it would take three more years before Scott was able to finish his film with financial aid from the British Film Institute. More than a decade later, the filmmaker would release his first feature film, “The Duellists.”
“Le Gros el la Maigre (The Fat and the Lean)” by Roman Polanski
It was in 1961 when 21-year old Roman Polanski not only directed “The Fat and the Lean” but also appeared in it as a slave who tends to his master’s needs. Polanski studied at the prestigious National Film School in Poland, and was able to create a string of student films in the late ’50s and the early ’60s.
Got anything to add to this list, fellow lomographers? Hit us up in the comments section below!
This list was based on Mental Floss’ The Student Films of 20 Famous Directors. Additional information were sourced from Filmmaker IQ and Michael Purves on YouTube. Cover photo of this article was taken from “Freiheit.”
Like this article? Check out our Top Five List series in the Lomography magazine!