The First Films of 10 Famous Directors

Flea market hero and filmmaker Gary Huggins recently unearthed director Robert Altman‘s first film — a documentary short called Modern Football. He found the gem at a Kansas City area sale, where he purchased several old film reels for a whopping ten bucks. Imagine his surprise when one of them turned out to be the Gosford Park director’s lost movie. The early work is one of 27 sponsored shorts the filmmaker made for Kansas City company Calvin Communications, and no other print is know to exist. The director even makes a cameo as a sports reporter — and you can watch the entire thing on YouTube if you’re curious.

Every great filmmaker found their start somewhere. Although some would probably like to forget those early works, we’ve decided to pull a mom-breaks-out-the-old-school-photos moment and share them with you past the break. Even in their younger years, these filmmakers were obviously destined for greatness — space creatures, rough-cut animation, and all.

David Lynch, Six Figures Getting Sick (1966)

David Lynch wanted to create an organic, moving version of his paintings while studying at Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The project grew into his first film, Six Figures Getting Sick — a looped and animated short that incorporated a sculptured screen and projector. The figures are casts of Lynch’s head and were created with the help of friend and Eraserhead star Jack Fisk. The director’s fire, vomit, and body horror experiment eventually transformed into the quieter kind of terror we know today.