10) Jared Hess (Peluca) 2003
Peluca is a short film by director Jared Hess, shot on black and white 16mm it stars Jon Heder as the main character Seth and was later adapted into the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite which starred Heder as the main character. One for fans of Jon Heder or Napoleon Dynamite or even just people who voted Pedro and want to see where it all started.
9) Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket) 1994
Bottle Rocket is a short film directed by Wes Anderson. It was co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson. It led to a 1996 feature which was not only Anderson’s directorial debut, but the film debut of Luke and Owen Wilson. The film centres on 2 petty criminals and their musings and plans for further crimes. Watch to see where Wes Anderson started. Not sure if we can forgive him for inflicting the Wilson brothers on the world though.
8) Vin Diesel (Multi-Facial) 1995
Multi-Facial is a short film directed, written, produced, scored by and starring Vin Diesel. The story depicts the professional and emotional issues faced by Mike (Diesel), a multiracial (Italian and African American) actor. The film was noticed by director Steven Spielberg, who would cast Diesel in Saving Private Ryan. The film was released on DVD in 1999. An interesting one on the list as not only does it involve starting an acting career rather than a directing one, it shows the talent and ability Vin Diesel possesses and reminds of all of what could be before the Pacifier came along.
7) David Lynch (6 Men Getting Sick) 1967
Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) (often known as Six Figures Getting Sick) is a 1967 experimental animated short film, directed by David Lynch. A student project that was developed over the course of a semester, it is Lynch’s first film and was shot while he was attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The film consists of an animated painting, depicting six dysmophic figures regurgitating in sequence with the sound of a siren loop. I would say this is one solely for fans of Lynch, but if your after something completely different (as with all of Lynch’s work), then give it a watch.
6) The Big Shave (Martin Scorcese) 1967
The Big Shave is a 6 minute short film also known as Viet ’67. Produced while Scorcese was at film school. It involves no dialogue, only music. With a darkly comic tone its not for the squeamish and those of you who are may find yourself’s holding your neck afterwards. A precursor of things to come for the legendary director. Give it a watch and see if you can work out it’s meaning.
5) Neil Blomkamp (Alive in Joburg) 2005
Alive in Joburg, directed by Neil Blomkamp is a South African short film, later made into a full film called District 9. It is noted for its visual effects as well as its documentary style visuals. The film was seen and executive produced by Peter Jackson and is one for fans of sci-fi and District 9 as well as being something different than all the others on this list due to its documentary style.
4) Andres Muschietti (Mama) 2008
Mama is a 2008 short film by Andres Muschietti, it was adapted into a full length feature in 2013 with Guillermo Del Toro as executive producer. Although I recommend all the films on this list, I especially recommend this film and the film at number 1. A great example of what can be done in a horror short film.
3) Vincent (Tim Burton) 1982
Vincent is a stop-motion short film made by Tim Burton. It had no official release but can be found on the special edition DVD of The Nightmare Before Christmas along with a later short called Frankenweenie which would later be adapted into a feature film. Definitely on for fans of Time Burton as it shows his German Expressionist influences and love of classic horror perfectly.
2) Doodle Bug (Christopher Nolan) 1997
Produced in 1997 after leaving film school, Doodlebug is short psychological thriller directed by Christopher Nolan. Made on a small budget and very simple in story, with no dialogue, it is an example of the creative vision of the director and a sign of what was to come later.
1) 7.35 De la Manana (Nacho Vigalondo) 2003
Number one goes to the only film on this list to be nominated for an Oscar and my personal recommendation, Vigalondo went on to make his feature film debut with the brilliant Time Crimes 2007. An inventive and fresh take on a commonly seen concept in movies but one not explored in real life settings. Give it a watch, you won’t be disappointed.