Three Inspirational Directors That Started Moviemaking Young

I want to share with you a very brief background on how three of the world's leading film directors started out in moviemaking. The three I have chosen are Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton and Patty Jenkins. ...

All are truly remarkable in their field and have gone on to create some outstanding films. They all started out with a passion for moviemaking and a camcorder. Everything that followed has led them into a very exciting career.


Now, we have all heard of Steven Spielberg, and if you haven't - where have you been? He is currently the most commercially successful director and is known for films, including 'Jaws', 'ET', 'The Indiana Jones' trilogy, 'Jurassic Park' and so many other great movies.

At the age of 12, Spielberg made his first home movie using his father's movie camera, which involved a toy train wreck. At age 13, he made a 40-minute war film, which included a cast of school classmates. The film won first prize in a statewide competition. He continued to make many more amateur shorts and feature films throughout his teens and high school days.

He went to California State University, Long Beach to study Bachelor of Arts in Film and Electronic Media, but dropped out after a year when Universal gave him the opportunity to write and direct a short film for cinema release. Universal was so impressed by the film that they offered him a directing contract. From there, well he was truly on his way to making movie history.


Burton was a quiet child who found freedom through drawing. He made his first animated short at the age of 13 called Super 8, where he would experiment with stop-motion animation. He continued to write and direct shorts and even featured in them himself.

He earned a scholarship for an arts training programme set up by the Disney studio to help train young animators. At the end of his year, he was offered a job by Disney and worked on such films as 'The Fox and the Hound' and 'The Black Cauldron'.

He made a few shorts while at Disney, but went on to make his first full-length feature film - 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure' - which was a great success. He then went onto his preferred darker and more artistic side to direct 'Beetlejuice', 'Batman', 'Edward Scissorhands' and the animated 'A Nightmare before Christmas'.


Patty Jenkins is a female film director, producer, and screenwriter. She has directed a variety of feature films, including 'Monster' with Charlize Theron and 'Wonder Woman' with Gal Gadot.

After seeing the original Superman starring Christopher Reeve at a young age, Patty was inspired to pursue filmmaking as a career. She created a few short films before moving on to study for a degree and a Masters in Directing. From here she went on to train at a commercial production company and moves from intern to camera person in a short time, shooting commercials and music videos.

Here she met producer Donald Kushner, with whom she worked with on 'Monster'. She has continued to create amazing films and has gone on to win numerous awards for Best Director and Best Film. Patty is also the highest-paid female director in the world!

If you have a passion for moviemaking or would like to build on your skills and have some fun, why not join us at our Sparks Filmmaking class every Sunday 10-12pm at The Olney Centre? Young filmmakers will step into all the roles you'll find on a real film set. They take on the directing, the camera work, all the crewing, as well as shining on screen in all the starring roles too.

These workshops give children and teenagers the chance to learn what's required in professional filmmaking, as well as helping young filmmakers develop their ideas, boost imagination, confidence and meet new people.

For details and to register for a free trial, please visit

If you'd like to find out more about anything I've written here, call me on 01234 241357 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch.