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List of Directorial Feature Film Debuts

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Fergenaprido
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List of Directorial Feature Film Debuts

#1

Post by Fergenaprido »

Next year we're conducting a poll on best directorial debuts.

I'm putting together a helper list of debut features that can be used as a reference for this poll, or just in general. The list will be on both imdb and icm, to make list creation easier for the poll.

What I'd like to get people's input on is what should be included, i.e. what counts as a debut feature film? I figured to have this discussion well ahead of time so that people can plan out their last-minute watching and building their lists without worrying about the rules changing. Granted, whoever will host the poll will set their own guidelines on what will and will not be accepted, but hopefully we can come to some consensus as a community.

I've already been asked to make sure to include the debut films of directors in the TSPDT Top 250 and our own forum's favourite directors poll (happening this month!). I'll also be including the debut features of most directors that I've already got in my spreadsheet, since the information is pretty much already there. I will also be using this list as a reference point. If anyone else has some useful resources, especially for filmmakers from non-English countries, please post them.

Here are my initial thoughts on what to include and exclude.
Exclude: short films (<40 minutes), music videos, episodes of regular tv series, film school films (often 40-70 minutes long), tv specials, recordings of stage performances
Include: feature-length fictional films, documentaries
Not sure: mini-series, made-for-tv movies, straight-to-video movies, standalone episodes of anthology tv series

I'll be using the data from imdb as a guide for what counts as what; films which debuted on streaming are mostly considered theatrical as opposed to tv or video, as far as I'm aware, so they would be included.

Another thing I'm unsure about is films having multiple directors, especially when one is uncredited, or listed as a co-director*, and animated films.

*if both directors are listed on imdb as "co-director", I view them as equal partners, equivalent to them being listed as "director". If one is listed as "director" and the other as "co-director", I view that as an unequal partnership, and attribute the film solely to the director. I'm aware that not everyone shares this view regarding co-directors, and that imdb is inconsistent in labelling people as "co-director" or not.

Here are some examples. Films in bold are what I am (initially) considering to be the qualifying "debut feature", but my mind's not made up on any of them yet.

Andrei Tarkovsky - His first theatrical film is Ivan's Childhood (1962), but he had 3 student films before then:
The Killers (1956) - short film with two other directors
There Will Be No Leave Today (1959) - short feature with one other director
The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) - short feature, solo

Martin Scorsese - His first theatrical film is Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967), but he also directed the documentary New York City... Melting Point (1966) which was feature-length (but missing a runtime) and appears to have been an educational video.

Yorgos Lanthimos - My Best Friend (2001) was directed with another person (who had previously solo directed a straight-to-video movie in the '80s, but this was his first theatrical feature), while Kinetta (2005) was his first solo feature.

Carlos Saldanha - His first solo theatrical film was Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), but he had previously co-directed Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005); both films list Chris Wedge as director and Saldanha as co-director.

Tom McGrath - His first solo theatrical film was Megamind (2010), but he had previous directed Madagascar (2005) with Eric Darnell (both listed as "director"); Darnell, in turn, previously directed Antz with Tim Johnson (again, both listed as "director"), which was the debut feature for both.

Those are just some examples, but I'm sure I'll encounter more as I dig deeper.
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#2

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 2:36 am Andrei Tarkovsky - His first theatrical film is Ivan's Childhood (1962), but he had 3 student films before then:
The Killers (1956) - short film with two other directors
There Will Be No Leave Today (1959) - short feature with one other director
The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) - short feature, solo
Those others are shorts, this seems easy.

Your other examples are not so easy.
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#3

Post by gromit82 »

What about Woody Allen? Does What's Up, Tiger Lily? count as a directorial debut (where most of the footage came from a Japanese film and was redubbed with a new storyline by Allen), or should it be Take the Money and Run?
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#4

Post by blocho »

It really comes down to how one defines "feature" and "debut." I take debut to mean something that got public release (so not a film school film, unless it got a public release). I take feature to mean a feature-length standalone work, so not a miniseries. But I would include a TV movie (Michael Mann's debut would be The Jericho Mile, not Thief), and I think a feature-length episode of an anthology series should count to.

All that being said, I don't care enough to fight over it.
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#5

Post by kongs_speech »

Friedberg and Seltzer began with Date Movie. That's all that matters.
Quartoxuma wrote: A deeply human, life-affirming disgusting check whore.
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#6

Post by Fergenaprido »

PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 3:54 am
Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 2:36 am Andrei Tarkovsky - His first theatrical film is Ivan's Childhood (1962), but he had 3 student films before then:
The Killers (1956) - short film with two other directors
There Will Be No Leave Today (1959) - short feature with one other director
The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) - short feature, solo
Those others are shorts, this seems easy.

Your other examples are not so easy.
Those two short features are both 45+ minutes long, so I wouldn't consider them short films. Most sites/organizations have a cutoff at 40 minutes (AMPAS) or 45 minutes (imdb).
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#7

Post by Fergenaprido »

blocho wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 5:15 am It really comes down to how one defines "feature" and "debut." I take debut to mean something that got public release (so not a film school film, unless it got a public release). I take feature to mean a feature-length standalone work, so not a miniseries. But I would include a TV movie (Michael Mann's debut would be The Jericho Mile, not Thief), and I think a feature-length episode of an anthology series should count to.

All that being said, I don't care enough to fight over it.
I hope no one came here to fight :D
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#8

Post by beavis »

the wiki list you link to in the first post is a great resource!
but lacking in International directors indeed, and it does include a lot of shorts... also a few double names (so mistakes)...

Do people who only directed one movie in their live be allowed to join the ranking? doesn't feel like a "debut" (to a further carreer to explore) for me
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#9

Post by WalterNeff »

This should become an official list.
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#10

Post by Fergenaprido »

beavis wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 12:41 pm the wiki list you link to in the first post is a great resource!
but lacking in International directors indeed, and it does include a lot of shorts... also a few double names (so mistakes)...

Do people who only directed one movie in their live be allowed to join the ranking? doesn't feel like a "debut" (to a further carreer to explore) for me
Yeah, I'll audit that list as I go through it, I won't just accept every title blindly.

If it's their first film, I think it counts as a debut, regardless of how many subsequent films they made. Some careers take time to get going (Kimberly Peirce and Tamara Jenkins both come to mind, with 9 years between their first and second features, but Patty Jenkins takes the cake for me - 12 years between her debut and her next feature-length film (on tv) and 14 years between her first two theatrical features) and it's not always because their debut was a dud. I think that directors who debuted since 2010, especially, may take longer between features due to more competition for jobs and the fact that work in tv is much more highly-regarded than it used to be.
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#11

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

blocho wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 5:15 am It really comes down to how one defines "feature" and "debut." I take debut to mean something that got public release (so not a film school film, unless it got a public release). I take feature to mean a feature-length standalone work, so not a miniseries. But I would include a TV movie (Michael Mann's debut would be The Jericho Mile, not Thief), and I think a feature-length episode of an anthology series should count to.

All that being said, I don't care enough to fight over it.
I agree mostly with this definition. Like the wise PA said in another topic;
PeacefulAnarchy wrote: November 22nd, 2020, 4:06 pm It's debut features to avoid debates about shorts and grad school projects and TV episodes because hardly any director's generally considered debut is actually the first thing they directed. Debut is usually taken to mean "feature film released commercially." This still brings up debates for experimental directors and what exactly counts as a commercial release, but restricts that debate to a handful of edge cases instead of 95%+ of directors.
To me that means that means made-for-tv movies and straight-to-video movies should def count. Mini-series def not. Standalone episodes of anthology tv series are more difficult, those depend on the runtime: an episode of 45+ min could be seen as a tv-movie and therefor eligible.

Commercially released should be interpreted very broadly here as films that were made to be shown publicly. So also covers (experimental) films shown in museums or otherwise made publicly available to watch.
Last edited by Lonewolf2003 on December 5th, 2020, 1:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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#12

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 7:53 pm
beavis wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 12:41 pm the wiki list you link to in the first post is a great resource!
but lacking in International directors indeed, and it does include a lot of shorts... also a few double names (so mistakes)...

Do people who only directed one movie in their live be allowed to join the ranking? doesn't feel like a "debut" (to a further carreer to explore) for me
Yeah, I'll audit that list as I go through it, I won't just accept every title blindly.

If it's their first film, I think it counts as a debut, regardless of how many subsequent films they made. Some careers take time to get going (Kimberly Peirce and Tamara Jenkins both come to mind, with 9 years between their first and second features, but Patty Jenkins takes the cake for me - 12 years between her debut and her next feature-length film (on tv) and 14 years between her first two theatrical features) and it's not always because their debut was a dud. I think that directors who debuted since 2010, especially, may take longer between features due to more competition for jobs and the fact that work in tv is much more highly-regarded than it used to be.
Yeah I think too those should count. That someone for one reason or another didn’t make more films, doesn’t change that it’s their debut film. Also for the poll I think it would be in fact interesting when some of those show up in the results.
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#13

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 7:14 am
PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 3:54 am
Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 2:36 am Andrei Tarkovsky - His first theatrical film is Ivan's Childhood (1962), but he had 3 student films before then:
The Killers (1956) - short film with two other directors
There Will Be No Leave Today (1959) - short feature with one other director
The Steamroller and the Violin (1961) - short feature, solo
Those others are shorts, this seems easy.

Your other examples are not so easy.
Those two short features are both 45+ minutes long, so I wouldn't consider them short films. Most sites/organizations have a cutoff at 40 minutes (AMPAS) or 45 minutes (imdb).
I wouldn’t consider them shorts either. Think a runtime of more than 40 minutes for feature length is reasonable and consistent with what we mostly use as the cut off between shorts and movies.

The doubt to me is that those 3 are student films. But There Will Be No Leave Today was actually shown on tv, so was commercially released according to the definition I gave above. And The Steamroller and the Violin was released cinematically as far as I can gather.
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#14

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Martin Scorsese - His first theatrical film is Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967), but he also directed the documentary New York City... Melting Point (1966) which was feature-length (but missing a runtime) and appears to have been an educational video
New York City... Melting Point was an documentary for educational and information purposes, so not meant to be commercially released. (As far as I understand it still isn’t publicly available). So shouldn’t count imho.

This does bring me on another question; what do we do with lost debuts features? F.e. Ozu, whose debut feature Sword of Penitence is lost. To me that should count as his debut feature, cause it is his debut. But should be ineligible for the poll for obvious reason.
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#15

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: December 5th, 2020, 1:04 am This does bring me on another question; what do we do with lost debuts features? F.e. Ozu, whose debut feature Sword of Penitence is lost. To me that should count as his debut feature, cause it is his debut. But should be ineligible for the poll for obvious reason.
Yes, it's debut, not earliest available film. A lot of silent directors have lost debuts.
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#16

Post by Fergenaprido »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: December 5th, 2020, 12:18 am
blocho wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 5:15 am It really comes down to how one defines "feature" and "debut." I take debut to mean something that got public release (so not a film school film, unless it got a public release). I take feature to mean a feature-length standalone work, so not a miniseries. But I would include a TV movie (Michael Mann's debut would be The Jericho Mile, not Thief), and I think a feature-length episode of an anthology series should count to.

All that being said, I don't care enough to fight over it.
I agree mostly with this definition. Like the wise PA said in another topic;
PeacefulAnarchy wrote: November 22nd, 2020, 4:06 pm It's debut features to avoid debates about shorts and grad school projects and TV episodes because hardly any director's generally considered debut is actually the first thing they directed. Debut is usually taken to mean "feature film released commercially." This still brings up debates for experimental directors and what exactly counts as a commercial release, but restricts that debate to a handful of edge cases instead of 95%+ of directors.
To me that means that means made-for-tv movies and straight-to-video movies should def count. Mini-series def not. Standalone episodes of anthology tv series are more difficult, those depend on the runtime: an episode of 45+ min could be seen as a tv-movie and therefor eligible.

Commercially released should be interpreted very broadly here as films that were made to be shown publicly. So also covers (experimental) films shown in museums or otherwise made publicly available to watch.
Cool. This is the definition I'm leaning towards as well, so glad that others seem to be on the same page.

For anthology series, I was thinking of things like Play for Today, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and U.S. Go Home, where each episode is actually a standalone movie and seemingly at least 50 minutes long (to fill an hour timeslot on tv). I suppose Black Mirror would be a modern example of that.
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#17

Post by Fergenaprido »

Lonewolf2003 wrote: December 5th, 2020, 12:45 am
Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 7:14 am
PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 3:54 am
Those others are shorts, this seems easy.

Your other examples are not so easy.
Those two short features are both 45+ minutes long, so I wouldn't consider them short films. Most sites/organizations have a cutoff at 40 minutes (AMPAS) or 45 minutes (imdb).
I wouldn’t consider them shorts either. Think a runtime of more than 40 minutes for feature length is reasonable and consistent with what we mostly use as the cut off between shorts and movies.

The doubt to me is that those 3 are student films. But There Will Be No Leave Today was actually shown on tv, so was commercially released according to the definition I gave above. And The Steamroller and the Violin was released cinematically as far as I can gather.
Reading more about the two Tarkovskys, the first seems to have been explicitly a project for him to learn about filmmaking, and the second was his thesis/graduation film. Even though both were screened on TV, I'm not sure including student films made expressly for one's degree in film studies should be included.

And yes, for lost debut films, it's unfortunate, but the "earliest existing" films shouldn't be used as a replacement for those directors.
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#18

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 5th, 2020, 1:39 am
Lonewolf2003 wrote: December 5th, 2020, 12:45 am
Fergenaprido wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 7:14 am
Those two short features are both 45+ minutes long, so I wouldn't consider them short films. Most sites/organizations have a cutoff at 40 minutes (AMPAS) or 45 minutes (imdb).
I wouldn’t consider them shorts either. Think a runtime of more than 40 minutes for feature length is reasonable and consistent with what we mostly use as the cut off between shorts and movies.

The doubt to me is that those 3 are student films. But There Will Be No Leave Today was actually shown on tv, so was commercially released according to the definition I gave above. And The Steamroller and the Violin was released cinematically as far as I can gather.
Reading more about the two Tarkovskys, the first seems to have been explicitly a project for him to learn about filmmaking, and the second was his thesis/graduation film. Even though both were screened on TV, I'm not sure including student films made expressly for one's degree in film studies should be included.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Wil ... eave_Today
Contrary to Tarkovsky's other student film The Killers, this film had a relatively high budget. The VGIK film school provided the equipment and a small part of the budget. The major part of the budget was provided by Soviet Central Television as the film was to be aired on the anniversary day of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in World War II. The higher budget allowed for professional actors in the main roles, such as Oleg Borisov. Other actors were Tarkvosky's and Gordon's classmates such as Leonid Kuravlyov and Stanislav Lyubshin. Other actor in non-lead roles were people from the province where the film was shot, working without receiving any compensation except the chance to appear in a film. The army also provided some support in the form of military equipment and troops as extras. The film was shot in Kursk over a period of three months. Editing took another three months.
If TV counts then this should count. It's a film made as a student, but it's as much a commercial film as one could be in the USSR.

I'm not convinced TV should count.

The Steamroller and the Violin does seem like it would count regardless, though.
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#19

Post by Torgo »

gromit82 wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 4:47 am What about Woody Allen? Does What's Up, Tiger Lily? count as a directorial debut (where most of the footage came from a Japanese film and was redubbed with a new storyline by Allen), or should it be Take the Money and Run?
Phew, tough case. I'd lean to the latter, but see how this will not be solved by a common set of rules.
kongs_speech wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 5:17 am Friedberg and Seltzer began with Date Movie. That's all that matters.
Thanks for ruining my day, man.
:facepalm:


:P
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#20

Post by Fergenaprido »

Yeah, I read that article before posting. The start of the paragraph before the one you quoted was more interesting to me, though.
There Will Be No Leave Today was suggested by the State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) to Tarkovsky and Gordon as a practical exercise for the two film students. The main objective for Tarkovsky and Gordon was not to produce a masterpiece, but to learn the basics of filmmaking through making an uncomplicated and easy-to-consume film.
Despite it being broadcast on television, it doesn't sound like a debut feature to me, but a school project. To me, it's analogous to some student's film being broadcast on the local cable network for some special occasion, or at a special private screening for faculty & friends.
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#21

Post by Torgo »

PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 5th, 2020, 2:11 am The Steamroller and the Violin does seem like it would count regardless, though.
I don't like this at all.
Steamroller is (dubiously) lucky enough to pass the 45-minute-threshhold by a single minute and is Tarkovsky's diploma film. These things don't come to cinema. I wouldn't view it as a "feature film", even more so with a filmography like Andrei's which is filled with works in the range of 2 to 3 hours (opposed to filmmakers who regularly shot stuff of 65 to 90 minutes length).

Some opinions on this:

"the first feature film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan%27s_Childhood

"The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky"
https://www.criterion.com/films/830-ivan-s-childhood
(same text on Janus Films, highly important for his oeuvre)
https://www.janusfilms.com/films/1826

IMDb trivia for Ivan says "This movie was Andrei Tarkovsky's first major film" and for the Steamroller it has nothing like this; sure, not an authoritative source but another opinion:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053987/trivia


.. I feel like altogether, we will have to collect all controversial cases and do some external polling on them, like with strawpoll.me. Nominate all directors with their proposed debuts for each poll page and let the users decide.
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#22

Post by Torgo »

Fergenaprido wrote: December 5th, 2020, 3:05 am Yeah, I read that article before posting. The start of the paragraph before the one you quoted was more interesting to me, though.
There Will Be No Leave Today was suggested by the State Institute of Cinematography (VGIK) to Tarkovsky and Gordon as a practical exercise for the two film students. The main objective for Tarkovsky and Gordon was not to produce a masterpiece, but to learn the basics of filmmaking through making an uncomplicated and easy-to-consume film.
Yeah, that's some very selective reading right there, Peaceful!
:P


I'm not here to fight about any of all of this though, just offering some opinion for the bigger picture.
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#23

Post by Fergenaprido »

Torgo wrote: December 5th, 2020, 3:12 am
PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 5th, 2020, 2:11 am The Steamroller and the Violin does seem like it would count regardless, though.
I don't like this at all.
Steamroller is (dubiously) lucky enough to pass the 45-minute-threshhold by a single minute and is Tarkovsky's diploma film. These things don't come to cinema. I wouldn't view it as a "feature film", even more so with a filmography like Andrei's which is filled with works in the range of 2 to 3 hours (opposed to filmmakers who regularly shot stuff of 65 to 90 minutes length).
I don't think your runtime argument holds up, Torgo. Ivan is only ~90 minutes long, unlike his later epics. Ivan might be twice as long as Steamroller, but Andrey Rublyov is twice as long as Ivan!
Torgo wrote: December 5th, 2020, 3:12 am .. I feel like altogether, we will have to collect all controversial cases and do some external polling on them, like with strawpoll.me. Nominate all directors with their proposed debuts for each poll page and let the users decide.
And yes, that was largely my intention of starting this thread now, so that we could gather all of these controversial/confusing/edge cases and discuss them in advance instead of the middle of the nomination period. :)

I'll try and have the first version up by the end of next week, though a final version won't come until January after the directors poll is finished and the latest TSPDT update is published.
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#24

Post by PeacefulAnarchy »

First: My personal opinion is that they shouldn't count because they're not features.

But: If you're considering such things features, then they absolutely do count. Both films were commissioned and paid for by a commercial film company. The Steamroller and the Violin was funded by Mosfilm and released theatrically. That he got these contracts as a student doesn't make them not commercial films.

The reason Ivan's Childhood is considered by many, including myself, to be his debut feature is that while they may not be shorts, everything between 45 and 70 minutes falls into the grey zone of being or not being a feature depending on what one wants to say about it.
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#25

Post by Torgo »

PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 5th, 2020, 3:38 am First: My personal opinion is that they shouldn't count because they're not features.

(...)
The reason Ivan's Childhood is considered by many, including myself, to be his debut feature is that while they may not be shorts, everything between 45 and 70 minutes falls into the grey zone of being or not being a feature depending on what one wants to say about it.
I was thinking about exactly the same while typing my answer. While 40 or 45 minutes might be a cut-off to nominate short films, I feel like 60 minutes is where "feature film" begins. So yeah, we're deep in the grey zone - let's see how we manage to get out there to save Ivan its spot in the Top 10. :lol:
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#26

Post by beavis »

It is not unusual for student films to be released commercially. In fact we've got two of those in the icm film festival right now.
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#27

Post by Fergenaprido »

beavis wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:00 am It is not unusual for student films to be released commercially. In fact we've got two of those in the icm film festival right now.
Really? Which two?
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#28

Post by beavis »

Luz and Hagazussa, we even discussed this as a reason to make them a double bill...!
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#29

Post by Fergenaprido »

Ah, oops. Must has missed that part of the discussion. :sweatsmile:
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#30

Post by Onderhond »

On the 45-60 minute debate, I'm counting Tetsuo and Dead Leaves, no matter what people come up with to push Tarkovsky in the list.
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#31

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Torgo wrote: December 5th, 2020, 3:46 am
PeacefulAnarchy wrote: December 5th, 2020, 3:38 am First: My personal opinion is that they shouldn't count because they're not features.

(...)
The reason Ivan's Childhood is considered by many, including myself, to be his debut feature is that while they may not be shorts, everything between 45 and 70 minutes falls into the grey zone of being or not being a feature depending on what one wants to say about it.
I was thinking about exactly the same while typing my answer. While 40 or 45 minutes might be a cut-off to nominate short films, I feel like 60 minutes is where "feature film" begins. So yeah, we're deep in the grey zone - let's see how we manage to get out there to save Ivan its spot in the Top 10. :lol:
This is a fundamental question we have to settle first. When we have clear criteria of how long a feature minimal is, than judging eligibility becomes way easier. I think we should have one set criteria for that and not decide case by case if a film between 40 to 70 min is a short or not.

I suggested 40 min, cause that's what we use as cut-off in challenges. It's also the cut-off the Academy, BFI and AFI use. But other organizations uses different cut off. The Screen Actors Guild definition sets the minimum length at 80 minutes, The Sundance Film Festival sets the line at 50 minutes.
I would be okay with cut off higher at 60 minutes, cause personally I don't consider those really feature length movies either.
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#32

Post by jmarasco »

beavis wrote: December 3rd, 2020, 12:41 pm Do people who only directed one movie in their live be allowed to join the ranking? doesn't feel like a "debut" (to a further carreer to explore) for me
One-hit wonders have got to be included, otherwise Jean Vigo is disqualified.
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#33

Post by Torgo »

beavis wrote: December 5th, 2020, 7:00 am It is not unusual for student films to be released commercially. In fact we've got two of those in the icm film festival right now.
102 and 70 minutes though against 46.
I am surprised that Hagazussa was a diploma film, interesting.
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#34

Post by Fergenaprido »

Okay, I've uploaded the first draft of the list to Google Sheets: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

Right now I just took the list of all the films that I have in my spreadsheet, sorted them by director and then year, and removed all the duplicate director entries.

I will go through each item individually to check if it is indeed the debut film or not. Once a director name id is added to the list, it means I've confirmed that entry. There are 11421 director entries to start with, so it will take some time.

Everyone has commenting rights, so if you think I've made a mistake, please add a comment to the spreadsheet, or post in this thread. Obviously, this will never be an exhaustive list and will merely serve as a starting point, but if there is a director that I have omitted that you think should be included, please post their name here with a link to their imdb page. Also, since I'm using imdb as the main source of information (as does icm), if a debut film isn't on imdb it won't show up on the list. If you have enough information about the film, I can help you get it added to imdb.

The poll will take place in February, so my goal is still to have a more or less "final" version in place by the start of that month, but I'm also willing to keep this as an ongoing project if it's something people are interested in. I will also create imdb and icm lists at the end of January in time for the poll.
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#35

Post by Fergenaprido »

Another case I'm not sure what to do with:

Kuldesak is a film with four directors. It's not an anthology film, but apparently each director directed a different segment of the film, and the film was the debut for all four directors. I think this film should be eligible, but then should each directors subsequent film also count as their debut?
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#36

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Thanks for all the work Ferg! Haven't had time to look into the spreadsheet, but plan to.

On (Dutch) Mubi they are showing various debut movies under the "First film first" program. So that's a good opportunity to catch some. On Dutch Mubi these are showing (so far):
- Denis Villeneuve - August 32nd on Earth
- Whit Stillman - Metropolitan
- Nuri Bilge Ceylan - Kasaba
- Jia Zhangke - Pickpocket
- Joanna Hogg - Unrelated
- Lina Wertmuller - The Basilisks
- Mia Hanssen-Love - All Is Forgiven
- Angela Schanelec - Das Glück meiner schwester > "Mein langsames Leben" is listed in the spreadsheet, but Das "Glück meiner schwester" seems to be earlier.
- Francis Ford Coppola - Dementia 13 > Tonight for Sure is listed in the spreadsheet. This is a hard call, cause I don't know how much you can call Tonight for Sure as being directed by Coppola since that is re-edit of "White Open Spaces" which he didn't directed inserted with Coppola's own short "The Peeper".
- Walerian Borowczyk - Goto, Island of Love > Immoral Tales is listed in the spreadsheet. But Goto is his debut (as far as I understand from wiki and IMDb)
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#37

Post by Fergenaprido »

Thanks Lonewolf. I noticed that special on Mubi too, with slightly different films available here in Canada (including Jodorowsky's debut).

For the spreadsheet, I realized that my starting list was much much larger than I had anticipated, and it's taking a lot more work than I thought it would. So I split it out into two lists for now. The first one (Verified) I have manually double-checked and am reasonably confident I put down the right film - in cases where I'm not sure I've highlighted them in orange. The second one (Unverified), is just the raw data from my spreadsheet, which contains the earliest film for each unique director/directing combo that's currently in my spreadsheet - so there are absolutely cases where the film listed is not the debut feature, but I haven't gotten to them yet.

I started going through the list alphabetically, but then I realized I wouldn't have the list read in time for the poll, so I've started to focus only on those directors that are more prominent. So if something is incorrect in the Unverified sheet, that's fine, I'll likely catch it. If it's wrong in the Verified sheet, though, please do let me know.
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#38

Post by Fergenaprido »

I'm almost finished the directors starting with "Be". Taking a lot longer than I thought it would, so I'm just skimming through the Unverified list looking for directors and films that I recognize as notable, and focusing on verifying and adding those to the Verified list. If I've skipped over something you think I should include, let me know. It's a lot of work, but it's also helping me to catch some errors in my spreadsheet (mostly typos in director names, but occasionally more), and once I get into a rhythm I can move quickly. But I also want to see films :D

If I'm not done by the end of January, I'll stop and take a look at the missing directors from TSPDT 250 and the forum 250 (hopefully PA will be done the countdown by then) and add those before continuing on. I'll also still try to create the imdb and icm lists shortly thereafter to aid everyone in the creation of their own ballots for the poll next month.🤞
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#39

Post by Lonewolf2003 »

Do you want to host the poll, Ferge? If not I will start the nominations topic tomorrow. (With which I mean actually today, but after I slept and such)

What do the colors mean in the spreadsheet?
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#40

Post by Fergenaprido »

I actually hadn't considered hosting. I'm fine if you want to host :)

I'm almost done with the letter C. Trying to be selective and now methodically go through every director in my starting list, but it's still a lot of work to do.

Sorry, I thought I had mentioned the colours in the opening post.
Orange = I'm not 100% certain that this film is the debut feature, either because of lack of information or other reasons. I've added a note for every instance.
Yellow = The film is only the debut of one of the directors, not all. Wasn't sure if these were being counted or not, so I coloured them to make them easier to remove if necessary.
Green = The film is the debut of more than one director.

I checked out the TSPDT website today, and I don't see a "Top 250" directors list, just an index of all the directors he's created a page for. And PA still hasn't started the forum countdown yet. So, I'm giving myself another week to try and get the imdb and icm lists up for people to use. It's a lot of work and I don't want to feel stressed about it - I want it to continue to be kind of fun.
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