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Film-makers on their first features

From horror to doco, Colin Delaney speaks to five film-makers about their feature length debut.

Director Kevin Smith famously funded his first film, Clerks, by selling off his prized comic book collection. Pedro Almodovar’s first foray into features was so technically flawed, he reportedly put it down to personal style. And finishing Hard Eight was a baptism of fire, according to Paul Thomas Anderson, who has been quoted as saying: “I learned all the lessons I needed to learn on the first film about protecting myself and how to keep a lock on the editing room door.” Such are the trials and trade offs of film-makers when it comes to making their first feature.

The reality, according to Screen Australia, is that between 1970 and 2011, approximately 70 per cent of first-time producers, directors and writers didn’t go on to make a second film. Martha Coleman, head of development at Screen Australia,

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