Great filmmakers have to start somewhere, which is almost always the bottom. They’ll grab whatever work they can on low budget movies, all in the hope of making connections and climbing the ladder a rung at a time. A few will be proactive enough to develop their own projects, and they’ll even self-finance short movies to prove they can pull them off.
The majority of these films wind up being little more than expensive demo reels, but a select few are so impressive they wind up getting made into features. It can be fascinating to look back on these shorts and compare them to their big brothers, and see how well the director was able to expand the concept.
A surprising amount of features were spawned from shorts, though some of them (Pixels, Machete) probably shouldn’t have been expanded upon. With Light’s Out coming soon - which was based on the insanely creepy short of the same name - it’s a good time to look back on some great movies that started life as scrappy little short features.