Nobody forgets their first time--and film directors are no exception. In these vivid and revealing interviews, a collection of filmmakers as diverse as the Coen brothers and Ken Loach, Ang Lee and Kevin Smith, Anthony Minghella and Gary Oldman, Neil Jordan and Mira Nair talk in extraordinary detail and with amazing candor about making their first films. Each chapter focuses on a director's celebrated debut--be it Angel or Blood Simple, Clerks or Diner, Muriel's Wedding or Truly, Madly, Deeply--and tells the inside story: from writing the script to raising the money, from casting the actors to assembling the crew, from shooting to editing, from selling the movie to screening it. Along the way, every aspect of the movie industry is explored: from dealing with agents and moguls for the first time to pitching your movie as a debutante director, from languishing in development hell to confronting test audiences from hell. The questions have been posed by Stephen Lowenstein, a young director with two acclaimed short films to his credit. Remembering the struggle to launch their careers, the directors have opened up about their first films and themselves to an unprecedented degree. Each chapter is not only a memoir of a particular movie, but also an emotional journey in which the director relives the pain and elation, the comedy and tragedy, of making a first feature. For anyone who wants to direct movies, these tales of triumph and disaster, of sleepless nights and nail-biting days, will be enthralling and terrifying in equal measure. For all other film fans, the interviews provide fascinating and entertaining insights into filmmakers who have become household names.