Paul Thomas Anderson’s Micro-Budget First Film: The Dirk Diggler Story
I can remember when a young director by the name Paul Thomas Anderson released a remarkably good film called Boogie Nights back in 1997. The film was kind of a small bomb going off in the film industry.
Anderson made by far the best feature film about the groove porn business of the 1970s. Anderson was able to take extremely sleazy topic and elevate it to high art with his brilliant direction, camerawork and amazing performances.
Click below to read the screenplay for Boogie Nights and the original Boogie Nights, his short The Dirk Diggler Story.
Anderson is infamous for dropping out of NYU film school after two weeks. Here’s why:
My filmmaking education consisted of finding out what filmmakers I liked were watching, then seeing those films. I learned the technical stuff from books and mags, and with the new technology you can watch entire movies accompanied by commentary from the director. You can learn more from John Sturge’s audio track on the Bad Day at Black Rock Laserdisc than you can in 4 years of film school. Film school is a complete con, because the information is there if you want it.
Before you watch Boogie Nights you need to see what started it all. The Dirk Diggler Story is a 1988 mockumentary short film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It follows the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler, a well-endowed male porn star. The character was modeled on American porn actor John Holmes.
PTA’s rough draft of his masterpiece Boogie Nights. This film tells the story of Dirk Diggler. A famous porn star from America who makes it big amongst the industry and amongst the mainstream in the late 1970s. However, Dirk Diggler soon will meet his unfortunate downfall.
WATCH Filmtrepreneur’s Micro-Budget First Films Collection
- Christopher Nolan: Doodlebug & The Following
- Quentin Tarantino: My Best Friend’s Birthday
- Neill Blomkamp’s Micro-Budget First Film: Alive in Joburg
- The Coen Brothers’ Micro-Budget Short Film: World Cinema
- The Coen Brothers’ Short Film: Tuileries (Paris, je t’aime)
- Guillermo Del Toro’s Micro-Budget First Film: Geometria
- James Cameron’s Micro-Budget First Film: Xenogenesis
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s Micro-Budget Short Film: Cigarettes & Coffee
- Paul Thomas Anderson’s Micro-Budget First Film: The Dirk Diggler Story
- George Lucas’ Micro-Budget Short Film: Filmmaker – A Diary by George Lucas
- Wes Anderson’s Micro-Budget First Film: Bottle Rocket
- Tim Burton’s First Short Films: Vincent and Frankenweenie
- Tim Burton’s Short Film: Hansel and Gretel
- Martin Scorsese’s Micro-Budget Short Film: The Big Shave