Below is Steven Spielberg’s first completed 35mm short film titled, Amblin.
Shot in 1968 with a $15,000 budget, the 26-minute short film resulted in Sid Sheinberg signing Spielberg to a long-term deal at Universal Studios in the television division.
At just 22, Spielberg became the youngest director at the time to ever be signed to such a deal by a big Hollywood studio.
Amblin won several film festival awards, and later became the name for Spielberg’s production company - Amblin Entertainment.
The film tells the story of a young couple who meet while hitchhiking across the desert. The film is mostly silent, accompanied by some sound effects and acoustic guitar.
Frankly, after watching it, I'm not quite sure what Universal saw that encouraged them to sign Spielberg, especially at such a young age. There's nothing here that I found particularly fresh nor riveting. I also can't see (or hear) why it cost $15,000 - not adjusted for inflation, by the way; the same $15,000 1968 film would cost approximately $88,000 today! I could make a feature with that.
Of course, Spielberg did go on to prove that Universal's decision was a smart one.