A few of those above also do TV and commercials. At least one does this to subsidise his films which he part funds himself.
9 of the 56 were women.
(This was the case in October 2016 when this was written. It is possible that a few more filmmakers have directed another film).
I have over the years suggested to so many of these directors that they should consider their film as a calling card to securing TV work. Of all of them, only Piotr Szkopiak and Nicholas Cohen heeded this advice. Surely it's better to director something than nothing at all?
Piotr is at the time of writing this his second film is about to debut at the AFM, 18 years after he made his first film.
Several of these were/ are even really talented and I would have thought would have had great careers before them. However, almost all of them had one thing in common; most of their films came nowhere near to recouping their budgets. One of the directors, a woman, did make a feature-length film which went into a profit, against all odds. She was offered other work but wanted a different life.
As they had decent budgets they could have easily avoided some of the errors.
I understand why they did this, because they did not want others more established to find out what they did not know. This is a mistake. I have been a professional in the industry since 1970 and whilst there is so much I do know, there is an awful lot I don't.
There are some basic steps that can be taken to avoid falling into this trap, for a trap it is.
Neither film is a bad film. I like both and there is much enjoyment to be had watching them. Each director showed great promise.
This would have ensured global sales and if they had picked a star who really took off like Hardy or Arterton and it would sell for decades to come to the likes of Netflix or Amazon, even if it was not that great a film.
None of these suggestions guarantee success but they really do lessen the chances of failure.
No one is 100% right on everything all the time. Just look at those who lead our countries for proof of that statement.
I would love to know the figures in the USA as to how many first time directors go on to direct and fight another day.