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Christopher Nolan’s First True Film was ‘Doodlebug’ (1997) – What is It About?

Christopher Nolan’s First True Film was 'Doodlebug' (1997).

Christopher Nolan first showcased his immense filmmaking potential when he was merely in his mid-20s.

Almost a decade before he started directing films about bats, Christopher Nolan had turned his attention to bugs. The iconic filmmaker debuted with Doodlebug in 1997, a three-minute 16mm short movie produced by his then-future wife Emma Thomas, who collaborated with Nolan on each of his later movies.

Doodlebug is characterized by an aesthetic grainy black and white filter that fits perfectly with the spar premise about a man (Jeremy Theobald) attempting to crush an insect in his grimy flat.

It finally becomes repetitive, with the concerned bug being disclosed as a miniature version of the individual himself; in the end, both of them are overshadowed by an even bigger version that emerges behind them.


The video description states,

The depths of insanity are explored by a man chasing something in his apartment with a shoe.

Jeremy Theobald would later go on to have a starring role in Following (1998) as well as make a brief appearance as a Gotham Water Board Technician in Batman Begins (2005).

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The Tenet director filmed it back when he was studying English literature at University College London, a school whose film society he headed and which he specifically selected for the availability of their cameras and editing equipment.

His early, homemade projects have been much more interesting to watch in the light of his comments in a quarterly DGA interview that he favors shooting with film to digital shooting, and the fact that 3D technology hasn’t fascinated him yet.

However, he barely loathes the spectacle, and the article provides a lot of insight into how he employs CGI and constructs action sequences.

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Over the years, Nolan’s core passion has obviously not changed; even Doodlebug, judging by the student-movie benchmark, contains some pretty cool special effects.

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Last modified: January 14, 2021