Amblin’ is the first completed short film shot by Steven Spielberg on 35mm
Written and Directed by Steven Spielberg.
Starring Richard Levin and Pamela McMyler.
While studying at Long Beach state in the 60s, Steven Spielberg was introduced to aspiring producer Dennis Hoffman who provided the young filmmaker with a budget of $15,000 to produce a screenplay Spielberg had written entitled Amblin’. The resulting twenty-six minute short received a theatrical release in 1969 alongside Otto Preminger’s Skidoo (1968) and would prove to be his breakthrough, with Spielberg becoming the youngest director to be offered to a long-term deal with a major studio when Universal executive Sid Sheinberg signed him to a seven-year deal.
Dialogue-free for its duration and set during the hippy movement of the 1960s, Amblin’ is a romance about a couple of young travellers who meet up and decide to accompany one another on a journey to the Pacific coast. Amblin’ demonstrates Spielberg’s emerging talents as a visual storyteller and features impressive cinematography from Allen Daviau, who would later collaborate with the director on feature projects including E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Colour Purple (1985) and Empire of the Sun (1987).