My Best Friend's Birthday (partially lost Quentin Tarantino film; 1987)
My Best Friend's Birthday is a black and white comedy film co-written by Craif Hamann and co-written, directed by, and starring Quentin Tarantino from 1984 to 1987. It was created while Tarantino was working at Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, California.
The project began as a 30-40 page script by Hamann. The plot involved a man trying to do something nice on his best friend's birthday, only to have his efforts backfire on him. After Tarantino became attached to the project, he and Hamann extended the script to 80 pages in length, and, on a budget of $5000, shot the film on 16mm reels over the next few years.
The completed cut originally ran for about 70 minutes. However, before it was ever released, it was destroyed in a fire at the processing lab, with only 36 minutes of the film surviving. The surviving 36 minutes has been shown at several film festivals, but has never received an official release (only bootleg copies have surfaced). Quentin Tarantino has himself admitted that the direction of the film was not great, and refers to the project as his "film school", as he gained experience that would help him during his future work. The film was also adapted into the 1993 film True Romance, for which Tarantino wrote the screenplay.