Wes Anderson’s feature film debut Bottle Rocket (1996, USA, 95’) comes from a short film with the same name, shot by Anderson in 1992.
At the time, Anderson was studying philosophy at the University of Texas, where he met his roomate, his best friend and his future actor Owen Wilson, who decided to participate shooting short comedy films broadcasted on local television networks.
The two are joined by Luke Wilson, Owen’s younger brother. This was the birth of Frat Pack, a colloquial fan term for a group of American friends and comedy actors who specialize in comedy (Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn among others).
Their first serious project, Bottle Rocket, dates back to 1992: it’s a 13 minutes short film written by Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson. The quirky black and the white film, set to a snazzy jazz score, showed brothers Owen and Luke Wilson as a thieves in training. The short film was presented at the USA Film Festival in Dallas, where it gains some attention, making its way to 1994 Sundance Film Festival and to producers James L. Brooks and Polly Platt.
So it got the chance to become a feature film.
Two years later, in 1996, Anderson took this piece and created a full feature of the same name, again starring the Wilson brothers. The film was a commercial failure but launched Anderson’s career by drawing attention from critics.
Director Martin Scorsese later named Bottle Rocket one of his top 10 favorite films of the 1990s.