American director Brian De Palma has always insisted that he gained his fascination with all things gory by watching his father, an orthopedic surgeon, at work. It's more likely that the principal influence on De Palma's career was Alfred Hitchcock, a fascination he has claimed to have outgrown professionally. Whatever the case, De Palma did his first film work in amateur short subjects while a student at Columbia University. Thanks to one of these films, he won a writing fellowship to Sarah Lawrence College, where he made his first feature, The Wedding Party, between 1962 and 1964. In the cast of The Wedding Party, which wouldn't be released until 1969, were Sarah Lawrence student Jill Clayburgh and a Brooklyn kid who called himself "Bobby" De Niro.