Polio Water won a number of prizes, the best film at Columbia that year among them, and I was encouraged to switch my concentration from Writing to Directing and make another short film my thesis. I had written a play, The Early Girl, based on an experience I had as an actress on the infamous film, Heaven's Gate. I played an immigrant prostitute. A few of us were scheduled a research outing instead of an hiatus when the company moved to a different location. Five of us actresses were placed in a real legally operating brothel, simply as observers of the prostitutes, before and after business hours, and between 'tricks' as they logged in their customers, cashiered the money and recorded and equipped the services ordered. The Early Girl had a successful run Off-Broadway at Circle Rep and was optioned by Universal Pictures. Eventually Universal dropped the option but maintained a hold on the screenplay as written to date; it was placed in "turnaround." All of Universal's development money plus interest would have to be paid or negotiated for the film to have any life beyond. So I asked Universal to grant me permission to do a short film based on the play, which indeed would include some of the exclusive elements. They said yes. And I proceeded to make Number One my thesis film, based on my play. It stars Heather Burns, Mary Beth Peil and Missi Pyle among others. Here's a brief clip.