July 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM EDT

Image Credit: Robert Smith/Retna Ltd.Attending a BAFTA tribute to special-effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen recently, director Peter Jackson treated the audience to a few minutes of footage from a Harryhausen-esque epic he’d shot himself as a 15-year-old kid dreaming of cinematic glory in New Zealand. (See the footage here.) Granted, the crude-looking footage, showing a couple of actors fighting at the edge of the sea with a laughably goofy-looking cyclops, is no Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, and is certainly a hell of a long way from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Still, when I was 15, I would never have had the patience, discipline, or drive to attempt anything as exacting and painstaking as stop-motion animation. Even today, I can hardly videotape one of my daughters’ school holiday performances without making a blurry, shaky mess of it. Anyway, watch the charming clip of Jackson screening his footage and reflect in the comments below on your own misspent youth.

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