He first named it Les Films du Loup, but changed it to Les Films du Dauphin.
In the early 1980s, Besson met Éric Serra and asked him to compose the score for his first short film, L'Avant dernier.
A film with live action and animation, it was released in the UK and the US and starred Freddie Highmore, Madonna, Snoop Dogg, Mia Farrow, Robert De Niro and David Bowie.
I wanted to prove that I could do something, so I made a short film.
That was in fact my main concern, to be able to show that I could do one." He reportedly worked on the first drafts of Le Grand Bleu while still in his teens.
In 1980, he founded his own production company, called Les Films du Loup, and later Les Films du Dauphin "Here there is two families, and I am the only bad souvenir of something that doesn't work," he said in the International Herald Tribune. And a friend of mine knew a guy whose brother was a third assistant on a short film.
It's true," he said in a 2000 interview with The Guardian.
French actor Jean Reno has appeared in several films by Besson, including Le dernier combat (1985), Subway, The Big Blue (1988), Nikita (1990), and Léon: The Professional (1994).
Critics cite Besson as a pivotal figure in the Cinéma du look movement, a specific, highly visual style produced from the 1980s into the early 1990s.
"Embraced by young people who kept returning to see it again, the movie sold 10 million tickets and quickly became what the French call a 'film générationnel,' a defining moment in the culture." Besson created the Arthur series, which comprises Arthur and the Minimoys, Arthur and the Forbidden City, Arthur and the Vengeance of Maltazard and Arthur and the War of the Two Worlds.
He directed Arthur and the Invisibles, an adaptation of the first two books of the collection.
A partisan of the experimental cinema and friend of the New Wave ("nouvelle vague") directors, Bassan grouped Besson with Jean-Jacques Beineix and Leos Carax as three directors who shared the style of "le look." These directors were later described critically as favoring style over substance, and spectacle over narrative.