2. The path to Ferris
John Hughes didn't quite drop out and go on adventures like his future creation.
But he did follow the advice he would one day write and grab his own destiny.
In 1979, he had been working at the Leo Burnett advertising company in Chicago. While he'd been a successful copywriter, his true calling was in joke material, which he'd been submitting (and selling) to comics for years before he got into the ad world.
And he'd been scribbling for the National Lampoon at the same time, under an arrangement with boss Robert Nolan at the ad team.
He even mastered one of Bueller's little tricks to win himself more time to handle Lampoon work - he'd leave a cup of coffee on his desk next to his typewriter.
The ruse? When Nolan stopped by to look for him, he'd see the coffee and figure Hughes was taking a toilet break - when in reality he was off in New York, meeting with his Lampoon bosses.
Eventually, however, he decided that he was going to switch to comedy - specifically, screenplays - full time and left his job to launch a career in movies.
While he didn't exactly hit it big right away, he did win assignments to write several scripts, including the first one he sold, Horror High (which ended up as National Lampoon's Class Reunion).
The young screenwriter was frustrated by those early days, as directors were loathed to allow him on set, and he was burning with the desire to learn more about making movies.
Still, one thing from his ad past really helped him master the art of getting films made - he had great presentation skills, could boil a story down to a one-sentence pitch before explaining it and always knew when to use humour to break tension.
Sounds a bit like Ferris, right? But before he could send Bueller off around Chicago, he had to earn his directing stripes...
Next: The films before Bueller