A student at Paris' IDHEC film school from 1962 through 1963, producer/director/writer Claude Miller had his first practical cinematic experience while he was in uniform, serving with Le Service Cinema de L'Armee. From 1965 until 1974, Miller worked in assistant and supervisory capacities for many of France's major New Wave directors, including Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard. His principal mentor was Francois Truffaut, under whose tutelage Miller directed a trio of shorts and his first theatrical feature, 1976's The Best Way to Walk, a coming-of-age drama which bore traces of Truffaut's Les Mistons (1957) and 400 Blows (1959). Subsequent Miller-directed films can also be perceived as homages to Truffaut, many even using the same production personnel. When Truffaut died in 1984 during the preparation of another confused adolescent feature, Le Petite Voleuse (The Little Thief), Miller took over the project, completing the film in 1988. On French television, Miller helmed dozens of commercials and also directed the six-part miniseries Traits de Memoire (1976). After a four-year absence, Claude Miller returned to active filmmaking with The Accompanist (1992) and The Smile (1994).