It began when I was still in elementary school, probably earlier. This was back in the 1970's. I saw a reflection of someone in a store window that made them appear to be inside the store. They stepped out of the sunlight and disappeared. I knew it was an illusion and I began to reproduce the effect in experiments with glass. Then I picked up a camera at a garage sale that did not automatically advance the film to the next frame. It was capable of multiple exposures and I used that with some interesting results.
In Sunday school I was part of a group that was to put on a puppet show about Moses and the burning bush. Everyone was frustrated about how to create the burning bush, but I came up with the idea of tying red ribbons to a small tree branch, blowing a hair dryer on it from below and shining a flashlight on it. They could have simply shook the little branch with the ribbons and achieved satisfactory results.
Later I got an 8mm movie camera and produced still-frame animations. All this before I finished elementary school.
All if this was barely acknowledged, if at all, by my parents.