Don't know if this will be that relevant, probably not, but here goes. The beginning move I think you are talking about is the start of what I have, for lack of enough experience or knowledge, always called the Hugh Falkus "figure-8 single spey", even though I'm pretty sure part or all of it has a more ancient genesis. He seems to say that in his book, but he also claims some priority on putting the parts together, if I am understanding him correctly, which is far from certain. Anyway, since his book is the first place I saw this it as stuck in my brain that way.
Anyway, fortunately there is a video he made on casting here:
where he explains in some detail with many examples on the video. See especially about 26:00. Possibly his version here is a very extreme example. His casting seems a bit awkward by modern standards, but I think he is using a freakin' heavy rod there - you can see the heavy back action of the rod on his arms. We are total pansies nowadays. LOL Even the opening shots include this kind of start. Also, and kind of humorously, he designed a piece of "modern art" designed to demo the shape of the stroke to his students. Weirdly, I could not find this in his casting video - perhaps he handn't gone to that extreme at the time. I very distinctly remember seeing a video of him demoing this metal sculpture with a student (there are pictures of it in his spey casting book where it is referred to as the "simulator mk II") but I can't find the video again for the life of me. Basically you are suppose to let your rod slide over the metal curved surface to teach you the shape. It is somewhere on youtube embedded in a much longer video. If anyone really cares I could scan a copy of the pic from the book.
I know the original OP was just about the starting move, but when the full blown figure eight single spey is done the anchor tends to land first in a dip with the tip touching the water and the tippet and leader curved up in the air, which is "different".
In the Rio
/Simon DVD Simon does a demo with a starting move where the rod tip does a little spiral first, but that one is counter-clockwise from river left, and loops under. I think that cast looks a lot cooler. LOL I think the full blown figure 8 perhaps solves some problems we rarely have today, but Jeff Putnam did a few with a switch rod in the demo he did at this years SOR.
I got a bit excited when I read about a "new" book by Al Buhr, until I realized the OP (and most of the thread) was from 2006. Doh! :-(