As someone who wants to get into film, imagine sitting back and listening to a well-known and respected director tell you his backstory. Well, that’s exactly what this year introductory course participants got to do. Furiously scribbling notes, course participants eagerly hung onto every word Gareth Edwards said. And, I’m not surprised, he was dishing out some pretty important life mottos and advice.
Who is Gareth Edwards?
Gareth Edwards started out studying Film & Video at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Edward’s catalyst film was Monsters, which he wrote and directed. This was where it all started. Monsters took just three weeks to shoot and used a small cast of five people. But, that didn’t get in the way of its success. Monsters attracted acclaim from South by South West festival before being released by Vertigo Film.
It was then that Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures landed Edwards as the director for the big blockbuster remake of a Japanese classic “Gojira” (Godzilla). The film had colossal success at Box Office (grossing $529 million worldwide against a $160 million budget). Before long Edwards found himself living his childhood dream and directing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In a quick interview after the masterclass, Edwards very frankly explains that before the success of Monsters, he had his fair share of failure. But, what he tried to get across in his talk with the course participants was that it’s not how often you get knocked down but how often you get back up.
Gareth’s role models are very much from the New Hollywood era, as his inspirations range from Steven Spielberg to George Lucas (of course!). It’s clear that Edward’s valued his role models, and having someone to look up to and something to aim for clearly worked for him. Now, the tables are turned and Gareth addresses a room full of young and hopeful filmmakers that view him as one their role models. Now that’s pretty cool if you think about it. Who knows, that could be you one day. What I liked about Gareth Edwards was his very humble approach. He tells us in the interview:
“It’s not like you’re curing cancer or anything, filmmaking is an achievable goal”
What I think what Gareth is trying to get across here, is that you shouldn’t view filmmaking as something completely unattainable. Otherwise, you’ll spend your life too afraid to go after what you want. It doesn’t take much to get a group of friends together and shoot a film (even if it’s on your iPhone). Just as Gareth says, “Fortune favors the brave”.
You can watch the interview here for more advice.
Written by Phoebe Griffiths