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Booth's Blog: How To Go From FrightFest To Hollywood In 1 Movie!
By James Whittington, Wednesday 14th May 2014
The man of the moment is definitely Gareth Edwards. He is living proof that dreams really can come true and sometimes all it can take is one fat cat to see your movie at a film festival, love it, and make that one life changing phone call that takes you to Hollywood stardom.

Gareth has been very busy since 2010 which saw the unassuming UK director shaking with nerves at the world premiere of Monsters at horror festival FrightFest. I don’t know exactly when or where but roughly one week before the official UK release of the superb Monsters (check it out if you’ve not seen it) he got a call from someone at Legendary Pictures (the company behind The Dark Knight) requesting a meeting in California. Nice. Said Fat Cats gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse, based on that one terrific $400 000 budget movie Monsters they offered him a budget of $160 million to remake the epic Godzilla.

Monsters was Edwards’ debut film in which he was writer, director, cinematographer and visual effects artist. He did it all (although it was Vertigo who funded the movie based on his amazing Sci-Fi short Factory Farmed)

It’s his flair and talent for visual effects that got him where he is today. He cut his teeth on visual effects for 10 years working his way up the factual department of the BBC before he got fed up and decided to head to Mexico to shoot Monsters. This movie really showcases his dedication and talent as he did all the special effects himself, of which he says there were about 250 and he only had 5 months to pull it off on his wee PC in his wee bedroom. This is DIY Cinema folks.

So after the pant wetting excitement of being asked to direct the reboot of Hollywood’s Godzilla, it was down to Edwards to come up with concepts to help visualize the story. The cool thing about monster movies, in my mind, is their ability to be read on different levels. On the one hand they’re a bloody good ride into action horror. On another they represent certain fears, tensions and paranoia society and war has brought about. The original Godzilla (Ishiro Honda's 1954 film Gojira) was made less than 10 years after Hiroshima, and spoke of the repercussions of nuclear bombs and mutations. This time it looks like Gareth Edwards wants the rebooted film to be more relevant to the disasters of recent years. In an interview with The Telegraph he had this to say on the feel of the film…..

"Our film is not about Fukushima at all, and the reactor is located in a fictional city near Tokyo… but I wanted it to reflect the questions that the incident at Fukushima raised. The news images from the Tohoku earthquake are burned onto our minds. Other generations had the Titanic or the Blitz. For us it's tsunamis and September 11. "So when you make a disaster movie that is trying to say something about our world, you reach for images that haunt you."

So as Godzilla 2014 hits UK cinemas tomorrow (May 15th) and you watch, eyes wide, jaw dropped, quaking in fear at this legendary ‘angry mother’ – just remember the humble beginnings of the man at the helm of this giantess of a movie. Gareth Edwards: From one short film to his debut feature to his Hollywood blockbuster. 3 steps. Lets just hope he remembers them too and doesn’t go too Hollywood on us!


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