Gareth Edwards says he used guerrilla filmmaking methods on The Creator

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(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Gareth Edwards may have become a household name after his work directing Godzilla and Rogue One, but it was his incredible first feature Monsters that helped influence his new movie The Creator. Edwards explains all in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which is out on newsstands on Thursday, July 20. 

That 2010 movie, which follows two characters attempting to travel through a monster-infected zone in Mexico, was shot for just $500,000 and had a crew of only seven people (including Edwards and lead Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able). Despite The Creator’s budget being closer to the $86m mark, Edwards tells Total Film he remains very influenced by this directing style. 

"If you do a low-budget film, and you write the pros and cons out of having no money, you just swap them over when you do a high-budget film: everything that was easy becomes hard, and everything that was hard becomes easy," notes Edwards. "So the ultimate goal is, how do you get both things easy? It’s not as simple as just doing a mid-level budget film."

So what is the secret? "We were guerrilla at times," says Edwards. "We got down to just a few of us. We went to the top of the Himalayas, and it was just me, John David [Washington, who plays Joshua], a camera guy, and Jim [Spencer], who was the line producer on Monsters as well. We didn’t even have sound at times. We went to Indonesia, Nepal, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand. I was really impressed with Oren [Soffer, the DoP who took over from Greig Fraser]. 

"Oren’s a real future rising star in the DoP world. He’s super-smart. He’s got a great eye. And I was shooting a lot of the film. I was operating the camera, like I did on Monsters and Rogue One. But Oren would be…" He pauses to best express it. "We wanted 360 – the ability to turn at any point, and see anything. I didn’t want the actors to feel limited."

Lead actor Washington adds, "During the last month-and-a-half of filming, when we were in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Japan, I wasn’t sure if this was a New Regency or Disney-budgeted film or not. I was like, 'Is this an indie? Is this a documentary?' In a great, refreshing way."

The Creator is set in a future where war rages between the human race and artificial intelligence. Amid this, ex-special forces agent Joshua is recruited to hunt down and kill the architect of the advanced AI, called the Creator. Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Madeleine Yuna Voyles, and Allison Janney all also star.

The Creator opens in cinemas on September 29. 

This is just a snippet of our interview in the new issue of Total Film magazine, which features the movie on the cover. The magazine hits shelves this Thursday, July 20. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's The Creator covers

(Image credit: Disney/20th Century Studios/Total Film)

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Editor-at-Large, Total Film

Jamie Graham is the Editor-at-Large of Total Film magazine. You'll likely find them around these parts reviewing the biggest films on the planet and speaking to some of the biggest stars in the business – that's just what Jamie does. Jamie has also written for outlets like SFX and the Sunday Times Culture, and appeared on podcasts exploring the wondrous worlds of occult and horror. 

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