This edition of A Dose of Awesome is dedicated to one up and coming director who is causing a bit of a stir. Director Gareth Edwards is doing things that are bringing to mind the feats of Neill Blomkamp. Basically he's doing kick-ass stuff without a lot of money.
Edwards already has a feature film under his belt. The flick is called Monsters and is set six years after a NASA probe crashed over Central America, causing the quarantine of half of Mexico. The story follows a US journalist who agrees to escort a shaken tourist through “the infected zone” to the safety of the US border. In that infected zone are tons of terrible, vicious monsters who are causing the US and Mexican military quite a problem and all the while the journalist and the tourist form a rather close bond with each other. After it was shown at SXSW it drew comparisons to District 9 and Jurassic Park. You'd think a movie like that would cost millions to make but Edwards reportedly made the film for only $15,000.
The below trailer shows off some of his work on Monsters while Best Buy got to sit down with director to discuss just how he managed to make Monsters so cheaply but maintain a high degree of quality.
While Edwards' ability to create such a film on such a small budget is insane, his earlier work on the 2008 BBC documentary Attila The Hun shows it's a talent the director has had for a while. It was a documentary film which Edwards directed and completed the visual effects work for. Slash Film report that he created 250 high definition visual effects shots by himself, in his bedroom. If that wasn't impressive enough he completed it in four months only using software that anyone could buy off the shelf, After Effects and Photoshop. The results are unbelievable. I haven't seen the whole documentary but a trailer/behind the scenes feature shows just how impressive the results are and just how he achieved some of those results.
Those same techniques Edwards used on Attila The Hun are the ones he used on Monsters. He's mastered programs like After Effects and Photoshop and through the use of HD cameras he's able to create some fantastic work with limited funds. It really shows you how far home software has come and how professional it is becoming. Given the fact that Hollywood budgets are exploding left right and center, pioneering indie directors like Edwards show that bigger isn't always better. My only hope is if Edwards gets snapped up by a lucky studio he doesn't stray too far from the principals and techniques that drew attention to him. It's bound to happen soon and I just hope that the allure of a bigger budget doesn't have a detrimental effect on his talents.
As yet there's no word on a wide release of Monsters but the Attila The Hun documentary is watchable online in HD on YouTube in six parts.