Director Gareth Edwards made a big splash with his 2010 feature debut, Monsters, and went on to helm a pair of big-budget sci-fi extravaganzas in 2014’s Godzilla and 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. With a resume that impressive, it’s no wonder his first original film, this week’s The Creator, arrives with a lot of buzz and high expectations. Ahead of the film’s release, Edwards sat down to speak about one of its big action sequences, explaining how one pandemic-related location challenge influenced the scene, what kinds of choices were made in crafting the spectacular visuals, and more.
On changing locations due to the pandemic:
Gareth Edwards: This scene is actually a great example of rolling with your punches and how sometimes you can turn a negative into a positive. I wanted to shoot this whole sequence in Cambodia at a floating village, and what happened is the pandemic came along and they were like, “We can go to Cambodia, but you can’t shoot the whole sequence there. You’re going to have to do all the big explosion stuff in Thailand.” And so I was like, “OK, we’ve got to find a place that looks incredible.” And we looked everywhere and just by — I say sheer fluke, but location scouts found this bridge, this kind of — I think it’s the second biggest wooden trestle bridge in the world or something that you can walk across. Anyway, it’s massive. And it looked like something straight out of a David Lean movie.
And now, looking back on it, there’s this whole sequence that takes place with this bridge, and it feels like embarrassing that I hadn’t written it that way or storyboarded it that way, that this was just an accident of the pandemic forcing me not to film where I wanted to film. So that was massive.
(Photo by ©20th Century Studios)
On transforming actors into robots in post-production:
Edwards: Industrial Light and Magic were really good, in that a lot of the people you see in the sequence that are robots or A.I., they weren’t wearing those special suits. They didn’t have the motion capture suits on. I didn’t want anybody to look like a robot or have to be a robot in the sequence. We just filmed it with everyone as a human. And then in post-production, once it was edited, then we watched it together and said, “OK, it’d be really cool if this woman was a robot, if that person running past there — your eye goes to them, so let’s make them a robot.” So we weren’t stuck with anyone having to be A.I..
Watch the video for the full scene breakdown with Gareth Edwards.