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Contemporary Indie Directors Making Monstrous Progress

To celebrate the release of Gareth EdwardsGodzilla, Cinema Chords has decided to discuss the lucky directors who have scored a big-budget blockbuster right after a successful indie debut.

garethGareth Edwards

The rightful place to begin would be with Gareth Edwards. His original feature Monsters was a hit back in 2010; on its measly budget of $800,000 it grossed an impressive $4 million at the box office. As Edwards is a British director it was unsurprising to see that the majority of its earnings came from the UK and Europe. However, Hollywood must have noticed something they liked and quickly snatched him up for the re-imagining of Godzilla.

Monsters was a terrific tale about the human condition and the science-fiction alien setting worked wonderfully. Edwards proved himself to be gifted in the creation of heartfelt and realistic characters, as well as showing off his talent in the CGI and special effects department.

Pairing the director with a much-loved movie monster seems like a recipe for success, and early reviews of the film are proving positive. Hurray! Gareth Edwards should definitely be a director on your radar and it’s going to be interesting to see what he does next.

Colin_TrevorrowColin Trevorrow

Safety not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow is to helm the much-anticipated sequel Jurassic World. His debut film was the highly original time-travel comedy Safety Not Guaranteed from writer Derek Connolly.

It was a greatly nostalgic and touching film that was appreciated by audiences and critics alike. The cast were spot-on and included Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson, showing that Trevorrow understands how to encourage great performances. With a great franchise like Jurassic Park it is easy for the human characters to get lost and become forgettable amidst the dinosaurs; and that is one reason why the original film is so superior to its sequels. With the help of Derek Connolly once again, hopefully Trevorrow will be able to conjure up some strong characters for his addition to the franchise.

joss-whedon-empire-podcastJoss Whedon

Joss Whedon was a well-known name in TV and fans of Buffy, Angel and Firefly will have heard his name long before the superhero smash The Avengers back in 2012. Nonetheless, as a director of film Whedon’s debut Serenity failed to break even at the box office. So, why was there such faith in him to direct a multi-superhero movie that so many of us would be eager to see?

Well, putting aside the flop of Serenity, we have a perfectly competent director who has a damn dedicated fanbase. The Marvel comics themselves are adored by plenty, so pairing the two of them together combined two strong fanbases. As you know, The Avengers was not too shabby and the box office figures speak for themselves, so the decision was a good one.

movies_marc_webbMarc Webb

I refuse to believe that Marc Webb landed The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2 for any other reason than his apt surname. Not really. The director’s debut 500 Days of Summer was a welcome addition to the American romantic-comedy form and put a much-needed spin on the genre.

The film shone with brilliant performances from the cast and Marc Webb’s name was fast on Hollywood’s radar. Whether a superhero comic adaptation and reboot of Spider-Man was expected, that’s a whole different story. However, Marc Webb’s interpretation of the web-slinger is exciting, boasting a great use of 3D and visual effects. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has split audiences and critics alike, but it’s still been a financial success and that’s what it’s all about, right?

The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will undoubtedly need to improve on number 2 and if Iron Man can do it, so can Spidey. Marc Webb will probably be returning to direct, but there are internet murmuring arising that questions whether another film is needed. We’ll have to keep an eye out, because that would be a surprising outcome.

Duncan-JonesDuncan Jones

Back in 2009, Kent-bred Duncan Jones was the talk of the town when his mesmerising sci-fi drama Moon hit our screens. The film was a spectacularly shot and unpredictable piece of film-making that made Jones a household name within the film community. It was a masterpiece in claustrophobic cinema and a wonderful character study; questioning a human’s identity and the effects of isolation. Not to mention the brilliant voice acting of Kevin Spacey as a Hal-inspried robotic companion.

It was no surprise when the director was scooped up by Hollywood to direct another sci-fi flick. This time, Source Code would be even more of a mind-bender as it incorporated elements of time-travel; there is a real mystery to decipher in Source Code and it’s brilliant to watch the events unfold. The film continued to show that Jones is a pro at presenting a popular genre in a new and exciting way.

As a young and promising director, Duncan Jones is another one to keep your eye on. If his previous work is anything to go by, his next film titled Warcraft and based on the popular game, is going to be a blinder.

So, there it is. We are bound to keep seeing major film companies pick up prospering Indie directors and if they prove successful, why ever not?

Make sure you catch Godzilla in IMAX, 3D or 2D from Friday 16th May. Click here to read our review.

Tags : Godzilla
Jessy Williams

The author Jessy Williams

[Associate Features Editor] Film Studies Grad, constant procrastinator and horror aficionado. Tweeting endlessly as @JessyCritical.