Gareth Edwards

Chris Mirjahangir: I'm talking with Gareth Edwards, director of Godzilla (2014). This interview was conducted July 1st, 2014. Very special thanks to Gemma Cacho at Warner Bros. for helping to arrange this!

Photo of Gareth Edwards taken by Chris Mirjahangir on the red carpet at the Godzilla premiere in Hollywood, California on May 8th, 2014. The premiere was held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California.

Now for my first question: During production, what was your favorite location to film?

Gareth Edwards:
Definitely the beach in Hawaii. It came at the very end of the shoot and was a very relaxing place to be. You could kind of convince yourself you were on holiday, if you just ignored the 500 people running and screaming every take. We also knew it was the end, so there was a strange kind of relief that it would all be over soon.

Mirjahangir: With some shots from the trailers being different than the final product, when was the film finally finished?

The Marketing department is usually the first to see any version of the film. It takes a long time for them to craft a trailer and campaign, so they prefer to have everything you have as early as you can give it them. As a result they get a very rough version of the movie only a few weeks into post-prodcution as we carry on refining and finding the film. This is why it's quite common for them to use scenes and shots that might no longer be in the final cut. We would sometimes finish the visual effects on these shots knowing they would only be in the trailer, from what I can tell it's quite common for a big studio film.

Mirjahangir: Outside of the 1954 film, what other Godzilla movies did you use as references for this film?

All of the Showa era films had a subconscious influence at the very least. There are some little Easter eggs in there, some of which were spotted, some of which weren't… One I particularly liked was the boat in San Francisco film with the bomb on it was for a company called 'Go Whales Tours', which was a reference to 'Gojira'. 'Go' for Guerrilla and 'Jira' for Whale. So it was 'Go Whales' was a kind of blending of the two.

Mirjahangir: Who owns the MUTO monsters? Toho? Legendary? Warner Bros.?

I'm not sure, but I think Legendary must own them.

Mirjahangir: Some keen eyed fans have said they have spotted you in a couple of quick cameo shots in the Hawaii and Las Vegas scenes in the film. Is this true and if yes, how would one spot you?

No, Unfortunately I didn't get chance to do a cameo. Although I was holding the microphone during the interview with the FEMA lady on the TV in the hospital. We did have some cameos from the writer and MUTO designer, but sadly they got cut out.

Mirjahangir: Did you read the reviews upon the release of the film or did you ignore them completely?

Yes. I find it impossible to spend two years making a film for people, and constantly thinking about how the audience will react to different decisions, without then looking to see what they actually thought.

Mirjahangir: How much of an influence or reference point was Toho Kingdom from the start of production on the film?

I would look at it a fair bit during pre-production to see what people were saying about the various rumours out there. During post, the fans were very supportive and it was nice to read the positive comments when you were having a bad day, it's a direct connection with the audience and it reminds you of why you are doing everything.

Mirjahangir: What were your thoughts on your first Hollywood premiere? How was the experience as a whole?

It was very very surreal, from the moment you step out of the car you are doing constant interviews until the moment the film begins. I think I was on the red carpet for 2 hours. My family came over and I they had a wonderful time, but I feel bad as I hardly spoke to them all night. But I've stored everything in my memory banks for later, I think I'll eventually be able to process it all a few years from now.



Director of the 2010 film Monsters, Gareth Edwards landed the coveted position of directing the 2014 Godzilla film for Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros. He will also direct the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film.

Date: 07/08/2014
Interviewer: Chris Mirjahangir


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