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Filmmaker Must-See: Gareth Edwards SXSW 2017 Keynote

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Back in 2010 I remember stopping by The Ritz Theater in Philadelphia and seeing a last-minute screening of a little indie film called Monsters. One of my other film nerd buddies tagged along and we were astonished at how a movie with such a title could contain so few, well, monsters. It wasn't a bad thing, it was an extraordinarily impactful reminder that the scale of a film is what you make it (it was also my introduction to Scoot McNairy, now an essential face in almost all my favorite films and TV shows). 

What I wouldn't learn for another 7 years is just how a production such as Monsters could ever happen, and where it would take director Gareth Edwards, now better known for directing Godzilla and Star Wars: Rogue One. For a filmmaker of any sort, to hear this guy speak is like hearing a future version of yourself calling out to tell you what it'll take to get you where you want to go. 

Yes this is an hour-long speech, but if you have an ounce of inspiration in your body I cannot recommend it highly enough. Even if you consider his recent work flawed (and, c'mon, your horse isn't that high, you can be happy for the guy), I think the work and excitement and risks that he's put into his films is undeniable and are a true gift. I dare anyone interested in film to watch this and not immediately start jotting down ideas for their future projects.