The BBC Maestro series (www.BBCMaestro.com) introduces Edgar Wright Teaches Filmmaking. UK film director Edgar Wright delivers 27 lessons with over 4 hours of expert tuition taking you through every stage of the filmmaking process from writing, directing, casting, location scouting, funding, distribution and plenty more, making this the perfect way to pick up all the tips and tricks you need to get your film made.
Edgar Wright’s credentials are second to not many in filmmaking. The UK film director’s credits include Hollywood smash Baby Driver (which took $220 million dollars at the box office), Scott Pilgrim vs the World, cult indie successes Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End and his most recent outing Last Night in Soho, making him the perfect choice as your filmmaking tutor.
Beginning with a brief history of film, Edgar Wright’s fascination with old black and white silent cinema is commendable. His keen interest in the early inventors and innovators of cinema is a noteworthy lesson on its own. Here we have a contemporary director openly sharing the influences of the past that he has been so heavily inspired by and has readily used in his films.
Other highlights on the course include his Story Boarding and Animation class. This might not come as a shock to fans of his but at the same time might make uncomfortable viewing for those wishing to emulate his successes. The level of meticulous preparation would be hard to match – but there’s no need to be overly concerned, he does at least hand over his frame by frame sketches to be finished by a professional storyboarder (his brother Oscar) and reassures that this level of storyboarding is not a prerequisite demanded by all top directors.
Writing on the other hand he confesses is not his favourite part of the filmmaking process. For him it’s about 1% inspiration, 99% procrastination (he won’t be alone on that one) but as he says, he at least tries to be a creative procrastinator watching and reading around his chosen subject as much as possible and gives invaluable tips on the methods he uses to keep his script on track.
A part of filmmaking he finds especially enjoyable is the collaboration with people and talent. Here he talks through some incredibly complicated shots that may appear common place in the big budget movies nowadays, that he casually surmises as looking “effortless” in his film before finishing, “…which really means it was an enormous amount of hard work by many many people.”
Pristinely captured in 4K, this video tutorial is a polished production as you’d expect from the BBC with a cool backbeat sound design, alongside the now customary multi camera angle interviews to aid cutting between edits and accentuate various moments during the interviews.
Edgar Wright makes an amiable tutor whose love of film and filmmaking is palpable. Fiercely proud of his indie filmmaking roots, he’s able to pass on his wisdom for low budget filmmakers as well as take you into the private filmmaking world of a director at the top of their game.
This is a director happy to share his secrets, drawing upon his enviable catalogue of films to share what he’s learned about filmmaking. The tagline on the BBC Maestro website is “let the greatest be your teacher” and whilst Edgar Wright may not quite be the greatest, he’s considerably worthy of the maestro label.
The course costs £80 for lifetime access to Wright’s 27 lessons and comprehensive downloadable notes.