Last year I was working with a Canadian writer and we were talking about short films. She asked me if I’d seen a short called Spider and I said I hadn’t. She told me it was the best short she had ever seen, that it was unbelievably good. I wasn’t convinced but said I’d watch it. When I did, I was utterly blown away. The film exploded my mind (and tore me out of my skin). In that moment I discovered for myself an Australian film maker called Nash Edgerton and his band of delightfully twisted film collaborators, Blue Tongue Films.
I poured over their back catalogue of short films and found some of the best work I had ever seen in short form, films like Miracle Fish and I Love Sarah Jane; but it was Spider that was always my favourite. I soon discovered that Nash was making a follow-up titled Bear and that it would Premiere at Cannes. I needed to see this film; but try as I might, there were no screenings near me. One day I took the plunge and contacted Blue Tongue on Twitter. It was a shot in the dark.
Amazingly, they replied and an email later Nash himself sent me the film, agreed to me screening it at our short film night in Edinburgh and provided an interview for the website. What a guy.
A self-taught filmmaker, he is a professional stunt man (often for his brother, look him up), actor, writer and director. Both Spider and Bear were co-written by Nash and David Michod (Animal Kingdom), directed and star Nash. I urge anyone serious about wanting to make good films to watch the videos in the below interview then get over to the Blue Tongue site to watch the countless others. These guys are seriously talented. Nash has already written and directed a feature film The Square (it’s very good) and is in the process of writing his next.
If you want to see Bear come along to Write Shoot Cut in Edinburgh this Monday coming (May 14th 2012) but before then, it is an honour for me to introduce Nash Edgerton on the blog with this exclusive interview.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and what you are currently working on?
I’m a filmmaker and a stuntman and a procrastinator. I’m working on a number of things. But the main focus is writing my next feature film.
Trailer for The Square, Nash’s first feature:
Who/what inspired you to embark on a career in Filmmaking?
Not exactly sure but my love of films started when I was a kid. My parents bought a Betamax player and I was able to watch films at home that I was too young to be allowed to see at the cinema. Then my Dad bought a video camera and my brother and I would make little films in the backyard with it on weekends.
Have you had to make any sacrifices and how have you coped with that?
When you get to do what you love doing you don’t always notice the other things that you may be sacrificing. But yes probably and I probably haven’t dealt with them yet.
Lucky a short film by Nash Edgerton:
What is your ultimate goal/what drives you?
Not sure there is an ultimate goal as it constantly changes. But I’m driven by the desire to tell stories and express ideas from my brain for other people to experience.
How do you define success?
Getting to do what you love with the people you respect and admire and who inspire you.
How do you feel about collaboration?
I’m a huge fan of it. Filmmaking is probably the most collaborative art form. It’s virtually impossible to make a film by yourself. So you need to be able to collaborate.
Do you have a niche or genre that you specialise in?
Not that I know of. But other people may say otherwise. I do like to surprise people though.
Spider, Nash Edgerton:
What was the title of your first film(Your first first film, not the one you are happy to call your first film) and can you tell us a bit about it?
It was called LOADED. I co-directed it with my friend Kieran Darcy-Smith. We didn’t exactly know we were making a short film, we just set out to shoot some scenes for our show reels. An acting scene for my brother and Kieran so they could hopefully get jobs as actors and an action scene for myself and Tony Lynch so we could get jobs as stuntmen. The idea was to have something to put on our reels so that people would think we’d worked on a film and would give us work. The real result of it though was that we all got the desire to keep making our own films.
So many… Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Zemekis, Tomas Alfredson, Quentin Tarantino, Todd Solondz, George Miller, John Hughes, Steven Speilberg to name a few.
All-time top 5 movies (as of this date, we all know it changes daily)?
Again so many, but these spring to mind
- Reservoir Dogs
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- Let The Right One In
- Back To The Future.
What is the best short film you’ve seen?
Again there are some great ones out there. But most recently I loved one called Love You More by Sam Taylor Wood. And there is a wonderful one from the 70’s called La Cabina by Antonio Mercero.
Favourite film related website?
I love looking at film posters. Especially Polish film posters like these…
or alternative posters like this site…
What advice would you give to first time filmmakers?
Make what you want to see not what you think other people want to see.