The third and final film in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World's End, has been doing quite well so far since its U.S. theatrical release Friday. Watching it last night, it became apparent to me that I was in an auditorium full of uber-fans the first time Simon Pegg shows up on-screen -- let alone when that green Cornetto wrapper finally made its appearance. For those of you wanting a little more from these filmmakers, Film School Rejects has shared a compilation of director Edgar Wright's first films. Check them out after the break.
Think back on the first films you made -- maybe you were a kid, maybe not, but chances are they were pretty bad. I remember one of my first films, a "horror" movie my siblings and I made about a -- I guess it was a vampire/cannibal/ghost-thing. I was 13 or 14, and we shot the whole thing on a VHS camcorder, with every edit occurring in-camera.
As an adult, with what I would hope are more sophisticated filmmaking skills, taking a look at not only my, but my favorite directors' first attempts at the craft says so much about how people learn, grow, fail, and succeed in filmmaking. Wright's early films, though rough around the edges, definitely contain the same DNA and energy as his most recent films.
Film School Rejects describes how Wright got his start in film:
Wright made his first short film, Rolf Harris Saves the World, with a Super 8 camera with a bunch of friends when he was only 14. Only five minutes long, it has a Die Hard-type plot in which the titular Australian TV personality (as played by a friend and dubbed by Wright) is the hero.
I Want to Get Into the Movies is a stop-motion film Wright entered into a film contest, which he ended up winning. This got him his first big break on the BBC show Going Live! when he was just 17.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YNT3LH84kU
The spoils of the contest win was a camcorder, which he used to film his next movie Dead Right, a cop comedy in the same vein of Hot Fuzz. It's obvious from this film, despite being a little gruff, that Wright had a natural talent and cinematic taste as a filmmaker.
Airing on Beadle's Hot Shots in 1994, a trailer of sorts for Wright's Fistful of Fingers, which Wright explains on his website isn't the 16mm feature version of the film, demonstrates the director's comedic sensibilities (I laughed for a good 2 minutes at the slap action near 0:38.)
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryfFE9KMKrY
Though his technical skill as a filmmaker has grown tremendously, Wright's ability to make his audience laugh was evident from the beginning. If you want to see more of Wright's early films and TV appearances, check out his website.
What do you think about Edgar Wright's early films? What is similar/dissimilar about his earliest films and latest ones?