Guillermo del Toro's Friendships with Spielberg and George Miller Got Him Through the Pandemic

'The Shape of Water'Credit: Searchlight Pictures
Friendships can sustain us, even in the most trying times. 

The pandemic was a brutal time for everyone. It was so hard to find those friendships that mattered and even harder to sustain the ones you had with little to no contact.

As filmmakers, we know the circle of friendships we have can be the most crucial part of our success. They're the people we go to for feedback, confidence, and overall creative support. Famous filmmakers are just like us, with bigger budgets. 

When Guillermo del Toro set out to make Nightmare Alley, there was no pandemic. He and his now-wife, Kim Morgan (also an amazing film critic), worked on the screenplay after reading the novel. They incorporated things from other sideshow movies like Freaks and even took from the original Nightmare Alley film from 1947.

The movie began shooting and all was going well. Then the pandemic hit. Hard.

Nightmare Alley had half the movie shot when it happened. And del Toro was forced to head home. While he was happy to have his wife, he missed his friends.

But because of this situation, he wound up making two more. He struck up a texting friendship with Steven Spielberg and George Miller

Del Toro told Indiewire, “We would send each other an image and say, ‘What movie am I watching?' We would start discussing the craft. How did this shot get made?”

These conversations kept the men entertained and in good spirits as the pandemic raged on. They watched tons of movies—separately, but together. They also continued to watch classic movies, feeling like they were resurrecting a part of Hollywood that's been lost. 

What friendships got you through the pandemic? Use the comments to meet new people and collaborate. The only way forward is through community. There's nothing you can do by yourself in this business.      

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