The Creator is the next picture from Gareth Edwards and is already stirring up inspiration and hot takes. As of this article, I've yet to see the film, even as the tickets are burning a hole in my pocket.

Barring these hot takes and box office predictions, I can't wait to see the film in theaters. So much so that I'm eating up every interview being released about its production—spoilers be damned.

What I've learned from all these interviews sheds further light on things I've already assumed or have known about. Edwards is a director who has redefined how films are made.

Here's what I mean by that.

Inspired by the Past

Before I jump into the things that helped Edwards craft The Creator, I have to talk about the film that started it all: Monsters.

The first film by Edwards, Monsters, was, in a way, the testing ground for what The Creator would become. Filmed solely by Edwards himself, two actors, a sound operator, and a fixer with a van, the small team ran around Mexico and Texas, crafting the film using an outline and improv. All for around $100,000 to $500,000 (depending on who you ask).

The Creator used that same concept but refined it for a Hollywood production.

But this in my inspiration from the past. For Edwards, it was all about the retro sci-fi look of the 80s and 90s.

“Syd Mead, you know, was a big design influence in terms of the world-building,” Edwards said in an interview with Letterboxd. "Akira was (also) a big influence, and weirdly Sony products from the '80s and '90s. Like, as if we went back in time and it's the future of the 1980s and early '90s that is kind of represented in this film."

Not only that, but Edwards borrowed heavily from the likes of Ralph McQuarrie, who not only designed the look for Star Wars but also for Battlestar Galactica and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

The Creator production design

BTS on 'The Creator'

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Cinematography and Lighting

The one thing I've always liked about Edwards' approach to filmmaking, is his fascination for staying in the story. He is pushed ahead by the tale instead of the budget or technology surrounding him.

"One of my favorite anecdotes about cinematography is from Blade Runner," said Edwards. "They would light a scene, and they'd have like 20 lights and then Ridley or the DP, however it worked, would sit and look at it and go, 'doesn't quite feel right, does it?'”

All the lights would then be turned off. From complete darkness, Ridley would have each light turned on one at a time.

"They’d pick the bravest one that did the most, and they would try and film with just that and maybe one more," Edwards explained. "It’s a lesson in, like, less is more."

The Creator BTS

BTS on 'The Creator'

Credit: 20th Century Studios

This is the same approach Edwards brought to The Creator. Not only due to his crew size but also to the lack of lighting. It was all about playing in the shadows. Whenever the scene did need lighting, it was all motivated by practicals and enhanced by LEDs.

At most, the production crew used bounce boards during the day and a few powerful fixtures for the exterior night scenes.

Director Gareth Edwards behind the camera on The Creator

Director Gareth Edwards behind the camera on The Creator

Credit: 20th Century Studios

Less Is More

But it was still all about using less technology on set and more about pursuing the story. In all of the BTS shots we found for this article, it's always Edwards behind the camera and the actors. Sure, we see a crane or jib from time to time, but the core foundation of each shot is always Edwards and the talent finding the right moments on his own.

It's such an "indie" way of looking at filmmaking, and I really appreciate seeing that approach in a big blockbuster film.