JOEL EDGERTON

AACTA Award winner Joel Edgerton has appeared in many celebrated films including KING ARTHUR, STAR WARS II: REVENGE OF THE SITH, WARRIOR and THE GREAT GATSBY, along with the upcoming Scott Cooper-directed BLACK MASS, and Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama MIDNIGHT SPECIAL. Edgerton’s writing credits include FELONY and THE SQUARE under the Blue Tongue Films banner, as well as his feature directorial debut THE GIFT, starring alongside Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall. 

How did you get into short filmmaking?

A combination of frustration and ambition. Basically my buddy Kieran Darcy-Smith and I were actors and not doing the things we wanted to (i.e. working) - and my brother and his mate Lynchy were stunt guys and were in the same boat. We had to get a start and prove our worth. Our solution was to make something and put ourselves in it. We had blind faith we could just make our own little film and it would lead somewhere. So the intention was not really to become a filmmaker but in the end the process turned out to be more infectious than we imagined. 

I also give Tropfest a lot of credit for incentive in those early years, literally because they offered prizes and a massive audience for good short movies. I remember that being the spark that got me to write and direct my first short.

Favourite short film of all time?

I don’t have a favourite. I’m gonna say - Two Cars One Night - Taika Waititi.  Because if you haven’t seen it you should. And for a brighter tone: Instead of Abracadabra.

Most valued asset onset when making a short film? 

An open mind. Nothing ever always goes to plan on set, especially when you are working things for little or no money. Being flexible and not holding onto things too tight can make way for good problem solving and being fluid. Take your meltdowns around the corner or home. 

Top tip for emerging short filmmakers?

I think being prepared is good piece of advice. Sounds simple… but if making something with a group of people is a special chance to do something great, why half ass it or leave things till last minute? Be as prepared as you can possibly be and then if everything falls apart (as it tends to do) go back and read my answer to question 3. On the first short I made I didn’t test the camera ahead of time and we ended up in a world of trouble with a technical issue and wasted a couple hours. Test the camera.

In three words, describe your first short film 

Silly. Fun. French.