It's 'Stars To Watch' week here on MP! Moviepilot's second theme week kicked off with a bang, in the form of an amazing new magazine, featuring articles from staff, Creators, and even celebrities like Arnold 'I'll be back!' Schwarzenegger! It's an incredible magazine (that I will be in, just you wait! Mom...) which you can check out by clicking right here.
As the name suggests, this week is all about new and upcoming stars that are slowly (or for some, rapidly) captivating the screens and our hearts with their amazing performances! They prove that Hollywood is accepting of new faces, and sometimes, it's worth the risk of casting an unknown into a major role.
The first edition of the MP Magazine showcases a few of these fresh young faces, like Donald Glover, Sophie Turner and Michael B. Jordan. And while I agree that ALL of these talented actors should be considered for any and all major roles in the future, I'm here to remind the world that stars can be found behind the scenes as well, shining just as bright!
For the longest time, I've wanted to be an actor. My inspirations were (and still are) James Franco, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and many other actors who have been known to push the very limit of their art! I still love acting, and everything that comes with it. But upon joining the Moviepilot Creator community, I've grown to love the jobs behind the camera just as much.
Since joining this incredible site, and getting a knack for writing about movies, comics and just about everything else, I've learned to appreciate what it takes to make a film. Before, I only saw the people on screen. I only saw the actors, working hard to entertain us, I would never looked past that. I never saw that those actors, hard as they work, weren't the only pieces of the puzzle. There, behind the camera, lied pieces that I had been ignoring and under-appreciating for so long. That is until, I was introduced to who I think to be one of the greatest filmmakers of our time; James Gunn.
Meet James Gunn
Now, in the year 2015, everybody knows who this guy is. James is known for directing and writing the biggest summer blockbusters of 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy. That film proved to everyone that Marvel ran a tight ship, tight enough to make a successful movie about a group of widely unknown and bizarre characters.
But it also did something for Mr. Gunn, and the other aspiring directors in the world. It proved to everyone that no movie is too big, and no director too small.
It's hard to believe, but if you take a look back at James Gunn's career, Guardians is not only his biggest film, it's also arguably his only majorly popular one. See, James is an Indie Filmmaker, Indie being short for "Independent". Indie Films are produced almost entirely outside of major film studios, and are considerably low-budget; at least compared to a major blockbuster.
Some of his films before GotG include the 2004 remake of Dawn of the Dead, Super and, a personal childhood favorite of mine, Scooby-Doo. You know, that live-action version that was dangerously close to being an adult-themed parody (and was actually supposed to be).
I'm not saying that James is a bad filmmaker, or that he was unknown before Guardians of the Galaxy, because both of those statements are untrue. James has been making fun and entertaining movies since I was in diapers, and managed to gain a huge fanbase because of them. I'm not saying that it was Guardians that made him a good writer either.
I'm saying that it was his run at a Marvel film, and Hollywood's newfound appreciation of the Indie platform that put James exactly where he needs to be; in the spotlight.
So many actors, screenwriters and etc. try to make it in the "biz", and so many of them fail. Why?
Because making a movie costs money, and studios would much rather go for a known name, like Matt Damon, then a lesser known name, like Jamie Bell (petition for Jamie to join Bourne anyone?). But it was Marvel that gave this indie movie making lesser-known a chance!
They could have gone with Tarantino, Nolan, Spielberg, Jackson or any of the other big name directors of the Hollywood world, but they chose James; and that to me is just incredibly inspirational. But it isn't just that he's talented enough to catch the eye of a big studio company like Marvel, it's also that James is talented enough without them.
When Guardians Ends, James Won't Disappear!
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 is set to come out on May 5th, 2017, with Gunn returning to write and direct. The title card alone confirms that Gunn will be bringing with him that indie style, like he did in the first film. That's what I love so much about James Gunn; his creativity. Yes, it was Marvel that rose Gunn to a higher fame. But it's as I said before, he's been making incredible and creative movies since before his time with the comic book studio.
Eventually, Guardians will end, and whether or not James stays with Marvel to direct something else is entirely between those two parties. No matter how it goes however, James will be okay. It was Marvel that skyrocketed him to fame, but now that he's there, with the A-listers and the big wigs, he's where he belongs!
James will continue to get incredible opportunities! And as evident by his upcoming film, The Belko Experiment, and his upcoming guest star role in Alan Tudyk's upcoming web series, Con Man, James hasn't forgotten his indie past. That, to me, is incredible! After finishing a successful summer blockbuster, with the Marvel logo slapped on it no less, James is still using his creative talents when he so pleases.
He's one of my biggest inspirations for filmmaking, because when he makes a film, it's out of passion, love for the project! He doesn't sit around and wait for every huge studio to come knocking on his door, he goes out and gets it noticed!
The people in front of the screen surely deserve your attention. But they aren't the only ones. I urge you, pay attention to the directors, the writers, the animators, even the camera man! They all have a story, and they all contribute to what makes a glorious film!
That's why one of my 'Stars To Watch' this week, and all the weeks to come is James Gunn! Keep on inspiring the little guys!