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Interview : Tom O’Connor, screenwriter of The Hitman’s Bodyguard

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It is often true that good things come to those who wait. This was never truer than with Tom O’Connor, screenwriter of “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” who waited years for the film to come to life. Tom sat down in a local Hollywood café to give Moviehole the word on the ever-changing industry as well as some tips to impatient writer newbies.

Moviehole: How did you get started in writing?

Tom O’Connor: In college, I minored in theater and I studied playwriting – David Mamet, Eugene O’Neill, but I didn’t do anything with writing at the time. I wasn’t ready to be a writer yet but a lot of stuff ended up in the back of my head. I ended up working in advertising with commercials like Nike, that got me to L.A. with an advertising agency and it got me used to writing as a daily thing. Like writing on deadline, being creative on deadline. But I came from the east coast where I had never thought of writing movies or for TV as a job – I thought magic elves did it or something (laughs). I met writers and started writing scripts on the side, it was a gradual transition and I was able to quit my day job. I moved into it over time.

“The Hitman’s Bodyguard” was the script that got my career going. I wrote it on spec, it sold in 2011 to Skydance Media.  They bought it and it got me my Writers Guild card. It sold right away – it made the Black List long after it sold.

Moviehole: How do you write, what’s your method?

TO: I get up early and turn off the world for the morning hours and write until the afternoon. I unplug the Internet and turn off the phone. I might think of ideas one day, and I might do a rewrite another day. How do I get from this scene to that scene? How do I fix this character issue? How do I get from this moment to that moment? It’s a little like being an architect. You’re just trying to get this house to stand up and not get pulled over.

Moviehole: Do you outline?

TO: I do, every script I outline more and more. I work in Highland, which is the software that John August created, it’s really helpful and you can move seamlessly from a treatment to a screenplay, because it’s all the same format; you’re not worried about page breaks or line breaks or screenplay formatting until later. I will start writing paragraphs like prose, almost like a novel. I write it that way, and then I’ll transition it into scenes. I also jump back and forth.

Moviehole: Did your writing background help?

TO: My family are a family of writers and my dad was a journalist, we’re very verbal and very much in love with the word and reading. My background in advertising helped. With “Hitman” I could see the trailer and the poster and I thought, that’s a movie, I knew what the common market needed.

Moviehole: Were you creative as a kid?

TO: I wasn’t writing formally, I was creative — but I didn’t have the discipline to sit down and write until well after college. Also being creative with other people, screenwriting is very much about adapting to other people’s needs, like the studio and the director, and advertising is like that too.

Moviehole: On the movie, were you able to get on set and do rewrites?

TO: It was a great process, the movie took a long time to get made – Millennium Films picked it up and Ryan (Reynolds) got on formally so I got to do drafts with Ryan and the studio. Ryan is great about development – not just about his own character, but all the characters and story and development.

He brought up “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” a number of times, one of his favorite movies, that was definitely an influence. We had to change directors close to the last minute, it was nothing nefarious, just that the previous director had contractual commitments on another movie.

Patrick Hughes (director) came on and he was great, he took the reins in a short period of time and put his own stamp on the material. It was a really good process, I saw that thing through so many revisions on and off for years, at the end you have to hand it off and let them do their thing on set. It was nice to turn it over to them and have them bring the movie to life in this cool way.

In their interplay, Ryan and Sam (Jackson) were such great pairing. Sam’s character was originally written as a 35-year-old Irishman in the draft. But when Sam’s name came up, we were all, “that’s perfect” and it was such a great contrast with Ryan; Ryan is a 40-year-old guy, Sam is older, and they got different energy but also they got along really well. That casting worked out great.  We were really fortunate that it came together that way.

Moviehole: What was the biggest challenge of this film?

TO: I would say the biggest challenge was keeping a consistent vision of course of the rewrites, different directors off and on, different ideas on how the movie would go, and being able to stay flexible through a succession of different  people.  I had to be flexible to seeing different points of view while also holding what made the movie work together. This movie was an endurance test (laughs). I really started in 2010, it’s been off and on for six years, that’s a lot of time, although I was doing things in-between.

Moviehole: What has been the challenge of your career?

TO: I can tell you that very successful writers have their moments; it’s not all about making money or not,  it’s about are you creatively satisfied, are you feeling good? I think what I would say to anyone in their career, just get back to what you love to do and write. If that’s what you are meant to do, you’ll go back to that, and the slings and arrows will just fall away. I really fell in love with it, the frustrations in writing were nothing compared to the frustrations in advertising. Once I worked in advertising I thought “if this is what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life I’m going to drive off a cliff, this is bad!” It’s a great field to start on, but it’s a small box to work on.

I think for me, like “Hitman” is the first thing that sold. I remember I was in my apartment in 2010, writing the first draft and I wrote a dialogue exchange between Michael Bryce (Reynolds) and Darius Kincaid (Jackson) where Bryce says, “My job is to keep you out of harm’s way” and Kincaid says “I am harm’s way.”  I got out of my chair running around my apartment giggling like a little girl because I knew this is a movie! Whatever is going to happen, that’s a trailer moment, that’s a character anyone could understand. So all the ups and downs that were writing in general, that scene always stayed the same, that was the core of these two people and the movie. That was my little rock in the midst of the storm.

Moviehole: Who are your writing idols?

TO: Aaron Sorkin, Elmore Leonard, David Mamet – primarily they have specific voices particular to them. I love their work, I watched “West Wing,” I reread David Mamet’s plays, Leonard’s novels.

I was thinking about Shane Black when he was at the peak of his writing career, he said something like “I didn’t write any scripts to make money, I wrote them because I liked those kinds of stories.” I think that’s advice for younger writers, write the stuff you like and what you want to see, the things that are exciting to you.

I say that as someone who broke in with a commercial script which I didn’t write because I thought, “oh, I can sell this thing” — it was a cool story where I liked the characters and for something you want to go see.  Pursue the kind of career you want to have. If you are lucky to get any traction in this business, producers and so on will pull you in to help achieve their agenda which could be great. Make sure you are not pulled into others’ agenda if it’s not what you want to be doing.

Moviehole: I had read an article once where it said if you want to be scriptwriter, write a low-budget film — if you write a bigger film like a Sci-Fi film, people would think it’s too expensive.

TO: I disagree with that, because you are thinking, is the movie is going to get made or not? You should really write the story you want to tell. If it doesn’t get made and the writing’s amazing, you get the opportunity to write other things. You should be writing the story you want to tell, especially these days. Most writing careers aren’t based on writing original pieces of work, they are based on writing a great script that makes everyone want to work with you. Look at the business, that applies to everyone, people who sustain careers these days aren’t usually writing their own material exclusively — maybe TV writers, but look at Christopher McQuarrie (profiled by this writer in Moviehole awhile back) who wrote “The Usual Suspects” — he’s a brilliant writer with original material, but what he’s doing mostly these days is being a director on “Mission Impossible” and being a writer/producer on big-budget movies.

You would assume Chris McQuarrie would have smooth sailing from that time on (from “The Usual Suspects”), but big-time writers have ups and downs, feelings of discouragement that’s never going to go away. I have successful friends who feel they need to go to the well and change up what they are doing. Tell a story that excites you, don’t lose that, I’d tell that to anyone.

Terry Rossio has a great line, something like, “If you are trying to be a writer and you love it, keep doing it until it’s no longer fun to try.” There’s other things in life; like having financial security, friends, a family, having a life — sometimes aspiring to be a writer can block you off from those other parts of life.

Another writer named Josh Friedman on his blog said the only guarantee as a writer is that you will spend a lot of time being alone in a room wondering if anyone will ever give a s—t about what you write (laughs).  That’s every writer.

Moviehole: Are there any books you recommend about writing?

TO: I’d recommend all of them once, and then take what feels useful to you and then discard the rest. I do enjoy Aaron Sorkin’s Masterclass. Sorkin is fun, he is very honest about the process and confident and self-effacing.

Moviehole: What is your hope for the future, your biggest dreams?

TO: For right now I don’t look too far into future, fingers crossed and if “Hitman” does well enough, I can do more original material. I have a couple of original ideas I just wrote on spec; a historical drama, I will see where it goes, it’s under wraps right now.

I just want the collaborative art with actors/directors, getting to work with great people is really fun.  The only piece of advice from someone else is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint, about being a writer. This movie took seven years to make, which is not unusual for movies. When you are an aspiring writer it’s hard not to be impatient, but when you finish a script and are waiting for an agent or actor to read it, be telling your next story.

I try to follow that advice now. It’s better for your mental health too. If you like writing, you are happier when you are writing.

Interviews

Aquaman screenwriter talks Justice League cameos, Julie Andrews & more!

Lisa Carroll talks to the co-writer of the blockbuster

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aquaint

Most people who want to get into entertainment have to leave their small town; writer David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick’s career literally got started in his.

“Shawshank Redemption” happened to be filming at the local prison in Ohio and Johnson-McGoldrick was able to work with the production, becoming an assistant to producer/director/writer Frank Darabont. However, it was patience and resilience that got him the rest of the way and now he’s part of one of the biggest blockbusters to come along this year.

Johnson-McGoldrick sat down with Moviehole to talk about the intricacies of co-writing “Aquaman,” Topo the bongo-playing octopus and Julie Andrews’ great role (not Mary Poppins!).

 

Moviehole: How did you get started in writing?

David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick:  I got started at a very early age. I was interested in putting on shows and I liked entertaining people from childhood. In my teenage years, I thought I would be an author and it was more because growing up in Ohio, it never occurred to me that you could work in movies. Back then to me, movies in the theater came out of a little box. At 16, I realized it was a job to make movies, and I decided not to write books so I went to film school. I wanted to direct and did a film and the script was good but the movie was terrible…that’s how I got started.

David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick

 

Moviehole: Your mentor was Frank Darabont. What are the most important things you learned from him?

DLJM: It was a great mentor ship. At the time I was frustrated, because it was five years between “Shawshank” and “Green Mile” and I was like, when are we going to make it? He was writing and I got to see firsthand the emotional rollercoaster of it, the ups and downs — it’s a lot when you’re in your office by yourself all day long, you’re part of a process with no complete control over things. It helped prepare me emotionally for the excitement and disappointment of that job. He knew it was what I wanted to do and he was reading everything I wrote and giving me critiques. I remember reading “Saving Private Ryan,” (Darabont worked on the film) and reading his writing; I think stylistically in my approach in writing I’m very influenced by his writing. We are still in touch and there is stuff we want to work on someday.

 

Moviehole: What is your writing style?

DLJM: I have only worked with a partner once on “Wrath of the Titans.” I work on my own, and on this film we (Will Beall, co-writer) didn’t work at the same time — he did a draft and I did a draft, they went back and forth between us and he was the one who started that process on “Aquaman.” I actually met him for the first time at a WGA event. Meeting him went well. It’s the nature of the beast, you’re hired and fired and rehired. I have found mostly that writers understand that when you meet up. I don’t have hard feelings about being rewritten, especially on a movie this size. I used to have to be alone with total silence, I’ve since learned to do it in different circumstances and while working consistently, I am not precious about it.

I have to work on a plane or in a coffee shop and so I make a mix of soundtracks as music is a big part of it for me, I love soundtracks.  I can’t work with others talking. The music depends on what I’m working on. The only thing I have to avoid is a soundtrack if it’s too iconic, so I get soundtracks of movies I haven’t seen.  My favorite all-time soundtracks are “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” but it’s too much of a visual image with those movies, I need to picture something original.

 

Moviehole: What was the biggest challenge about working on “Aquaman”?

DLJM: It was a lot of fun to be honest, you’re writing “Aquaman!” It was a little like getting to go play and I felt like the challenges that were faced were harder for Zach Snyder for “Justice League” — because he was the one who had to figure out who Aquaman was. It’s a maligned character and people are more familiar with the robot chicken character of Aquaman — a guy with a blond pompadour riding a fish is the conception. Zach cast Jason (Momoa) which completely shattered people’s perceptions and we were able to steer Jason back to the classic Aquaman. I don’t think you could’ve shown him in a suit right out of the gate. He had to show Aquaman was cool.

 

Moviehole: There’s a lot of psychology to writing then?

DLJM: Sometimes you have to break people’s expectations, like with Daniel Craig with “Casino Royale” breaking someone’s head with a toilet seat; two movies later on, he’s in a tux and he’s fighting komodo dragons.

 

Moviehole: What was your biggest surprise learning about the character Aquaman?

DLJM: When I first got this job, I went back to the comic issue one of Aquaman and was pouring through the issues, knowing we are doing a different take on the character. The biggest surprise I had reading it was that everyone had in their head an antiquated idea of who Aquaman was because of the cartoon show – the one with Aqualad  where he had an Aquacave, and he got married and had an Aqua baby and it was an innocent comic at the beginning.

Then it took a dark and sophisticated turn long before ”Watchmen” came about, it became about what comics could be. You had Black Manta kill Aquababy! It took a dark turn and it was that abrupt; Aquababy didn’t even have a name. The stories changed from Superman under water to a broader scope where he had to deal with politics and palace intrigue and he was a king. You went from the bongo-playing octopus Topo to a baby getting murdered. James Wan (director) was all into the octopus getting into the movie so Topo made it in the movie. He was all into the old school hat tip to Topo.

 

Moviehole: What about the special effects on “Aquaman”? 

DLJM: James early on was making a comparison about “Star Wars” under water, and I think it will surprise people — it takes us out of the typical superhero story. It’s not about a nuclear bomb, it takes place on a grand scale in a world we’ve never seen. It’s what makes that character different from other superheroes. We have a whole underwater civilization to explore and it feels like the opening of a giant world.

 

Moviehole: Not to do any spoilers, but how did Julie Andrews get involved?

DLJM: That was a surprise! Especially as “Mary Poppins” is coming out? That came early on from a very early incarnation as James always had this character that was going to be in it and communicate telepathically. At some point in the process, he said this type of creature always had a male voice so he thought why can’t it have a female voice? And it needed to have a lot of menace and gravitas. When he said it, I wasn’t thinking about the Mary Poppins thing of it.

 

Moviehole: Any Justice League stuff going on here?

DLJM: There are no Justice League cameos in this film. We discussed doing that and it was a fun thing to get to write, but it was the decision to have Aquaman stand on his own two feet that was the right way to go.

 

Moviehole: Any advice to newbies getting into the business?

DLJM: The hardest thing to do is getting your foot in the door. The thing I found was that I got very lucky in that I graduated from film school and just a few months after that “Shawshank” came to shoot in my hometown and I got hooked up in production. I gave Frank a script and he liked it and read it and that’s how I got my foot in the door. You have to be prepared for that luck when it happens. I had a script to give to Frank, plus I was working on a script after working 12 hours a day. There was stuff outside of my control, but I was also busting my ass to take advantage of that luck.

Sometimes it seems pointless, but if you have a pile of scripts to hand to someone, as long as you’re working you’re ready to pounce when luck turns that way. I always found pitching to be really difficult, it was hard to go out there and sell myself and I had to force myself to go and drive to meetings. Every nerve in my body wanted to turn around and go back. But eventually I can do it and be good at pitching. I had to learn though countless pitches and it seemed pointless but it was actually not.

 

Moviehole: Any upcoming projects?

DLJM: Next year I’ll be working on “The Conjuring 3,” the script is written so we will hopefully shoot it next year.

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Interviews

Interview: Judy Craymer, conceiver of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” now available on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray

Mandy Griffiths

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When you hear the word “ABBA” you may not think automatically of Judy Craymer, and yet, she has almost single-handedly been the driver behind ABBA’s prominance in popular culture in the last decade. Craymer is an English creator and producer of musical theatre, bringing the musical “Mamma Mia!” to life, first on the stage, seen by more than 60 million people worldwide, and then in film.

As the conceiver of the sequel, we also have Craymer to thank for “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”. Now available on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray, we sat down with her to get some behind the scenes insight.

Did anything go wrong behind the scenes – any injuries, funny moments?

Everyone got the giggles when Julie Waters did anything. they always had a surprise from her.

Did Cher make any changes to the script or was there anything she suggested that made its way into the movie?

Cher had input on the script. They always wanted her and the role was written with her in mind. When she confirmed she had her own suggestions, Cher had an ear for her dialogue. She knew who the mother was and she had a lovely time. Loved it. She had an input in what she was wearing and suggestions from the team about her hair.

Did the actors playing the younger versions of Pierce, Stellan and Colin spend time getting to know/bonding with those stars before filming took place?

We had a dinner at an outdoor restaurant and it was like being out with the parents. Younger cast, older cast, with the younger cast belting out songs at the table.

What was the most difficult scene to film and why?

Dancing Queen was a challenge. Men with megaphones, music, ques and dancers, and marine safety with wind and rain. Quite complex timings and logistics wise. It was very bumpy on the water and people’s feet were worn from the 1970s sneakers.

The Super Trouper scene – they didn’t know what they were doing until halfway through it. They had to shoot in London and just didn’t know what it was going to be but knew they wanted costumes with sparkles to make it ahead of time. Choreography took about a day for that scene alone.

Which star got the giggles the most on set during filming?

So many! It was all great. Meeting and working with Cher and bringing everyone together. Every song was a highlight. On Judy’s birthday they all sung happy birthday to her including Cher, Meryl.  On the music side of things – being in the studio and hearing the music with a six piece orchestra is mind blowing.

How did the concept arise?

In mymind there was always going to be another film. I went to Richard Curtis and spoke to Catherine Johnson who wrote the original and asked how we could revisit it. Richard Curtis said she could go back and forth in time and then the light bulb idea came.

“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” is now available on Digital, DVD and Blu-ray. 

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A Mandy Moment

Interview: Pippa Anderson, film editor for SOLO: A Star Wars Story

The Vice President of Post Production for all Star Wars films

Mandy Griffiths

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When you think of the person cutting together roaring Wookies, blaster battles and high speed space chases, you don’t necessarily think of a female, ex journalist from Brisbane Australia, and yet, it is in fact Pippa Anderson who is the Vice President of Post Production for all Star Wars films. 

One female of many on the Lucasfilm executive team, as well as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Anderson oversees the entire post process for the Lucasfilm slateincluding live-action, direct-to-consumer, and animation. Since 2013, with production schedules often overlapping, she has led the post production process for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” as well as the “Star Wars Rebels” animated series. She will continue to oversee post for the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX.

Ahead of  the digital, DVD and Blu-ray release of “SOLO: A Star Wars Story”, we sat down with Pippa to talk life in the male-dominated film industry, how Peter Jackson started her on her journey to Hollywood, and her advice for keeping sane with so many (high-stakes) projects on the go.

When you first started your career, it was actually in journalism, and now you’re the VP of post-production over at Lucas film. Were you surprised about where your career has taken you?

Pippa: Oh yes, I would say surprised and so amazed, and you know really pleased the opportunity came up and that I was in a position where I could grasp it with both hands. That involved obviously changing jobs, but also changing life, moving to Sydney, to New Zealand and then setting up life here in California. So yep all of that was fantastic. You know when I came into Lucasfilm at the time I did in 2013, Kathy [Kathleen Kennedy] and I, we’ve talked about it recently, taking over from George and you know we were in development on “The Force Awakens”, which was the first film with Disney, and then followed up with “Rogue One”, and then we also have Rebels really going strong. And then there was “Last Jedi” and then “SOLO”. “Force Awakens” was the highest number one movie of 2015, “Rogue One” 2016 and “The Last Jedi” 2017. Not only are they amazing movies, but grossing crazy amounts of money. Wow, how could I not be amazed, surprised and delighted to be right in the middle of that?

And I hear you still have your Australian accent?

Pippa: Yes, I was born in Brisbane in Queensland. I spent a good deal of my adult life before heading off to New Zealand to work with Peter Jackson, in Sydney; in Putney area in Sydney, for those that really want to get specific because my great passion, one of my many great passions is boats in the water.

So we lived on an island there at the time, you know; as in you could only get there by boat. So it was a pretty and amazingly fun early life and I was a freelance editor and a post-editor supervisor then and then I moved over to join Peter Jackson to be his head of post in New Zealand. But then from there of course, you know I moved to California and I spend some time in London. So I think my accent is pretty modernized these days. You know, it’s got a lot of all of those flavours in it, so. Funny it only takes an hour or so to– when I’m back in the room with all these Aussies, for it all to come back.

It seems that almost every aspect of film, from screenwriters to directors to editors to critics, is male-dominated. Lucasfilm has an executive team that is more than 50 per cent female which is incredible to see. Was that part of the attraction for taking this position?

Pippa: You know I can’t say enough how what an honour it is to be part of the executive team under Kathy and also under Lynwen Brennan who’s the General Manager of Lucasfilm and also the Executive Vice President. I mean, both incredibly strong, smart, sharp savvy women and so they’ve surrounded themselves, and I’m delighted to be part of it. There are strong, smart, savvy women who are at the heads of very diverse roles such as Legal Finance, Human Resources, Post-Production, Publicity, Marketing, Story Development; what else? X-lab you know, ministry of entertainment, visual effects, animation, et cetera.

I mean it’s phenomenal that it’s across the board with a range of skills and talents – no wonder it’s a great team, but you know we have at our helm if you will, we have Kathy who’s such an inspiration, such a role model and an inspiration.

Working on so many films across the board, such as “SOLO”, and I’m sure you guys have a really busy slate, how do you manage to stay (a) Sane, and (b) Have that work-life balance?

Pippa: Yes, okay, I think that might be a different interview [Laughing].

How do we do it all? I certainly don’t wear the Gal Gadot Wonder Woman suit. Because the secret really is just amazingly dedicated teams. Really talented people, you know I’m talking in post now.

In terms of Skywalker Sound, in terms of the editors and the editorial team. I mean everybody loves Star Wars and so it isn’t usually very difficult to find A-listers, people who are excellent, who are really keen to work on a production, to come on-board. I for one definitely try to provide an environment where everyone can be individuals, and collaborative, work together, still be at their best and be at their best at all times within their own areas of the post-production process.

And they are the ones that enable me to kind of stay on top; not sure about the sanity bits, and definitely another conversation but stay on top of all of the curveballs, the changes, the very fact that that for me in my role, where I have very often got different complex productions you know; we’ve got one production that might be going on with all of the challenges that entails, but then we all have a number of different productions, all the way from starting to talk about something in the future in the very early sort of nascent stages, all the way through to whether you’re in that full-on crazy delivery time with mastering delivery and try to manage the system. All of that at any one day of any one week can theoretically all be happening at the same time. So you know I rely incredibly heavily on all of the teams both in London where we typically shoot, and in the teams in post land which is usually for us in Los Angeles, and of course my core, my incredibly, oh such strong, small core team here in San Francisco.

And did you grow up watching Star Wars, were you a big fan? And if so, what is one of your favourite Star Wars movies from that era, just for the fans out there?

Pippa: First of all I should say I grew up loving movies. I love that version of storytelling. I mean using all the different aspects like location and music and picture obviously and all that stuff. I just loved that storytelling and thought it was such a good expression of whatever was going on in society or in the world at that time. I wasn’t per say a Star Wars fan, but I very quickly became one. I’m old enough to have been there when the original came out. And I just was so smitten with this movie, and it was different, there was nothing else like that around at the time and I just loved the way that the story was excitingly told.

For the time, it was sophisticated. So as a movie experience, it was amazing. Now I’m talking about “A New Hope” now. And what it did do ,and then this was George’s brilliance, was just those fundamental things and issues like good and evil, and anger and betrayal and sacrifice and such different level; all those things that make human beings tick, and enable human beings to either effectively or not, interact with each other. It was just so well done that I was smitten, you see, and I saw the movie many times.

Then of course I loved “Empire” and “The Return of the Jedi”, but I have a special soft spot for “A New Hope”, just because I think it was that the first time I really received a movie like that into my heart.

What excites you about working on the Star Wars franchise in terms of the direction it’s going ?

Pippa: What I love is the fact that now with the new Star Wars films, I really loved the fact that it is so generational, speaks to all generations, and really able to go in that direction of diversity. I mean obviously as a woman we have this amazing executives with so many women but just also there’s such strong women being a role model. And then we’ve got women, people of colour, people of different backgrounds. We’ve got– yes, our minutes you know I could wax on forever but I love the fact that the standalones allow us to go inside the Star Wars universe and express new things. We can deal with stories, we can answer questions like Solo came about; how did he and Chewie meet, how did they find the Millennium Falcon, how did they get it off land, metal etc.

All of those things which is in sort of a Canon if you will, but it’s just very exciting to be able to explore the Star Wars universe now and do that in a way that is really satisfying from a personal and a sort of a societal and social point of view.

What kind of advice can you give, kind of aspiring filmmakers?

Pippa: Honestly, I think I’ve got to say this. I think you know I don’t want this to sound glib or anything but I think you know the best thing you can do is to be a bit of student of life.

Really, you know be observant, watch lots of movies, be open in your thinking, respond to people around you and everything because all of those things are a part of I think what makes you a good filmmaker or a good person in post-production – in fact a good human being really in all those ways. I mean you can choose to go to some film school or you can choose to go out like I did – and back then, by the way there weren’t so many film schools or possibilities to do it that way, you effectively came up through the ranks in a way; and they both have pluses and minuses, but they both get you to the same goal if you could be determined. And I think that’s one thing that is to be is, just don’t give up.

And be serious, keep your eyes open and don’t give up, and then as the opportunities reveal themselves, take them.

“SOLO: A Star Wars Story” is now available on digital, DVD and Blu-ray.

Extensive extras invite fans aboard the Millennium Falcon with Han, Chewie and Lando, and behind the scenes with the stellar cast and crew

Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” directed by Academy Award®–winning filmmaker Ron Howard—the creator of unforgettable films, such as “A Beautiful Mind,” “Apollo 13,” “Parenthood” and “Splash”—took moviegoers on this summer’s wildest ride with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). The action-packed journey explores Han’s first encounters with future friend and copilot Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and notorious gambler LandoCalrissian (Donald Glover), as well as his adventure-filledpast alongside fellow street thief Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke)and career criminal Beckett (Woody Harrelson)

 

 

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