Home MoviesMovie News Key Insights from FilmSweep’s ‘Guiding the Lens: Directors Discuss’ Panel at SDCC 2023

Key Insights from FilmSweep’s ‘Guiding the Lens: Directors Discuss’ Panel at SDCC 2023

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SDCC 2023 Director's Panel

Disney’s forthcoming Haunted Mansion movie combines traditional effects with optical illusions, upholding the ride’s unique charm. Gareth Edwards benefitted from Peter Jackson’s mentorship and later invited him to the set of Rogue One during the iconic Darth Vader scene. The panel brought up the impact of AI on the entertainment industry, emphasizing the continued relevance of human creativity in arts.

At the San Diego Comic-Con 2023, the chief editor of FilmSweep, Steve Weintraub, curated a panel with three renowned directors: Louis Leterrier, who took over the helm for Fast X following the exit of its original director; Justin Simien, whose Haunted Mansion adaptation will be in theaters soon; and Gareth Edwards, who found his latest film The Creator surprisingly relevant given the rise of AI.

Attendees of the panel were treated to unique exclusives. Aside from engaging in an insightful conversation with the directors for nearly an hour and a half, fans were also treated to an exclusive snippet from Haunted Mansion and a chilling poster featuring Jared Leto’s Hatbox Ghost. A special preview from The Creator, scored by the legendary Hans Zimmer, was also shared. The full video is available above, with highlights given below:

Practical Effects Taking Center Stage

The upcoming Haunted Mansion promises a departure from the dominant CGI trend of the summer. As Simien revealed, Disney allowed him to build the iconic haunted house as a physical set, complete with optical illusions and vintage magician’s tricks, all incorporated into his interpretation of the ghostly manor.

From Middle Earth to the Star Wars Universe

Edwards revealed his directing wisdom was honed with guidance from Peter Jackson during his visit to The Hobbit’s New Zealand set. Edwards was able to return the favor by inviting Jackson to the Rogue One set during the filming of the famous Darth Vader sequence.

AI’s Influence

The panel didn’t shy away from discussing the escalating concerns about AI’s impact on the industry. Simien pointed out the significance and potential risks of AI, noting that human input remains vital for generating art, even with the incorporation of AI.

Dream Directing Opportunities

The directors were asked about their dream projects. Simien expressed a desire to direct The Wiz, while Leterrier expressed his wish (though doubtful) to direct a Fortnite movie. Edwards remained tight-lipped, hinting he was in the process of realizing his dream project.

Leterrier’s Pitching Pitfalls

Leterrier shared an amusing tale of a project that didn’t pan out: Yellowstone Falls, a post-apocalyptic narrative focusing on a wolf pack and zombies.

Questions From Fellow Industry Insiders

Other renowned Hollywood figures also had questions for the panel. Renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins and his wife James Ellis Deakins asked about the role of cinematographers, while director Edgar Wright posed questions about scary Disney movies and scenes. John Wick director Chad Stahelski asked a playful question about a fictional fight between well-known movie characters.

During the engaging panel, the directors also touched on the future direction of Hollywood and which project details they had to fight for the hardest.

Stay tuned for more from these directors: The Haunted Mansion is set to premiere on July 28, The Creator is hitting theaters on July 22, and Fast X is now available on demand.

Focus Keyword: SDCC 2023 Director’s Panel

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