Last night I attended the All Night Tribute to Edgar Wright put on by Midnites for Maniacs at the legendary Castro Theatre! It was a triple feature with all three of Edgar Wright’s films – Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead.
I am a massive fan of Edgar Wright and was so excited when I found out it was confirmed that he would be appearing and doing a Q&A! I’ve seen him twice before at Comic-Con when he was there in 2008 to promote the American release of Spaced and in 2011 to promote Scott Pilgrim. Not only is he incredibly talented, but he’s also very charming and kind to his fans. I throw out this story whenever people ask for nice celebrity encounter stories, but back in 2008 I was lucky enough to win a ticket to the Spaced signing and had to chance to briefly meet Edgar, Simon Pegg, and Jessica Hynes. I remember wanting to throw up the entire time because I was so nervous whilst waiting in line and when I finally got to the table, I told Edgar that I was really, really nervous. He grabbed my hands and said there was no need to be nervous and that to calm down, we would count to 10. I know this sounds straight out of some weird fanfiction but it’s totally true! I remember how surreal it all felt to have someone whose work you admire, to hold your hands…and slowly count to 10, while your favorite actor is less than a foot away and watching you both.
Skip to 2:13. I am so thankful my face is offscreen. Although that moment remains one of the best moments of my life, the internet so does not need to see me spazzing out like a complete dork. So in short, Edgar Wright = one of the nicest celebrities/famous people EVER.
And back to last night! I got there a little before 6pm and the line was already wrapping around two corners! It was insane…even though I knew this would be a passionate and dedicated crowd, I had no idea just how passionate. It was like a little bit of Comic-Con in the heart of the Castro!
Once inside, my friends and I discussed possibly napping during some of the movies. They’re three of my favorite films, but sometimes I can barely handle watching two movies back to back (this is why I’m not a very good movie hopper). Sure enough, I napped for about 20 minutes during Hot Fuzz and another 30 minutes during Shaun of the Dead, but managed to wake up in time for my favorite parts.
The Q&As were a lot of fun and Comic-Con style with the audience asking the majority of the questions. What I love about audience questions is that they’re usually really thoughtful and interesting, as opposed to the typical press questions like “What was it like working with blah blah?” or “Tell us about this movie…” Fans are the ones who’ve already seen the films and have analyzed every single bit of the them; their questions are about the details most people gloss over or the filmmakers’ obscure back catalogue and so on. Some of my favorite questions last night where those ones from film geeks who asked about Edgar’s use of long tracking shots or sound. It’s pretty interesting to hear why they chose to film some scenes in a certain way or behind the scenes stories. Here’s one – did you know their director of photography on Shaun of the Dead also worked on Goodfellas? Surprise! He didn’t work on that famous kitchen scene though…surprise again! He didn’t work on that famous Shaun walking to the shop scene either. There was also that awkward moment when a fan prefaced his question with the confession that he’s never read the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, and then decided to ask why the Matthew Patel musical was in the film (silence….someone in the crowd: “it’s in the book!”). Still, Edgar answered the questions quite throughly so the movies were a bit behind schedule, hence, why I had to nap!
All in all, it was a great night for Edgar Wright fans! It’s always fun to see movies with dedicated and passionate fans and I love that the scenes that got big reactions in the theater years ago, still get them today. Edgar chose an IMDB keyword for each film that everyone would cheer for so during Scott Pilgrim we all cheered whenever coins appeared, for Hot Fuzz when a “chin stabbing” occurs, and for Shaun of the Dead when disembowelment happens. I saw the last two films in theaters and it was great to see them on the big screen again and, as the Castro prides itself, in 35mm. I never watched Shaun of the Dead in theaters (I was an uncultured 14 year old when it came out) despite it being my favorite film of all time, so I’m glad I can now say I’ve seen that on the big screen as well. I’m really happy that the Castro Theater/Midnite for Maniacs put on this triple feature! Like I mentioned, I normally have trouble sitting through two movies back to back, so there’s not many triple features I’d be willing to pay for and attend. This, of course, was an exception and I’m glad I attended – definitely a highlight of my summer, if not my year!
For nicer photos of the marquee and his own remarks on the event, check out Edgar Wright’s own blog here.