On October 31st I had the opportunity to see the directors cut version of Creed II at a special screening. The following day, director Steven Caple Jr. came to Howard to share his story and to answer student questions. Because his answers were elaborate and thought provoking for a beginner in the daunting industry of film, I thought I would share some of his words.
From the beginning he shared that starting on a smaller scale is okay. He began his journey in the film industry making short films and took opportunities as they presented themselves. He met Ryan Coogler at USC Film school and looked up to him as a mentor of sorts. Their relationship is what led to Steven Caple Jr. to be considered as a director for the sequel to Ryan Coogler’s Creed.
Through the process of this film, Caple learned the importance of trusting his instincts. He stated that failure is definitely possible, but it’s better than failing with an idea or vision that was different from the initial. When tackling this film, he knew that he wanted to develop the women’s stories more. I won’t expose the movie in case you haven’t seen it, but he does a great job on expanding past the men’s stories in the movie and makes an effort to remove the women from the typical role of sidekicks in film. The precedent Ryan Coogler set intimidated him but he was eager to add his own personal flavor to the film noting that he “visually wanted to stand out but keep the tone the same.” There is a noticeable difference in creative direction from the first movie but was incredible nonetheless. The emphasis placed on not only the intense actions scenes but the more intimate family scenes was notable and made the movie more cohesive and well-rounded.
Overall, Steven Caple Jr. sought to emphasize that starting small is normal. Therefore, learning how to take control of each opportunity presented is important for one’s success. From there, making connections with others in the industry and learning how to translate a vision onto paper is important for any director. The possibilities are endless, the journey won’t be done alone, and failure only leaves room for bigger and better.