Images from David Ayers ‘End of Watch’ (2012)
If you haven’t yet seen this feature, I urge you to. I truly believe that David Ayer should be up for best Director at this years Oscars. Daivd also wrote the script for End of Watch and it’s a story that grows with every watcher, it’s about a universal theme of friendship and brotherhood, an acceptance that each of the two officers hold each other lives in their hands, but more importantly, a message on the devastation and tragedy that has befallen lower L.A.
“I was literally losing five pounds per week on the set of Donnie Darko (2001). I was turning into this walking skeleton. I was sort of becoming “Donnie Darko”! I started channeling Donnie and Jake [Gyllenhaal], playing Donnie, started channeling me. So it was sort of a subconscious thing going on between director and actor that I can’t even explain”.
Richard Kelly-Director of Donnie Darko
I did a grad film but that ended up hurting me more than it helped. My grad film was this over the top, gonzo, completely absurd sci-fi thing with non- professional actors. When you have actors in their fifties who are still doing student films, you’re not going to get top-of-the-line. It was a thing with a teleportation chamber, with a mad scientist and it was completely absurd. It cost $60,000, but it was completely campy, “Mystery Science Theatre 3000” (1988) kinda stuff, so when people looked at the short, they went, ‘Well, is this how the acting is going to be in Donnie Darko (2001)? We don’t think you can direct actors if that’s anything to go by.’ I was like, ‘Give me a good actor, and I can direct.’ It became really frustrating when the short came up and it gave people a reason to pass. I would recommend that if you want to do a short, then do a short that’s one or two scenes from the feature you want to direct, so they can see it. They really can’t think outside the box. If you want to get a feature made, I would go and scrape together whatever money you can get, find an actor who can really pull off one of the parts and shoot a few scenes from your feature screenplay that can serve as a short. That’s the best evidence that you can give them. That’s what Wes Anderson did with Bottle Rocket, it was originally a short film. And it worked.
Richard Kelly - Director of Donnie Darko
For those of you in the states or Canada, many of you have already seen ‘End of Watch’, However End of Watch was released into theatres through the London Film Festival this past Thursday and I was lucky enough to get tickets for the festival today. End of Watch is a mind-blowing film, it’s a statement on the crisis of South Central L.A and the chaos that is caused through gang crime.
First of all I want to mention how good the acting was from both Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena (Crash, Shooter). At times they had the audience in tears of laughter and tears of sadness, they really gave the story it’s deserved protagonists.
One of the first things you’ll notice from the outset is the shooting style that David Ayer has used, a some what handheld documentary style. Brian Taylor (Gyllenhaal) is a cop who is also in a part-time filmmaking class and is documenting his job and the events that makes his day. He sets up cameras on both himself and Mike (Pena) as well as a DV camera which he wields at times and the police cameras that are installed. This shooting style is one of the best aesthetic choices for it’s narrative I’ve ever seen, it gives the film it’s gritty feel and creates realism which drives the intensity and shock of the film to a point where the palms of my hands grew with sweat.
During the first act of the film the two cops are filmed doing their average day’s work after they killed two getaway’s the month previous. However when they seize money and drugs from a notorious cartel, they soon realise that there are higher powers documenting the gangs movement, and soon, the two cops are the ones that get hunted.
End of Watch is up for the Official Best Film Award at the 56th London Film Festival which recognises inventive and distinctive filmmaking. What did you guys think of ‘End of Watch’?
I was lucky enough to get London Film Festival tickets for today’s showing of ‘End of Watch’, can’t wait!
The British Film Institute has a reputation for being one of the most revolutionary and historical Institutes dedicated to the craft of film and has given chances to many highly acclaimed filmmakers.
A running tradition is the London Film Festival which is runnings this year from October 10th-21st. Possibly the biggest film which has been entered into the feature film category is ‘End of Watch’ starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. I have been lucky enough to buy tickets for End of Watch as well as ‘A Hijacking’ and ‘Lore’.
This happens to be my first Film festival and no doubt will not be my last. The images have been linked to the BFI website if any of you film fans want to check it out.
Donnie: Why do you wear that stupid bunny suit?
Frank: Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
Donnie Darko (2001) made on only $4.5 million dollars grossed $728 million in 2004, Math doesn’t lie; a masterpiece to be admired.
October Sky (1999) is a an inspirational drama set in the era of the cold war where Homer Hickham (Gyllenhaal) is a young man who gained inspiration from the Sputnik launch. What makes this a great film is also the fact that this is based on a true story, a story about a young man who had a dream, and fought for it, however much is father is against it, (childish he says).
This is also one of my favourite performances by Jake Gyllenhaal, and was a mark for a young talent emerging into Hollywood, and is now renowned as one of the worlds best. An inspirational film that will no doubt fascinate you into the complex world of space exploration and physics.