Monday, 20 August 2012

Cinema Loses One Of Its Greats - Tony Scott Dies Aged 68

Some truly shitty news comes out of California this morning.

Director Tony Scott has died by apparent suicide at the age of 68. According to sources, Scott left a suicide note in his car before jumping from the Vincent Thomas Bridge near Long Beach (apparently without hesitation) at around lunchtime on Sunday.

Tony Scott (left) And The Vincent Thomas Bridge (Right)

Born in Newcastle in 1944, the younger brother of director (and some time business partner) Ridley Scott, he graduated from the Royal College Of Art with dreams of being a painter, but was tempted into film and TV by his brother.

After spending the early part of his career making adverts, his first full feature came in 1982 with The Hunger. The movie flopped and Scott returned to making adverts for a few more years until he caught the attention of producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer who approached him to make Top Gun after being impressed with an advert he had recently made for Saab showing one of their cars racing a fighter jet. The movie landed in cinemas in 1986, making a star of Tom Cruise and a household name out of Scott.

Scott directs a young Tom Cruise on the set of Top Gun

Scott would go on to direct the likes of True Romance, The Last Boy Scout, Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State, The Taking Of Pelham 123 and, most recently, runaway train drama Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington.

As well as directing, the Brothers Scott also tried their hands as producers, helping young filmmakers get their own projects off the ground.

Talking to Empire magazine in 2005 Scott said, “I’m getting younger as I get older. It's also a fear of losing the touch, which is why I keep fucking going. Whether you like the movie or don't like it, as long as people continue to pay me to continue to experiment, I'll keep doing that. I do a lot of research and I get paid to touch these other worlds and I want to keep trying to touch these new worlds and bring them to the screen, whether it's the 18th Street Gang or the Vietnamese Gang, or bounty hunting or whatever it is. I love what I do.”

At the time of his death, he had several projects in varying stages of production including a planned Top Gun sequel and a movie version of the comic book "Nemesis".

Scott is survived by his wife, Donna, and two children.

Thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.

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