Waiting for End of Watch and Source Code still being discussed.
The release date of End of Watch has been recently revealed (Sep 28, 2012 in the US) and this is good news of course. If knowing that we have to wait six solid months to see Jake on the big screen again can be called good news, that is. Just kidding.
So while we try to be patient and wait for the day when we can all grab that ticket, elbow our way to the best seat in the middle of the theater and finally experience that thrill again, when the lights go down and the opening credits roll on the screen (nothing beats reading Jake Gyllenhaal’s name on the big screen), I thought a few excerpts from articles found on the Internet might help us forgetting how long we have to wait. Or maybe not.
This was published in September 2011. The 20 Things to Know About END OF WATCH stem from an on-set visit of a Collider journalist. This is when I got seriously hooked and I started counting the days, just that I didn’t know how many they were, then:
- End of Watch is a true indie. While you might think actors like Gyllenhaal and Pena playing the leads means the movie is being produced by a major studio, but that’s not the case Instead, former Paramount head John Lesher (who produced films such as No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and Babel) has started his own label and this is the first film under its umbrella. End of Watch was financed by Exclusive Media Group, the same folks who produced George Clooney’s The Ides of March.
- The shoot is scheduled for 22 days. I was on set for day 19. Keep in mind, a “studio” movie can run 40 to 90 days.
- Gyllenhaal read the whole script in an hour and immediately called up writer/director David Ayer.
- Gyllenhaal and Peña went through five months of training in order to prepare for their roles as cops. The training involved shooting, tactical training, fight training, drivers training and visits to the academy.
- Ayer wrote the script in six days.
- The film was shot with unconventional camera coverage. In addition to the normal camera set up, Gyllenhaal and Peña also have cameras strapped to their chest in order to get a POV shot. The actors operate the cameras themselves and have to think about the camera in terms of a character.
- The cameras are referred to in the actual film, as Gyllenhaal’s character straps a small webcam-like camera onto his chest. The way they’ll get away with this is Gyllenhaal plays a cop going to night school and he’s taking a filmmaking class. So he gets Pena’s character to also wear a camera as he’s planning on making a short film (or something like that).
- Writer-director David Ayer is going for an “in your face” POV style. At times it will feel like a first person shooter video game. In addition, the movie will use camera footage from unorthodox sources like gang members’ cellphone cameras, dashcams from inside cop cars, TV news footage, citizens’ cameras, and surveillance cameras. However, at some points, the movie will look like your typical film with Ayer shooting select scenes with normal coverage. He’s going to mix it up. The thing to know is that it’s not all found footage.
- They approached the material like a play, and Gyllenhaal likened the script to a David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.
- Gyllenhaal, who also notably shaved his head for the film, got so immersed into the character and preparation that he no longer uses his right hand when he’s out because he’s been taught that his right hand always needs to be free to reach for his gun.
- Because Gyllenhaal and Peña had prepared so much and for so long, Ayer would write pages on the spot and the two would be able to nail scenes on the fly.
- The film was shot entirely on location in South Central Los Angeles.
- Director David Ayer brought his friend Jamie Fitzsimons on as technical advisor. Fitzsimons worked for 15 years as a police officer and captain in South Central. He was also a consultant on Ayer’s Street Kings.
- Unlike the corruption depicted in Ayer’s Training Day, Gyllenhaal and Pena play honest cops and best friends. Gyllenhaal is dating Anna Kendrick’s character and Pena is married. The goal is to shoot a real portrait of police officers in South Central Los Angeles.
- The film takes place over 8 months.
- End of Watch means end of your day/end of shift.
- Pena has two very close quarter fights in the film.
- The film will always follow the point of view of Gyllenhaal and Pena’s characters. We’ll never leave one of them during the movie.
- End of Watch will have plenty of levity mixed with the drama.
- End of Watch is being edited by Dody Dorn, who earned an Oscar nomination in 2002 for Best Film Editing for her work on Christopher Nolan’s Memento.
I’ll add my 21st thing to know: Jake is also one of the producers of the film.
Something more about the plot from Scriptbreaker:
The plot involves two cops and partners, Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, both in their early 20s (but played older by Jake Gylllenhaal and Michael Pena, respectively, whom have been cast), as they drive around in their squad car and battle the tough crime of Los Angeles. They bust an illegal immigrant smuggling ring. They save some kids from a burning house. Then do a safety check on a woman at her home. The script feels very episodic in this way, and thus very true-to-life. But it is also very intriguing, and we soon find ourselves caring about these two friends, one white, one Hispanic, from two very different backgrounds who are truly good men who want to do right. The main plotline involves two warring drug gangs, one black and one Hispanic, and how our two protagonists get caught up in the middle.
The story also focuses on their personal lives. Zavala is married to a strong woman who just gave birth to their first child. Taylor falls in love and gets married. Ayer also demonstrates the comradery that officers have for each other, both on and off the clock.
There’s an official website, only a work in progress though, that I hope will be updated soon.
ROLL ON SEP 28, 2012!!
On another note, why SOURCE CODE in the title of this post? Nothing new really, just that I was so glad to read at the end of this amazing post (massive spoiler territory) on possible interpretations of the end of the film – my head is still spinning – that people are still posting like crazy their thoughts about the film. It’s a good feeling. Source Code, to a sci-fi aficionado like this one writing these silly things, is a gem.