Words: Saam Das
As much a reference to one of his best loved films as it is an appropriate descriptor, British director/producer Tony Scott was something of a maverick. This cigar smoking, fast car loving personality brought a vivid, energetic style of filmmaking to the big screen. The news of his suicide, leaping off a Los Angeles bridge to his death, was shocking. It's still not clear what drove him to such a decision but here, we'll celebrate his work.
Tony grew up in North East England and trained in the fine arts, with the intention of becoming a painter. His older brother, Ridley Scott, convinced him that the world of film was a more suitable venture - a decision that would prove dividends. While Ridley's films may have proved more popular, especially with critics, Tony's films have regularly resonated with audiences worldwide.
Tony's 1983 debut feature 'The Hunger' was not well received but his catalogue of work since then has included the likes of 'Top Gun', 'Beverly Hills Cop II', 'Days Of Thunder' 'True Romance', and 'Enemy Of The State'. Scott became a go-to man for pulsating action and high drama - 2010's 'Unstoppable' a suitably frenetic finale.
My personal favourite film of his canon is arguably not one of the big hitters but instead his 1995 nuclear submarine offering, 'Crimson Tide'. Pitting regular Scott collaborators Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington against one another, the film's drama developed in its tension and suspense, and unlike many of today's blockbusters - not in its special effects.
Tony also worked with his brother on Scott Free Productions, producing US TV series such as 'Numb3rs' and 'The Good Wife' but it is films that will have resonated most with the public, as well his filmmaking community. Robert Rodriguez thanked him on Twitter for his "inspiration, advice, encouragement, and the decades of great entertainment", along with many others including Val Kilmer, Christian Slater, Ron Howard and Edgar Wright.
Our condolences go to Tony's family and friends, who we hope are finding some comfort in the outpouring of appreciation of his work and character. Goodbye Tony, you will be missed.
Tony Scott (21 June 1944 – 19 August 2012).