Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tony Scott - Acclaimed British Filmmaker

It is a tragedy that Tony Scott, the younger brother of another acclaimed British filmmaker Ridley Scott has passed on.

Read all about Tony Scott from Wikipedia.

Anthony Scott (June 21, 1944 - August 19, 2012) was a British film director best known for the films Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Crimson Tide, Enemy Of The State, Spy Game, Man On Fire, The Taking Of Pelham 123 and Unstoppable.

He was the younger brother of fellow film director Ridley Scott.

Scott was born in North Shields, the son of Colonel Francis Scott.

His first foray into filmmaking was not from behind the camera, but in front of it.

At 16, Tony appeared in Boy And Bicycle, a short film marking the directorial debut of his then 23-year-old brother Ridley.

He followed in his brother's footsteps, studying at Grangefield School, West Hartlepool College Of Art and Sunderland Art School, the last for a fine arts degree.

He subsequently graduated from the Royal College Of Art.

It was only the success of his elder brother's fledging television commercial production outfit, Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), that turned his attentions towards film.

In the course of the next two decades, Scott directed thousands of television commercials for RSA, while also overseeing the company's operation during periods in which his brother was developing his feature film career.

Tony also took time out in 1975 to direct an adaptation of the Henry James story The Author Of Beltraffio for French television, a project he landed by virtue of winning a coin-flip against his brother.

After the considerable feature film successes of fellow British commercial directors Hugh Hudson, Alan Parker, Adrian Lyne and his elder brother in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Scott began to receive overtures from Hollywood himself in 1980.

Among the projects interesting him was an adaptation of the Anne Rice novel Interview With The Vampire then in development.

In 1982, Scott began production on The Hunger.

The Hunger starred David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as chic Manhattan socialite vampires, desperately searching for a medical cure to arrest Bowie's rapid aging.

Willem Dafoe was introduced on film via a small, walk-on part in the film.

The Hunger had elaborate photography and sumptuous production design, unlike many pictures at the time of its release in 1983.

The picture failed to find an audience, received harsh reviews by critics and was ignored at the box office (though it later became a cult favourite).

Finding himself largely unemployable in Hollywood for the next two and a half years, Scott returned to commercials and music videos.

In 1985, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer signed Scott to direct Top Gun.

Both of them were among the few admirers of The Hunger during its initial release.

Simpson and Bruckheimer had settled upon choosing Scott largely on the basis of a commercial he had done for Swedish automaker Saab in the early 1980s - in the spot, a Saab 900 turbo is shown racing a Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet.

Scott, though reluctant at first, agreed on directing Top Gun, one of the highest-grossing films of 1986, taking in more than US$176 million, and making a star of its young lead, Tom Cruise.

Following Top Gun's success, Scott found himself on Hollywood's A list of action directors.

He reteamed with Simpson and Bruckheimer in 1987 to direct Eddie Murphy and Brigitte Nielsen in the highly anticipated sequel Beverly Hills Cop 2.

Once again directing Tom Cruise, Scott returned to the Simpson-Bruckheimer fold to helm the big-budget film Days of Thunder in 1990.

Scott teamed up with Denzel Washington on The Taking Of Pelham 123, which also starred John Travolta in 2009.

The film was a remake of the 1974 film of the same title starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw.

In 2010, the Scott brothers produced the feature film adaptation of the television series The A-Team.

He also directed Unstoppable with Washington and Chris Pine.