As a veteran of the entertainment industry, people used to ask me who I liked to work with the most when it came to the movie crowd. I would get the question, “Who are your favorite actors and directors.” When it would come to the favorite director list, the one person that would first come to mind was Tony Scott. When I was browsing the internet this week while talking on the phone, I was in shock to find the article that the famous director had according to reports “jumped off of a bridge” and “committed suicide.” I was in complete shock. My first thought was “What on earth happened?” and the second thought was that this cannot be right-please do not tell me this really true” I was heartbroken and confused. The shock is still wearing off. Why would a man who has had everything going for him take his own life? Tony Scott was one of the top Hollywood directors and had a wife and adorable twin sons. Mr. Scott directed some major films and produced television shows including The Good Wife and Numbers.
I had the honor of working with Mr. Scott on the movie titled “Domino.” The movie was about the former model Domino Harvey. I have worked on over 250 sets over the years and in all honesty, of all of the shoots I had ever been on, Domino was one of the most action-packed set and one of the most exciting sets. Tony Scott was an amazing director whom was full of energy. My memories of the director are of him flying around in helicopters and talking out of the megaphone and constant action all around him. I remember people on the set saying, “He is so full of energy.” Mr. Scott was full of life and excitement.
I have memories of filming by Hoover Dam and going over to the Arizona side for the shoot. On another day of filming, we were at Bonnie Springs in an old western town. The locations were always changing and the filming would be at a rapid pace. I will never forget the day we shot at the Stratosphere casino and dusk was starting to set in. There was a magical moment in filmmaking where Mr. Scott took an amazing shot in a helicopter/FBI scene. When the lighting changes, actors will often hear the directors and photographers getting nervous saying, “Hurry up, we are losing light.” I was one of the actors playing an FBI agent on the rooftop as the helicopter was landing and taking off. The sun was setting in the background and the shot was amazing as he was able to get the helicopter taking off and landing with the red sun in the background. I remember the other actors glowing in amazement as they stood in awe and high fiving each other saying, “He nailed it.” The shot was going to be amazing and to this day, the movie scene is one that will be notorious.
I remember being in awe of the Tony Scott wondering how he had so much energy. He would zip around in the helicopters, talk on satellite phones, and be filming multiple actions scenes in one day. I will never forget the rush of adrenaline I had as they filmed me winding in and out of the canyons from Red Rock canyon back towards Las Vegas. The adrenaline was rushing as I had the helicopter overhead and the film was rolling. I have always been in awe of the film and television industry people whom seem to have such amazing energy and dedication to their work. Many times people think that actors are just in the business for the money, however, I am with the belief that most people in the industry are in the business to entertain and because they have a love of the craft. Sometimes the projects may even become obsessions where directors and producers put a great deal of pressure on themselves.
Many people in the entertainment industry will often work themselves into the ground. A twelve hour day is actually considered to be a normal day or even a short day in the industry. When the clock is ticking the movie has to be wrapped by a certain deadline, the pressure is on. I even remember one day working on a set with Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards where I worked a sixteen hour day and wrapped at around 2:OO a.m. I will never forget the moment when I hopped on the elevator with Ms. Andrews and she was still full of energy and singing. I was amazed when she told me I did a “good job” that day as I stood in awe of how talented and professional she was.
I remember having to wake up at 3:30 in the morning to be on the set almost two hours away in order to get the shot near the Valley of Fire. The hours and dedication that the professionals in the entertainment industry put in are unbelievable. Working with Tony Scott was much like working with Blake Edwards and Julie Andrews, they all had very common characteristics- they were consummate professionals with amazing talent and dedication to their craft. These people will always be legends and their legacies will live on until the end of time.
In trying to understand the death of Tony Scott, I would rather live with the memories of his amazing movies and how fortunate my acting friends and I were to be able to work under his direction. The movies and television shows that Tony and his brother Ripley Scott have produced and directed will go down in history as some of the greatest films in our time. The Scott brothers have always been ahead of their time and had messages to send to us. My heart goes out to the friends and family of Tony Scott. The entertainment industry lost a great director. One of my last memories of Mr. Scott was when I was passing him on the set and turned around and said goodbye as I was being wrapped, he winked and smiled at me as I was walking away, I will remember him as a happy director with a great deal of energy and talent. Tony Scott and his movies will be greatly missed. As the actors would say, “RIP Tony.”