Monday, April 28, 2014

David Ayer - Film

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David Ayer - Film

By Rych McCain International/Nationally Syndicated Entertainment columnist and Facebook (Like Me)

Photos via Open Road

David Ayer

Film Director On The Cutting Edge

David Ayer Director/Writer/Producer
Director/writer/producer David Ayer has been steady carving out a name for himself in Hollywood since he began as a script writer. His spec script “Training Day” was not only picked up and he was a co-producer but it became a mega box office smash and garnered Denzel Washington his second Academy Award® for Best Actor. This began a journey that has seen him write and direct some of Hollywood’s most street realistic films such as “The Fast And The Furious,” S.W.A.T.,” “Dark Blue,” “Street Kings” and “End Of Watch.” Ayer’s latest offering “Sabotage,” is about an elite DEA task force that takes on the world’s deadliest drug cartels. Ayer’s writing and directing reflects his upbringing on the mean streets of LA and he uses those experiences to bring hard core, in-your-face realism to all of his films.
   Ayer now has a solid reputation of realism and perfectionism in his films. In regard to his latest “Sabotage,” he had his actors train with the actual LA Sheriff’s  S.W.A.T. team doing the exact drills and exercises that they do. Ayer explains, “I think the watch word in this is reality and for actors, if you teach them the real skills, when they get on set they don’t have to worry about anything but what they are doing, their performance. Any actor will tell you that when they have the training there’s a certain confidence they have in their physical performance. They don’t have to worry about where they are putting their hands or what they are doing. You want it to be second nature.”

  In working with the real guys the cast found out that is was very physical, hard and sweat draining. Ayer laughs and said “We put these guys through endless repetitions. The boss said it’s all about reps and that’s what we did but by the end of this thing the guys could go in and were pretty autonomous. They could clear rooms, kick doors, solve
tactical problems and row through the problem in any given way. So by the time they get to the set to do one of these scenes; what you are seeing is not staged per say but a lot of it is there own decisions on how to solve this tactical problem to clear the room. And from that guys turning the wrong way and making mistakes and how harsh they can be with each other. Also the camaraderie develops. There’s a training scene in the film where a lot of what’s said in that scene is pretty honest stuff.”

  Because the film’s lead actor is none other than the action icon himself Arnold Schwarzenegger, was there any pressure from the film’s big bosses to make the project typically Arnold? Ayer chuckles, “For me it was an incredible opportunity to work with this man who is more than a hero. I mean the guy is obviously a symbol legend. The films he starred in that I saw as a teenager,“Terminator” and things like that are the very films that inspired me to direct. So the opportunity to work with somebody like that was the realization of a dream. Then discover that he’s a really good guy on top of it, a hard worker and a great role model for me as somebody who is a bit of and over achiever and has succeeded in every venue.”
   Looking at the politics of film making combined with the special effects and green screen versus real action from the actors, are the new films reverting back to the old school way of doing things. Ayer examines this, “Companies like Bill’s (QED International) and other companies are creating these opportunities for film makers to have a lager canvas to tell interesting stories on. So I think there is a bit of a 70’s revolution right now where people are going back to bread and butter film making. For me, no amount of CG, green screen or wire work can bet the visceral, gut wrenching quality of a really well done practical stunt.”

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