Like us, we're sure you were shocked to hear the news early this morning that Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott and the director behind hits like Top Gun, True Romance, Man on Fire and so many other terrific films, had passed away by jumping off a bridge and taking his own life. Today you'll see a lot of sites remembering Scott as one of Hollywood's most talented, and we'll begin this morning by pointing out some of that talent through three films of his you may not have seen.
Apart from all the features Scott directed, he also helmed a handful of short films too, beginning with his first-ever directorial gig back in 1969 with One of the Missing, a short he made while he was still a film student. The black-and-white short, seen below, follows a Southern soldier during the Civil War who, while scouting enemy positions, becomes trapped in a pile of rubble following a cannon attack. It's there, with his gun stuck pointed toward him, that the solider awaits his fate.
It would be awhile before Scott would direct another short, returning to the format in 2002 with the excellent Beat the Devil, which was part of a series of shorts for BMW. Clive Owen, Gary Oldman, James Brown, Danny Trejo and Marilyn Manson starred in this freaky tale wherein Owen, as the Driver, is hired by James Brown to transport him to a location where he is to meet the devil (Oldman) in an attempt to get his soul back after selling it decades ago.
Billed as a silent film for the 21st century, Scott returned two years later with Agent Orange, a psychedelic short film for Amazon Theater about two strangers -- and possible soulmates -- trying to find each other again following a chance encounter. Scott used a hand-cranked camera while shooting in order to manipulate the motion and titles.
It's fascinating to watch Scott's technique evolve over the years. While he always had somewhat of a distinct style to his work, the director -- who spent a lot of time playing around in the thriller genre -- was always trying to find new ways to inject intensity and emotion into his stories, characters and performances. The man was a true visionary, and he will certainly be missed.
Here's one final video of Scott discussing his film career.