Tony: Top Gun

Aug 20, 2012

Tony Scott; photo by Gus Ruelas/AP

There was no hesitation, one witness said. A man climbed the 8- to 10-foot fence on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro around 12:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, and jumped.

As most people know by now, that man was 68-year-old Tony Scott, famed and respected director of classic films and commercials. His “kinetic” and abrupt filming and editing styles for which he became known were aimed to draw audiences into the action, to feel an integral part of it, and certainly sent films like “Top Gun” to the top of the money charts. Films like “True Romance” in 1993 with Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette became near cult classics of their genre.

In recent years, Tony Scott was quite successful producing the television shows “The Good Wife” and “Numb3rs.” He also self-made 22 video documentary shorts and was the writer, cinematographer, and editor of “Loving Memory” and “One of the Missing.”

It appears that Scott was well organized in his departure, leaving a list of contacts in his Toyota Prius and a suicide note that was later found in his office. Contents of the note have not been released, but have already created speculation about Scott’s physical and mental health. One commenter on a blog wondered whether or not Scott was dealing with the end-stages of a fatal disease, others have raised questions about depression.

Many people state categorically that suicide is a selfish act, declaring that the people who truly suffer are the loved ones left behind. Another option, though, is to realize that a person who actually follows through and succeeds in taking his own life has been consumed—and then overwhelmed— with pain, angst, fear, and despair; to such an extent that he feels an unbearable weight and deems it impossible to try to keep living on a day-to-day basis. This latter scenario is the one that truly makes the heart break.

Scott leaves behind his highly regarded brother and business partner Ridley Scott, as well as his third wife with whom he has twin boys.

May your heart, mind, and soul now be at rest, Tony Scott. You have left a treasure trove of work that will keep your name and talent alive for decades to come.



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