RIP

08.20.12

Stars Mourn Director Tony Scott on Twitter

The Top Gun director jumped to his death from a Los Angeles bridge Sunday. From Ron Howard to Justin Timberlake, see the A-list celebrities who shared their grief on Twitter.

British director Tony Scott, who helmed Top Gun and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, among other classics, died Sunday after jumping “without hesitation” to his death off the Vincent Thomas Bridge crossing Los Angeles Harbor at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Scott, 68, brother of fellow director Ridley Scott, left a suicide note in his Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge.

Celebrities, many of them filmmakers and actors who have worked with the director, took to Twitter to react to the news.

Ron Howard

Tyrese Gibson

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Simon Pegg

Justin Timberlake

Roger Ebert

Michael Moore

Jon Favreau

Elijah Wood

David Boreanaz

Chris Rock

UPDATE: More statements on Tony Scott's passing:

CBS News: 
One of the brightest lights in the industry has gone out. Tony was an accomplished creative and passionate producer and director. As an executive producer of “Numb3rs,” and most recently “The Good Wife,” he was a longtime friend of CBS, and we are deeply shocked and saddened over this loss. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.

Ken Sanzel, executive producer of Numb3rs:
My rookie showrunner year of Numb3rs, Tony decided to direct the season opener. He steamrolled over me with a grace and charm that made my head spin, politely allowing me to wage battles we both knew I'd never win. He was as outsized as his movies, and funny as hell.

It was impossible to watch him direct without learning; but the most important lessons only made themselves apparent much later when his sensibility and style worked its way into your brain with the same combination of slyness and inevitability that he brought to set every day.

Two years later, as Numb3rs ended, I directed a TV pilot for Scott Free. Watching the first cut, Tony was respectful of my work and thoughtful in his notes. I missed the steamrolling.

Rob Morrow, lead actor on Numb3rs:

I've been in love with the way Tony Scott made movies since I first starting studying them in the 80's. ;Even the ones that didn't appeal to me content-wise always grabbed me visually, cinematically. His involvement, as well as Ridley's was, a big incentive for me signing on to Numb3rs. From the get-go, I started haranguing both the brothers to direct for the show. They always had a myriad of seemingly legitimate excuses why they couldn't fit it in their (insane) schedules. After four seasons, Tony finally relented and directed the first episode of the season. Working with him will always be a high point of my career. I rarely have directors pushing me to do more, go further. He was always one step ahead. An indefatigable cheerleader that literally bounced up and down between takes. His enthusiasm for filmmaking was contagious. He didn't seem so much interested in the details of the story as he was in the audience’s visceral response (pleasure), so he rubbed some of the day-to-day writers/producers the wrong way.  Unlike in the movies, TV directors tend to take the lead from the producers and writers. Tony didn't take the lead from anyone.  But what a blast to follow him.  We were always told by our tech advisors that, with automatic weapons, one should not “spray” the bullets, but shoot each round with precision. Before a take, Tony would get me so amped up that I would spew all the rounds (blanks) out of my gun in seconds, then see him nearby,jumping up and down, screaming "Keep shooting.” The prop guys would run over and reload and it would spray those rounds. Meanwhile, the cameras were still rolling and we were burning film at a rate rarely seen in episodic TV. Tony shot so much aerial footage with helicopters (not TV norm either) that we had stock footage for the rest of the run of the show and then some. In years to come, I’m sure I'll be watching some cop show with a chase sequence on water and wondering why it looks so familiar.  Tony had a way of shooting that on paper may not appear cost effective, but he delivered so much bang for that buck that I would've bet on him any day of the week. His standard mode of shooting was three cameras with long lenses far away from the actors.  This is great, because no one ever knows when their close-up is coming, so there is no self-consciousness. The actors arefree to just play. He only "tail slated" (the clapper that sets the time code and gives editors key info). Again, not cost-effective, but there was never the artificial start of the scene that can come with the clap of the slate. In what I can only assume is somewhat unprecedented, he ended up doubling the budget of the episode. Movies go over budget; episodic television never goes over budget. Never. This did not bode well with our producers, but Tony was their boss, so what could they do? Surprisingly, the network and studio didn't turn around and say, "Oh, It's Tony Scott, don't sweat it.” They took the money out of every subsequent episode, so all the other directors (myself included) weresqueezed when they asked for certain "toys" for their episode, that is, cranes, special effects, expensive guest stars, etc. But I will always wear that as a badge of pride. My budget was cut so, Tony could fly free, do what he does, make magic. If in fact, his suicide was to avoid wasting away from illness, I might call it courageous because there was nothing cowardly about Tony Scott.