Video Interview: 'Fury' Director David Ayer on Making Action Movies
by Alex Billington
October 16, 2014
"Action is a magic trick… And good editing and good sound are your friend." In theaters this weekend is Fury, the latest from writer/director David Ayer, following-up his Schwarzenegger flick Sabotage and the LAPD movie End of Watch before that. This time he brings us a movie set during World War II, following one American tank as it continues to work its way through Germany near the end of the war. I really loved the movie, it's brutal yet emotional and was everything I was hoping to see out of this kind of tank action movie. I met up with David Ayer in New York City earlier this week for a chat about making action movies. "Action takes time, and it takes articulation. And you've got to think of it like stop-motion photography."
Fury is my kind of action movie, and it kicks ass in every way, while still holding firm with an emotional core. The performances are fantastic, from Brad Pitt to the rest of the tank crew: Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña & Jon Bernthal. "What a great storytelling device - you're taking five guys, and locking them in a steel box and seeing if they get along or not." Watch the trailer for Fury. I wanted to ask Ayer about the process of making this kind of visceral all-out action movie, putting all the pieces together, and his interest in action and how he's improved after making so many films. View the interview or listen.
My full video interview with Fury writer & director David Ayer, shot on Flipcam in New York City:
Timeline of questions: 0:02 - With so many WWII movies, how do you make something unique that still captures the weight of that war? 2:39 - Which came first: tank movie or end of the war story? 4:22 - How did you balance realistic brutality with making "entertainment"? 5:55 - How much freedom did you have in making the movie you really wanted to make? 7:10 - Do you feel more clear about what your vision is as you make more? 8:25 - How did you get reshoots to do more action? 9:16 - Why do you think Brad Pitt took this role? 10:46 - Did he give you any good advice/feedback? 12:50 - I like the dinner scene, was that as challenging to write as it seems? 14:38 - Have you had enough action yet? What lessons have you learned shooting so much action? 16:30 - What other films/filmmakers inspire you? 17:39 - What's next for you?
Praise from Jeremy's review of Fury: "Every frame, every performance, and every turn is memorable in Fury, a tough war movie that cuts into the meat of soldier and what makes him tick while also serving up a healthy supply of stinging suspense. In 2014, with the world getting a steady dose of World War II movies for 70-plus years, it’s hard to pull off something as cleverly structured and dynamically executed as Fury."
David Ayer's Fury hits theaters everywhere starting on October 17th - catch it on the big screen while you can. Read Jeremy's review of Fury and let us know what you thought in our Sound Off. Thanks for watching.