First Look: David Ayer's 'End of Watch' with Actor's POV Camera Rig

September 6, 2011
Source: Collider

End of Watch

Get ready for the point-of-view trend in Hollywood. There are already two other major POV films in the works, but it looks like the first one will be an independent production. Our friends at Collider have two first look photos and a whole bunch of an info from a recent set visit to in south central LA for David Ayer's End of Watch, a gritty new cop drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. The film will indeed feature some POV sequences, along with footage "from the handheld HD cameras of the police officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, and citizens caught in the line of fire." Check out photos and more below.

Like Ayer's past two films, Street Kings and Harsh Times, this is another drama about cops in Los Angeles. End of Watch is a "powerful story of family, friendship, love, honor and courage." Gyllenhaal and Peña star as young Los Angeles police officers Taylor and Zavala as they patrol the city's meanest streets of south central Los Angeles. Thanks to new info provided by Collider, we know that the film is a true independent production. Gyllenhaal and Peña even went through five months of training to prepare for their roles as cops, which "involved shooting, tactical training, fight training, drivers training and visits to the Academy."

Here's the two photos that they revealed, including one of Gyllenhaal in action with his weapon, and the other showing a behind-the-scenes look at Peña mounted with the POV camera rig they're using on the film. That's actually the coolest photo to see, as it's an impressive setup that will get some awesome cop footage.

David Ayer's End of Watch

David Ayer's End of Watch

So why is Ayer even using POV on End of Watch? They explain: "Giving the story a gripping, first-person immediacy, the action unfolds entirely through footage from the handheld HD cameras of the police officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, and citizens caught in the line of fire to create a riveting portrait of the city's darkest, most violent corners, the cops who risk their lives there every day, and the price they and their families are forced to pay." That actually sounds cool, can't wait to see how all of it turns out. As seen above, the actors themselves operate the camera and "have to think about the camera in terms of a character." The POV will be "in your face" like a video game. Again, seems like it could turn out unique.

If you want more details, head to Collider, as they've got a rundown on a lot going on. The film will feature unconventional footage from all kinds of sources, including cellphones, cop car dash cams, news footage, surveillance cams, etc. On top of that, they've got the POV and conventional feature footage as well. Lastly, for those curious, how will they explain all this? "The way they'll get away with this is Gyllenhaal plays a cop going to night school and he's taking a filmmaking class. So he gets Pena's character to also wear a camera as he's planning on making a short film (or something like that)." Interesting. Ayer wrote the script in six days. I'm just damn curious to see how this turns out, even though I'm really not the biggest Ayer fan.

I'm not sure when we might see End of Watch, but hopefully it will show up at a film festival like Sundance next year before hitting theaters. Based on all this early info and those two first look photos above, I'd say this is definitely something we'll be keeping an eye on. Thoughts on David Ayer's new film so far?

Find more posts: First Look, Indies, Opinions, Photos



um...if Doom tells us anything first person perspective only works in video games.

Xerxexx on Sep 6, 2011


for action maybe, but even then, it probably could have been incorporated better. but ya, Enter the Void.

Anonymous on Sep 6, 2011


I'll wait for the actual scene before I judge.

Xerxexx on Sep 7, 2011


i think the pov sequence in doom was the only thing done right in the entire movie

Leo Fleming on Sep 7, 2011


It did distract me from the god awful plot.

Xerxexx on Sep 7, 2011


Ummm. ever heard of spanish film called Rec. 2? It did it and it worked.

A Villa88 on Sep 7, 2011


Doom taught me not to like the first person action perspective.

Xerxexx on Sep 7, 2011


First person can also work in music videos, like this one from Public Jones done with an elbow-cam rig.

Asghar on Sep 6, 2011


i saw from a set video, Gyllenhaal was holding a hand held cam at arm's length while a scene was being shot. I was wondering what that was about but i guess that's what it was. 

Vitaliy on Sep 6, 2011


The first Mission Impossible movie had some POV as many of Brian de Palmas movies had  and alot of others. I loved Harsh times so I can`t wait for this.

Loser on Sep 6, 2011


But first person worked on Kick-Ass Hit Girl rescue scene. I think it depends on how they gonna present it.

TTumMM on Sep 7, 2011



A Villa88 on Sep 7, 2011


It did work, so perhaps it will work here.

Xerxexx on Sep 7, 2011

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