Today is a sad day for the film community and a wake up call about the unpredictability of depression. According to The New York Times and various other sources, director and producer Tony Scott died on Sunday by jumping off a Los Angeles County bridge. His death is being investigated as a suicide with various sources reporting that a note was found in his office. Tony Scott was 68-years old.
A death like this is shocking and inexplicable, especially considering that Tony Scott had so much going for him personally and professionally. Scott was married to actress Dona Scott with whom he had twin sons. He also had an extensive working relationship with his more critically-acclaimed brother Ridley Scott and the two owned the company Scott-Free Productions. One glance at Tony Scott’s IMDb profile and there can be found 12 television and film productions that are currently pending release. Scott was attached as a producer for the upcoming films Stoker, Out of the Furnace, and the upcoming Prometheus sequel.
Something happened that made Scott believe that his life, and everything in it, was no longer worth the struggle. According the Los Angeles Times, Scott began pre-production for the upcoming sequel to his successful 1986 movie Top Gun just weeks ago. It has not been publicly reported that Scott suffered from any type of depression, anxiety, or other psychological disorder that would cause such a sudden and drastic turn, but it seems plausible that an untreated condition could have been present. Scott’s work ethic does nothing to suggest that he was depressed or withdrawn, but the people closest to him might know something different.
Tony Scott was always less appreciated by critics than his older brother Ridley, but his films were almost always successful at the Box Office. It is true that Tony Scott’s films emphasized style over substance, but his particular style was so firmly established and unique that it often served his action films well. Anytime an action film uses hyper-kinetic camera movements and candy-colored versions of recognizable real-life settings, that film often usually gets compared to Scott’s work. Tony’s films were less thematically complex than his older brother’s, but they were often a treat for the eye nonetheless.
This sudden death is an absolute tragedy and should serve as a firm reminder to everyone: if you or anybody close to you is showing signs of depression, please get help. Suicide is not only a tragic ending to one person’s life, but it leaves permanent scars on the people who were closest. No matter how difficult or impossible it seems, please get help.
What was your favorite movie or moment from the late director?