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Official Synopsis & Images For End Of Watch Debut

Collider has premiered a new still and behind-the-scenes image from the upcoming cop drama End Of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. We also have the official plot synopsis...check 'em out after the jump!
Collider has debuted a ton of new info about next year's cop/crime drama End Of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. The film has recently finished principal photography. Below is the official plot synopsis...

A powerful story of family, friendship, love, honor and courage, End Of Watch stars Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as young Los Angeles police officers Taylor and Zavala as they patrol the city’s meanest streets of south central Los Angeles.

Giving the story a gripping, first-person immediacy, the action unfolds entirely through footage from the handheld HD 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.

In addition, Collider revealed the first official still from the film, as well as a behind-the-scenes image and a "20 Things You Need To Know" feature...

End of Watch is a true indie. While you might think actors like Gyllenhaal and Pena playing the leads means the movie is being produced by a major studio, but that’s not the case Instead, former Paramount head John Lesher (who produced films such as No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood and Babel) has started his own label and this is the first film under its umbrella. End of Watch was financed by Exclusive Media Group, the same folks who produced George Clooney’s The Ides of March.

The shoot is scheduled for 22 days. I was on set for day 19. Keep in mind, a “studio” movie can run 40 to 90 days.

Gyllenhaal read the whole script in an hour and immediately called up writer/director David Ayer.

Gyllenhaal and Peña went through five months of training in order to prepare for their roles as cops. The training involved shooting, tactical training, fight training, drivers training and visits to the academy.

Ayer wrote the script in six days.

The film was shot with unconventional camera coverage. In addition to the normal camera set up, Gyllenhaal and Peña also have cameras strapped to their chest in order to get a POV shot. The actors operate the cameras themselves and have to think about the camera in terms of a character.

The cameras are referred to in the actual film, as Gyllenhaal’s character straps a small -like camera onto his chest. 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).

Writer-director David Ayer is going for an “in your face” POV style. At times it will feel like a first person shooter video game. In addition, the movie will use camera footage from unorthodox sources like gang members’ cellphone cameras, dashcams from inside cop cars, TV news footage, citizens’ cameras, and surveillance cameras. However, at some points, the movie will look like your typical film with Ayer shooting select scenes with normal coverage. He’s going to mix it up. The thing to know is that it’s not all found footage.

They approached the material like a play, and Gyllenhaal likened the script to a David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross.

Gyllenhaal, who also notably shaved his head for the film, got so immersed into the character and preparation that he no longer uses his right hand when he’s out because he’s been taught that his right hand always needs to be free to reach for his gun.

Because Gyllenhaal and Peña had prepared so much and for so long, Ayer would write pages on the spot and the two would be able to nail scenes on the fly.
The film was shot entirely on location in South Central Los Angeles.

Director David Ayer brought his friend Jamie Fitzsimons on as technical advisor. Fitzsimons worked for 15 years as a police officer and captain in South Central. He was also a consultant on Ayer’s Street Kings.

Unlike the corruption depicted in Ayer’s Training Day, Gyllenhaal and Pena play honest cops and best friends. Gyllenhaal is dating Anna Kendrick’s character and Pena is married. The goal is to shoot a real portrait of police officers in South Central Los Angeles.

The film takes place over 8 months.

End of Watch means end of your day/end of shift.

Pena has two very close quarter fights in the film.

The film will always follow the point of view of Gyllenhaal and Pena’s characters. We’ll never leave one of them during the movie.

End of Watch will have plenty of levity mixed with the drama.

End of Watch is being edited by Dody Dorn, who earned an Oscar nomination in 2002 for Best Film Editing for her work on Christopher Nolan’s Memento.

Check out End Of Watch when it hits theaters sometime in 2012.
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