Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are standing at the beginning of a driveway in a low income residential neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles. Earlier that day, near the film set, there was a gun battle that seriously injured a police officer and shut down dozens of blocks, so tension is high. Dressed in Police Blues, Gyllenhaal has his weapon drawn and starts to make his way down the alley with Pena flanking his rear. As he walks, Gyllenhaal’s eyes are constantly taking in the surroundings as he looks for the suspect he thinks is close by. After getting to the back of the property, the two come to a six foot cement barrier. Without hesitation, they make their way over the wall, and then I hear South Central-born writer-director-producer David Ayer (screenwriter of Training Day, The Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T. and writer/director of Harsh Times & Street Kings) call cut.
But let me back up a second.