It was only back in June when it was announced that Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air) was in negotiations to star as Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife in the upcoming End of Watch, and two and a half months later, principal photography for the film has already wrapped.

Collider were lucky enough to be invited onto the set during the filming, and they’ve put up the first official images from the film, as well as its full 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 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.”

It sounds awesome. The film’s been written and directed by David Ayer, who wrote the Academy Award-winning Training Day, as well as co-writing The Fast and the Furious, and directing Street Kings, so you know his credits pretty much speak for themselves, which is why I’m so excited about this film.

Any film led by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña is going to be something to look forward to, and when you add David Ayer behind the camera and penning the script and Anna Kendrick as Gyllenhaal’s wife, you know you’re on to a damn good winning combination.

Steve Weintraub, the Collider reporter who visited the set, said,

End of Watch is going to look and feel completely different than any cop movie you’ve ever seen.”

And that’s such good news. It’s always great to hear of writer/directors stretching themselves to do things differently:

  • “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 webcam-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.”

Awesome. There’s no word yet on when it’s going to be released, as it’s an indie film without the backing of a major studio, shot in just twenty-two days. It’s expected to come out sometime next year though, and I think we should all keep our fingers crossed for it getting a UK release too, because this is a film I think we’ll all enjoy. Without further ado, here are the great first two images. As usual, click to enlarge.