Aug 2012

Tony Scott

A Tribute to Tony Scott. “The Guv’nor.”

I was the Director of Photography on Numb3rs for over four years when I was informed that Tony Scott was going to direct the 4th season premiere.

The last time I saw Tony, I was a teenager. I met him at my father’s production company, Sunlight Pictures, where Tony was one of the commercial directors for the company at that time. I was a bit worried about how he would take to me after all those years, although I had international experience as a Director of Photography over the past thirty years. Would Tony even remember me? After all, I was a just a teenager when we first met? Tony entered the room, smiled, gave me a big hug, and went on in conversation as if we had talked every day for the past thirty years.

Bing Sokolsky and Tony Scott

The crew and producers were surprised and remarked that they did not know I knew Tony that well. In the next few days, a bonding and friendship took place which inspired me to transcend my best past efforts. A smile lighted up in my mind when I decided to call him “Guv’nor,” The term, Guv’nor, is used on the most sets I have worked on in the UK & Ireland. “The Guv’nor/Guv (slang) is a contraction of “Governor” aka “the boss or the director.”

I walked up to Tony in earshot of the crew and said, “How would you like to shoot this scene, Guv’nor?” Tony smiled, and without stopping a beat, proceeded to give me a concise vision of how he saw the lighting and the shooting grammar of the scene. Many of the crew members and producers took me aside and asked why I was calling Tony, Guv’nor? I smiled at the puzzled faces and said, “Didn’t you know that Gov’nor is Tony’s real name?”
Over the years, I have worked with many acclaimed and renowned directors. Tony was a one of a kind. He knew the camera, the lighting, and the equipment terminology. He was a kind of everyman. All production departments rolled into one. Most importantly, Tony evoked the vital chemistry and spirit that made every team member do his/her best.

Tony is the true “Guv’nor,” a one of a kind filmmaker, who will always be remembered as unique creative force in the history of film. I will truly miss him.

Bing Sokolsky, ASC