A friend is a gift you give yourself
This is a quote from Lou Bloom, as a video journalist in the brand new film Nightcrawler. Directed and written by Dan Gilroy, this is the story of a man who would do anything, and I mean that literally, to get a story sold. Lou Bloom isn’t a writer. His stories are videos he’s shot and then sells to a TV station as breaking news. When we meet Lou, portrayed by a peculiarly charismatic Jake Gyllenhaal, he’s desperate for work. So much so, that he’d cut down and steal chain link fences to sell them as scrap metal. Only his scrap metal buyer says he won’t hire Lou because he has a strict policy – he doesn’t hire thieves.
So Lou is down on his luck. He also says, If you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy a ticket.
But even those with bad luck, sometimes catch a break. One night Lou is driving around and he happens upon a fresh auto accident. So fresh that the police are still struggling to get an injured driver out of a car. Instead of just rubbernecking as he rolls by, Lou stops, and as he gets out of his car, a couple of guys with cameras run past him. They are eager to shoot video of the wreck and the injured man. Afterward Lou hears them discussing the video and he asks one of them, what he’s going to do with the video.
Bill Paxton has the role and he tells Lou – I’m going to sell it to a TV News station for the morning news. If it bleeds, it leads…is how Paxton’s character colorfully describes his work. Lou is instantly intrigued and asks if they are hiring. They aren’t but Lou knows what’s he going to do next. Trade his next batch of stolen chain link fencing for a camcorder and a police scanner.
He also needs a guy to help him, the whole business is geared toward being first on the scene, shooting the video, and then getting it to a TV station before the next guy. Lou has a lot to learn, he calls himself a quick learner, and he is smart enough to know that he can’t walk and chew gum at the same time – or in this case – drive, listen to the screeches on the police band, then navigate to the scene by himself. So he puts an ad in the paper looking for an assistant. or as Lou describes the job – a non-paying position as an intern. He finds another guy down on his luck.