It wasn’t only the two main characters that felt real, but everything and everyone surrounding. Technically, the movie is filmed like “found footage.” It felt and looked like a video game at times. Ayer and crew had to invent new technology in order to get certain camera angles to give off this insanely personal vibe. “Basically, we had to invent a camera system to get some of the photography because in the real world, cops wear these little wearable HD cameras, and I wanted to simulate that. So I took normal cinema camera and had it miniaturized. And then we made vests that these guys could wear, so they’ll run around fighting… You get this point-of-view kind of photography that no one’s been able to get. It’s the idea that cameras are in the world with these people and characters. There are a couple scenes where Jake shot on a handheld consumer camera.” Peña joked that at times he forgot he was even in the movie because of the way it was filmed.

Another authentic touch to film was the inclusion of female cops. They’re often under-represented or misrepresented in media. It was nice to see Cody Horn and America Ferrera bring two realistic female cops to life in the film. It was important to Ayer that the film showed how diverse the LAPD is. “Some of the badass– some of the best cops out there are these female cops. These badass Mexican-American cops are some hard fucking shit. It’s like ‘you don’t want to fuck with them.”

Pena interjected, “Well, they have this great command voice too.”

Ayer replied, “The mom voice.”

Pena continued, “They have that thing, and they know they have that thing. And especially with criminals, when you see that, you’re like ‘what… the fuck?’ It’s just, it’s kind of…”

“A different kind of power and they know how to use it,” Ayer finished.