Prior to earning his trade as a writer/director, Brian Taylor honed his filmmaking craft in the cinematographic sphere, with director of photography credits on a string of indie features and low-budget shorts that swept awards and honors across the country. As a technician, Taylor evinced a particularly refined flair for (and a fascination with) the "young" medium of digital video, as exemplified by his DV short The Man Who Loved Elevators (2002) (a work Taylor adapted from the stories of "gutterbucket poet" Charles Bukowski).
Taylor and creative partner Mark Neveldine united to form the NevTaylor production house in the early 2000s, where they became known not only for their filmmaking abilities, but for their ingenious engineering skills; they followed in the tracks of Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown by developing a new device to facilitate cinematographic work, christened "The Roller Dolly," and immediately submitted it for a patent. The two, of course, also produced a number of key films, including a documentary on the Fuentes family of cigar makers (shot in the Dominican Republic), and The Keys, an action adventure with surrealist touches, shot in Morocco.
The boys' premier big screen effort came in 2006, with Crank, a restless action thriller. The picture stars Jason Statham as a poison victim certain to die if he allows his pulse to sink to an average level. Issued in September of that year, the pic co-stars Amy Smart (Starsky & Hutch, Rat Race), country singer Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade), and neophyte Efren Ramirez (best known as Pedro in 2004's Napoleon Dynamite).