The 17-minute BBC documentary, “Mann Made: From LA Takedown To Heat,” consists of an extended interview with Mann, where he recounts the stripped-down version of his 180-page screenplay for “Heat,” in a 1989 made-for-TV quickie called “LA Takedown,” as well as his unhurried workflow. “The amount of time I take between projects is not a method; it's an irritant,” he says. “I would much prefer to direct two films in three years, or three films in three years, but finding something I want to do next is very difficult.”
In many ways, “LA Takedown,” starring Scott Plank and Alex McArthur in the roles later inhabited by Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, was an unintended trial run with Mann for “Heat” -- from tightening the script and characters, to working out the logistics and impact of the later film's intense, sprawling action sequences. The doc shows side-by-side examples from each film, and with Mann's commentary on both films and his “two protagonists who have a high regard for one another,” it remains one of the most in-depth interviews the filmmaker's given.