Nightcrawler: Director Dan Gilroy

A veteran screenwriter and native Angeleno, at 55, Gilroy is a first-time director, earning raves for “Nightcrawler.”

But his entire family is in the movie business.  He is married to movie-star Rene Russo, the son of Pulitzer-winning Frank D. Gilroy (“The Subject Was Roses”), brother of writer-director Tony Gilroy (“Michael Clayton”) and twin brother of film-editor John Gilroy (“Salt”).

He wrote the provocative thriller two years ago, “I’d never felt, ‘This is something I have to direct,’ ” he says, “so I was very confident that I’d picked the right vehicle.”

As is known the story centers on a sleazy opportunist (Jake Gyllenhaal) selling crime-scene footage to an L.A. news producer (played by Russo) and its harsh commentary on “hyper-capitalism” and the media.

“I have a strong desire to communicate what I feel about the world. That’s exciting to me,” explains Gilroy, who had to make the most with a very lean $8.5 million budget he had helped raise himself.

Since Gilroy’s first produced screenplay (the 1992 sci-fi thriller “Freejack”), his films have jumped from comedy (“Chasers”) to drama (“Two for the Money”) to fantasy (Tarsem’s “The Fall,” which “inspired me with what was possible visually”) to action (“The Bourne Legacy,” his first collaboration with his brothers).

Gilroy also penned the in-development superhero movie “The Annihilator” and is now writing Lionsgate’s crime thriller “Storming Las Vegas” for Antoine Fuqua.

He put aside a Gaumont TV project (“I’d love to work on a canvas that big, but you have to be ready for a years-long commitment”) for another script about an L.A. subculture he hopes to direct as an under-$20 million feature.

“L.A. has a wild, untamed energy I often don’t see in films,” he says.