Photographer Tyler Shields recounts lively dinner with Yelchin three days before the actor's tragic death

By Mia McNiece
Updated June 21, 2016 06:50 PM
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Credit: Beck Starr/WireImage

Just three days before his tragic death, Anton Yelchin enjoyed a five-hour dinner at L.A.’s Chateau Marmont with good friend Marilyn Manson and photographer Tyler Shields.

“He was so elated and excited about different things,” Shields tells PEOPLE. “He was very passionate about a movie he wanted to direct. It is sad to me that he never got to make it.”

Manson suggested all three get together for dinner after the singer learned Yelchin had a love of photography. The three men spent the evening discussing photography, film and art.

Yelchin’s body was found Sunday pinned between the car and the gate of his home in Studio City, California, after the 27-year-old’s vehicle rolled backward down the steep driveway, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

VIDEO: Anton Yelchin’s Cause of Death Officially Ruled Accidental

“I think people only knew him for his acting, but there is a whole other side to him that was really fascinating,” says Shields. “He did photography and was a passionate artist who was looking forward to this movie he wanted to direct.”

And although the lively dinner would be the first and only time Shields got a chance to meet Yelchin, he says the evening left a lasting impression on him.

He was brilliant and funny and excited about making art,” says Shields. “And then he was gone the next day. It was just so sad.