Action Point

An unhinged daredevil opens his own theme park.

  • Starring: Johnny Knoxville, Brigette Lundy-Paine
  • Director(s): Tim Kirkby
  • Producer(s): Derek Freda, Bill Gerber, Johnny Knoxville
  • Screenwriter(s): John Altschuler, Dave Krinsky
  • Distributor: Paramount Pictures
  • Animal Coordinator: Working Wildlife, Gentle Jungle, Union Pictures
  • Release Date: Friday, June 01, 2018
  • Rating: Outstanding

Featured Animal Action

Throughout the film, the main character has a pet dog, seen performing such mild action as sitting/standing/lying, being held or petted, and walking/running on or off leash. For all of these scenes, trainers used hand signals and verbal commands to cue the mild action, which the trained dog was accustomed to performing. The barking/growling was also a trained behavior.

In the scene where the man sits in the tree and the bear is at the bottom of the tree, scraping at the tree, the bear was driven in his traveling crate to the set, as close to his mark as possible, just out of frame. The animal wranglers set up a hot line from the bear's trailer to the bear's mark. The crew was kept outside of the hot line area.

The bear was only released from his traveling crate when everything was completely ready and cameras were rolling. The wranglers stood inside the hot wire area with the bear. One wrangler walked with the bear, guiding him from his crate to his mark, on camera, with voice commands and food rewards. On action, the wrangler asked the bear to stand up on his back legs and place his front paws on the tree. Another wrangler stood behind the tree, atop a ladder, making hand gestures and giving the voice command.

In this same scene when the man falls out of the tree and the bear picks up the man’s beer and drinks it, this was achieved by the wrangler using voice commands, "Pick it up!" and "Drink". The bear had already rehearsed this "drinking" action several times over the past week on this set and the action was quickly achieved. As was always the case to facilitate these "drinking" scenes, the wranglers filled the prop beer cans with soda. After aforesaid action, the bear was loaded back into his crate.

When the actor walks up to a group of actors holding a snake, prior to shooting the scene, the wranglers placed the snake in actor’s hand, making sure he was accustomed to holding the snake. The snake was placed in shade and given water between takes.

In the scene when the actors get in the van with one actor picking up the dog and placing him on his lap, the trainer showed the actor how to pick up the dog. The action was rehearsed twice, with the dog appearing comfortable at all times.

During the scene, the dog sat on his mark, on the front seat of the van, seated between two actors. After the short distance, the van was stopped / parked and switched off and the scene was cut. Later in the same scene, the dog is placed on the ground, approaches the “guard” dog and sniffs his butt. For shooting this scene, the dog was picked up by the talent and placed on his mark. On action, another trainer called the dog to the area near the fence, and the dog ran from point A to point B.

When the dogs sniffed each other, the trainers and the dogs were given time to rehearse the required action. On action, the dogs sniffed each other naturally.

In this same sequence where these aforementioned dogs have intercourse, that particular action was filmed in a more controlled area, specifically on stage in front of a green screen. Both dogs were in heat at the time, and were prepped on the action. When they separate and we see a close-up of their genitals separating, this was a close-up of a prosthetic connected between the dogs.

When one of those dogs barks and lunges at actor while on a leash, the dog was walked on lead to her mark. The wrangler shook a piece of rope in front of the dog and jumped around behind the camera, trying to get the dog to lunge forward. The dog understood the game and made lunging movements.

In the scene where the raccoon licks the man’s face and the man picks the raccoon up by his tail, places peanut butter on actor’s arm. The actor was lying on the ground covered by leaves his arm with peanut butter. The trainer placed the raccoon near the actor on the ground. The trainer also showed the actor how to hold the raccoon. After shooting the scene, the actor was placed back in his cage.

In the scene where the actor sees the porcupine in a canal and tries to pick it up, the trainer placed the porcupine in the pen and let him walk around at free will (mainly sniffing and eating off the ground). The wranglers stood outside the enclosure, just off camera. Periodically, the wrangler would encourage the porcupine to move to various points within the enclosure by using a long bait stick with fruit on the stick.

In the scene where they place food in the man’s shorts and the squirrel sneaks into the man’s shorts, prior to shooting, the trainer placed the squirrel on the ground next to actor Benny sleeping. The squirrel was held by a trainer off-camera. The trainer placed some nuts inside the actor’s shorts. On action, the squirrel walked into the actor’s shorts. They called cut and the trainer placed the squirrel back in his cage.

In the scene where we are introduced to the petting zoo where we see a baboon, an actor with a snake wrapped around his shoulders and a crocodile walking at random. And in that same scene where we see the crocodile quickly turn to a child who grabs his tail, tape was wrapped around the crocodile’s snout preventing him from hurting anyone. The actor was prepped with the snake. The baboon was on a lead tied to fences. The baboon was tied to a fence surrounding petting zoo, and he had a waist harness attached to a rope. Geese, ducks, were also loose inside the zoo. Raccoons were placed in an enclosure in the petting zoo. Trainers were off-camera watching the animal action at all times. There were also ostriches in the background.

When we see the baboon sitting on a sign, the baboon wore a harness around his hips and was attached to a long rope lead. The baboon was very agile and quickly climbed onto his mark and sat on the sign. The wrangler held the long rope lead (not seen on camera) at all times and hid just out of frame.

In this same scene where the actor stands next to a beer while filming an ad for the park, the bear was asked to sit up on his mark on the wooden steps. The bear was then handed the beer can by the trainer and he immediately took it in his mouth. The bear was trained to raise this beer can up and drink it's contents. When the group of actors are outside watching television with the bear at their feet, the trainers walked the bear to the set, placed him on his mark, and kept him in place by cuing him to stay. When we see the bear supposedly passed out near beer cans, the trainers simply laid the bear down next to the cans and filmed the scene. IN the scene where the bear growls in actor’s face, the trainers cued him to “yell” off-camera.

When we see a kid riding an ostrich production actually used an ostrich that was conditioned to being ridden, which is quite common in Cape Town, where the movie was filmed. Likewise, the boy riding the ostrich has ridden ostriches many times.