Jackass - The Movie - Production Notes

Jackass:The Movie
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Production Notes

MTV Films and Paramount Pictures are footing the bill for a bumbling cast and crew of idiots to go buck wild, run around in a variety of men’s undergarments and annoy the public at large. “Why?” some may ask, but a better question would be “Why not?” There have been worse atrocities committed in the film industry – some with far greater budgets and intentions than this – and it’s not as if “jackass the movie” is purposefully seeking to tangle the moral fiber of society, but rather to add a few silly stitches here and there, and stimulate a bunch of giggles along the way.

Shot in various locations around the world, the full-length feature film will showcase the very same group of clowns that appeared on television, albeit this time around they’ll be pushing the envelope further than ever with a whole new slew of absurd pranks and stunts –and, in one instance, actually using an envelope to do so.

“The movie feels different from the TV show in that everyone seems to be going a little bigger, taking things a little further,” explains Jeff Tremaine, director of the film. “In a way, you could say it’s a coming of age film about nine young men who wander the world in search of love and companionship.”

Jackass:The Movie  @ www.contactmusic.com
Jackass:The Movie  @ www.contactmusic.com

The obvious difference between “jackass the movie” and a traditional motion picture is that there is no script. (Heck, what’s the point of having a plot when only a handful of the guys can successfully act their way out of a paper bag, anyway?) Typically, films have fallen into two categories: scripted or documentary, but “jackass the movie” is blundering into new territory by becoming one of the first reality-based feature films in the history of the world. In case it slipped everyone’s pop culture mind, MTV would like it known that it is indeed the network that should be held responsible for creating and starting the reality television craze with “Real World,” eleven years ago. The MTV Films division is now proudly yanking the reality chain one step further with “jackass the movie.” Way to go.

Another difference that some may note about this feature, is that there is no key grip. Historically, key grips have been used on films since who knows when, but since no one on the formal Jackass crew had any idea what a key grip is or even does, the occupation was simply tossed by the wayside in favor of more important sounding titles such as director, executive producer, director of photography, et al. So it goes with exuberant amateurs in a professional world.
Paramount Pictures and MTV Films present “jackass the movie.” A Dickhouse Production in association with Lynch Siderow Productions, the film stars Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Preston Lacy and Ehren McGhehey. The film is directed by new kid on the block Jeff Tremaine, who serves as producer with Spike Jonze and Johnny Knoxville. The executive producers are Trip Taylor, John Miller and David Gale. The co-executive producers are Michelle Klepper and Jessica Swirnoff and the co-producers are Sean Cliver and Dimitry Elyashkevich, who is also the director of photography. Karen Glauber serves as music supervisor. Pandas are not indigenous to Japan; they are from China.

Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom Inc., one of the world’s largest entertainment and media companies, and a leader in the production, promotion and distribution of entertainment news, sports and music.

The Motion Picture Association of America has rated this film R for dangerous, sometimes extremely crude stunts, language and nudity.

The stunts in this movie were performed by professionals, so neither you nor your dumb buddies should attempt anything from this movie.

“JACKASS” – FROM TV TO FILM
Like mold developing in the neglected grout of a public bathhouse, “Jackass” grew out of a fateful meeting of the minds between people involved with Big Brother Skateboard Magazine on the West Coast and CKY videos on the East Coast. Jeff Tremaine, Chris Pontius, Johnny Knoxville, Dave England, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña and Steve-O were all involved in a variety of subversive nonsense created for Big Brother;while Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Brandon Dicamillo and several other friends and family members were creating similar antics under the self-produced titles of “CKY”and “CKY2K.” When Tremaine and Knoxville decided to pitch a television network the idea for a show combining the best and worst elements of both entities, and touting incompetence as its major selling point, MTV was immediately intrigued and stepped to the forefront to supply them with a modest budget and a production crew. Thus, the ability to puke became a viable commodity, and stuff like the “Poo Cocktail,” “Unicycle Poo Barf” and “50-Egg Challenge” were soon dumped upon an unsuspecting mainstream with a youthful glee and gusto.

“We weren’t trying to change any social values or lower or raise any bars,” says Knoxville. “We were, and still are, just trying to make people laugh.”

The original weekly series “Jackass” was launched on MTV: Music Television on October 1, 2000. Despite its overall success, Knoxville decided to call it quits after 24 episodes. He simply felt that “Jackass” had gone about as far as it could on MTV without losing its integrity, but Tremaine and Spike convinced him to come back for one last hurrah, without the irksome limitations of television standards. Not only that, but they now had a big-time movie budget to make all their silliest dreams come true.

Knoxville, the “non-host host” of the TV show, along with “Jackass” cast members Steve-O, Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Jason “Wee-Man” Acuna, Ryan Dunn, Dave England, Preston Lacy and Ehren McGehey, spent four weeks filming in Pennsylvania, Oregon and California, two weeks drinking the benefits of a beer sponsorship in Florida, one week shopping in Japan and one week vacationing in two choice locations in Mexico. The result is destined to be the toast of analytical critics everywhere: “jackass the movie.”

“It’s just raw, and it’ll make people forget about everything for a short period of time,” says Ryan Dunn. “They can forget about work and about waking up in the morning. All they have to do is relax and just have fun for an hour and a half.”


ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
People shouldn’t expect to follow a plot when they go to see “jackass the movie.” What they can expect is the same format as the half-hour television series with back-to-back, totally unrelated sketches that run approximately 90 minutes. This makes it especially easy on those in the audience who need to go pee or feed their hungry stomachs, as they can simply get up and leave, come back minutes later and not feel they’ve missed a thing – even though they will probably have missed a good three or four things, since most of the segments are no more than a minute or two in length.
“Think ‘Jackass’ the television series times ten,” says executive producer John Miller. “It’s been a blast expanding upon the sick and twisted minds of guys who don’t take anything seriously, and I have no doubt that people who loved the series will flip over the film. In fact, I’m sure that word of mouth, alone, will have people standing around the block.”

“I can’t decide if this movie or ‘The Brothers Grunt’ animated series is the low point of my career,” says Van Toffler, President, MTV Films. “I’ve basically given money to a bunch of idiots saddled with enough dimwitted ignorance to try one bad idea after another, with the sole purpose of making moviegoers laugh.”
David Gale, senior vice president of MTV Films, expressed the sentiment of numerous executives when, after viewing the preliminary screening for “jackass the movie,” he uttered: “We’re all going to hell.”
Running the gamut from hair-brained stunts to troubling shots of Preston Lacy’s misshapen ass, the skits are all pretty ridiculous, and coming up with lots of dumb ideas has not been a problem.

“Ideas come from everywhere,” says director Jeff Tremaine. “Sometimes the cast will come up with the idea – like Bam Margera called me with an idea to have Raab Himself jump out of a tree with bungee cords attached to his underwear. Or someone will have the start of an idea and we’ll discuss it to figure out how to step it up. Lots of times the ideas just take off in an altogether different direction, but if they involve Pontius or Steve-O, there’s probably going to be some nudity involved.”

Due to the limited attention span of the “actors” and general irreverence on the set, directing “jackass the movie” was certainly no easy feat. “The hardest thing about shooting with these guys is getting them to settle down long enough to set up cameras,” says director Jeff Tremaine. “Sometimes when you get them all together, it’s impossible to get anything done. You just need to start rolling because they’re simply in their own world.”

“When Francis Ford Coppola was directing ‘Apocalypse Now,’ I don’t think he had to deal with any of the actors actually crapping in their pants,” says Johnny Knoxville. “So there are certain things that Jeff has to deal with that other directors don’t have to deal with and just couldn’t handle.”

With no script or shot list to follow, many of the best sketches in the film develop on the spot. The cast and crew never stop playing practical jokes, chiding one another, or taking off their clothes, and a lot of the stuff gets caught on camera, which produces the perfect garbage from which to assemble this kind of film.
“No one who shoots with us is off-limits. From producers to cameramen, it doesn’t matter whom you are or what position you hold,” says Trip Taylor, executive producer.

“That’s one of the best things about working on our production. There is absolutely no line between the crew and the cast,” adds director Jeff Tremaine. “Everyone who is around is vulnerable to being caught on camera and everyone needs to know that -- including me. One time on the set, for example, I was kind of stressing out because a couple of things weren’t working out for this big bit we were going to shoot, and while I was stressing out, one of the guys runs up behind me with some hair clippers and cuts a big patch out of my hair. So no one is off-limits.”
For all their fun and games, one member of the crew hopes their legacy will be to change the way movies are made in the future.

“I have to question any critic who compares this movie with ‘Gone with the Wind’ or any other masterpiece,” says cast member Preston Lacy. “We’re just a bunch of idiots making a funny movie that will hopefully make you laugh.”

ABOUT THE MUSIC
The American Recordings soundtrack offers the best in rock, punk and hip-hop endemic to skater culture, kicking off with the single and music video for “We Want Fun,” from acclaimed artist Andrew W.K. (and produced by the legendary Rick Rubin). The second single from the soundtrack is “Flesh Into Gear" from skater favorites CKY. In addition, the compilation features the classic Jackass theme song, “Corona” by the Minutemen, Slayer’s anthem “Reign in Blood,” “Baby Got Back” from Sir Mix A Lot and many more. According to Rick Rubin, “Jackass has revolutionized extreme television and now will be taking it even further in movie theaters. The 'jackass the movie' soundtrack embodies and supports this extreme,” says Rick Rubin.
Jackass ringleader Johnny Knoxville had great input on choosing the tracks for the soundtrack, which appear in the film as well. Knoxville and other Jackasses (Bam Margera, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Dave England, Ryan Dunn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuña, Preston Lacy, Ehren McGhehey) are featured in the “We Want Fun” video, directed by Jeff Tremaine (Director/Producer of “jackass the movie,” and one of the Creators and Executive Producers of the television series).

Track Listing to follow:

1. “Hi, my name is Johnny Knoxville”
2. Corona - Minutemen
3. We Want Fun - Andrew W.K.
4. Flesh Into Gear - CKY
5. Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight- The Rezillos
6. California Sun - The Ramones
7. Alright, Alright(Here’s My Fist Where’s The Fight- Sahara Hotnights
8. Let's Get F***ed Up - Smut Peddlers
9. Hybrid Moments – The Misfits
10. Cha Cha Twist - Detroit Cobras
11. Angel Of Death - Slayer
12. Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot
13. “How did that get there?”
14. If You’re Gonna Be Dumb- Roger Alan Wade

Cert: 18 - Contains dangerous and crude stunts.
Running Time: 1hour 25 mins
Distributor: UIP
Release Date: 28th February 2003

www.uip.co.uk