Laughs, stunts, and pain….in 3D!

In recent years technology for movies has been advancing at a rapid pace. It doesn’t seem so long ago that VHS tapes came off the shelves and were replaced by DVDs. And now 3D, a medium heavily used in the eighties (though not with great artistry, witness 1983’s Jaws 3D), has made a grand comeback. With increased frequency—and success—major production companies started to dabble in the revamped and improved medium for films, MTV among them with their upcoming release of Jackass 3D.

The idea for a Jackass in 3D created doubt among the two original contributors, Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine, who recently sat down to a conference call with colleges all over the country. “The studio actually suggested it and we resisted,” said Knoxville, “but after we did some film tests and some camera tests it didn’t slow down the way we shot and that was our biggest concern. That took the pressure off and we had a ball with the cameras.” There are “certain movies [that] have to be in 3D,” said Tremaine, “that’s just the rule.”

The process for shooting the movie in 3D took more time and preparation but producer Tremaine said, “The 3D cameras were a lot bigger and bulkier but it felt like we were just shooting a normal Jackass.” Knoxville’s only request was that they wouldn’t “have to think about the cameras one time during filming.”

The whole crew, back for a third cinematic round, is credited with the stunt-planning and brain storming process which in this movie “seemed like we were just bursting with them.” The movie had a “stock pile of stunts that we didn’t have time to get to,” said Knoxville. Next to their outrageous stunts and the now 3D qualities, another major element that gave the movie something extra was “the relationship with the guys,” said Knoxville. “We give each other hell, but you can really feel how close we are. It was in the other films, but it was in this one even more.”

For most people the idea of self-inflicted pain would be left as just that, an idea. For the Jackass crew it’s a challenge among them, a way of “one-upping” each other, said Tremaine. “The only time we, or I, won’t do a stunt is if there’s a bad vibe going around the set,” said Knoxville, but the rejection of a stunt is “super, super rare.”

Naturally, the gut-wrenching part of the Jackass series is seeing the injuries the crew suffers, but both Tremaine and Knoxville attest that during this movie “no one go too seriously hurt,” the exception being a “broken collarbone” and a “torn up hand.”

When asked about any special rituals that Knoxville goes through before a dangerous stunt he said, “About 20 minutes before it’s on I go sit and listen to my cousin’s music and I’ll say come tap me on the shoulder and I’ll just walk right in because I want to get it out of the way.” 

The concept of Jackass dates back to 1999, its fame has grown tremendously in the past eleven years, and it doesn’t seem to be ceasing any time soon, this being evident with their release of Jackass 3D on October 15th.