Everything from the casting of actual Navy SEALs to the intimate handheld photography in Relativity Media's upcoming Act of Valor is being utilized to produce the closest thing to a fully authentic and "fly on the wall" documentation of the average SEAL's lifestyle - just short of strapping a camera to a SEAL's head while they head to work, that is.
The latest featurette released for the film includes interviews with stunt experts-turned-directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, along with cinematographer Shane Hurlbut (Terminator Salvation), discussing how both they and the cast further risked life and limb which producing this flick - seeing how the combat sequences in Act of Valor feature live ammunition (and not the customary blanks).
Act of Valor chronicles the experiences of the Bandito Platoon, a brigade of SEALs whose rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative blows the lid on a deadly global terrorist plot that has "potentially unimaginable consequences" for the U.S. The soldiers travel by air and sea around the world, in their attempts to thwart the would-be deadly plot against the lives of thousands of innocent civilians - all while attempting to stay alive, in the hopes of reuniting with their loved ones back home.
Check out the "real bullets" featurette for Act of Valor below:
Give Act of Valor credit: the film looks to come as close to being a legitimate cinéma vérité experience as any, as far as its portrayal of the realities of warfare and contemporary military technology is concerned. The use of practical effects in general tends to result in more convincingly raw and engagingly gritty action, but McCoy and Waugh have notched the stakes up even higher by throwing live-fire and real military men (and women) into the mix. Based on preliminary footage, their efforts look to be reflected in the final product.
Kurt Johnstad's (300) screenplay for Act of Valor, by comparison, sounds like it features a pretty basic point A to point B to point C plot, with dramatic scenes meant to better humanize the SEAL characters scattered here and there, between the set pieces. Then again, this film is meant to directly reflect the often-harsh realities of the SEAL lifestyle - and not serve as a thematic mediation on the condition of being at war (a la Full Metal Jacket, The Hurt Locker, etc.) - so, as long as the "down time" and character beats in Act of Valor don't end up up feeling like filler, this movie could very well pack the tumultuous punch it's aiming for.
We shall see how it all goes down when Act of Valor hit theaters in the U.S. on February 24th, 2012.
Source: Relativity Media