The 3D revolution has finally come of age. Jackass 3D takes the technology that has been sweeping Hollywood and completely destroys it, burning decades of technological progress right to the ground. And having fun every second of the time.
While Paramount didn’t bring Jackass 3D to Comic Con proper, they set up a party downtown where they served beers and hamburgers and had a trailer in which audiences could get a taste of what was in the movie. And as Spike Jonze said to me after I saw the footage, ‘You can really touch, smell and taste it all.’ What he meant, of course, was shit.
The footage was comprised of two parts – there was a slo-mo set of shots of the Jackass guys doing stunts and hitting each other in what was likely the opening scene. And then there was a sequel to the classic Jackass stunt ‘Poo Cocktail.’ While the original had Johnny Knoxville in a filthy port-o-potty getting picked up by a crane, this one had Steve-O in a filthy Port-O-Potty that gets launched hundreds of feet into the air on bungie cords.
There’s a moment where the 3D cameras inside the port-o-potty capture Steve-O with his mouth wide, screaming, and with nuggets of poop floating around him in zero gravity that almost feels like a moment from a very, very sick version of 2001. The combination of the stunt getting punched up and the 3D technology created a segment that had to be burned out of my brain by more of the free beer.
The Jackass crew (including, as I mentioned, Spike Jonze) was on hand to bullshit with people as they saw the footage. Ryan Dunn told me that the most remarkable thing about the 3D tech they used was that they could watch it in a 3D replay immediately after shooting it. There was no belabored post conversion or other technical stuff – they just did a stunt and ran over to the monitor.
Bam Margera illustrated the way that the group utilized 3D’s depth of field. He said one segment had a POV shot from a camera where you could see a strange, fleshlike protuberance at one side of the screen. The camera wandered about the cast and crew, and you couldn’t quite figure out what that thing was until it began pissing. On people. ‘You wouldn’t even know it was my dick,’ he said. ‘[The pissing] looks really cool in 3D.’
Jonze said that the 3D cameras took a little bit of adjustment, but after about a week everybody had the hang of them. Not all of the footage is in 3D, though, with some of the hidden cam/fucking about in the street with strangers stuff (the segments that Jonze is often involved with) being 2D because the hidden cameras couldn’t be 3D. But he seemed very happy with the technology, and said that if his next movie made sense in 3D he’d definitely shoot it that way.
There’s a question that hangs over the incredible footage (which included shots like Ryan Dunn being kicked in the face by a combat boot – in super slo-mo), which is just how long these guys can keep this up. During the new Poo Cocktail, Knoxville says that he did the first one exactly ten years earlier; that’s a long time to be hurting yourself for the movies. Bam cataloged the injuries he received on this film, which included a broken clavicle, broken ribs, fucked up knees and feet and more. It sounded like he broke a good half dozen bones during shooting, and his face still had open wounds on it.
‘I feel like this could be it,’ Tremaine said. When I asked him when he would finally kill one of the crew he just said, ‘They’re hard to kill. They’re like cockroaches.’
But they can be broken. Steve-O ended up in the bungied port-o-potty because he also refused to do stunts that involved falling or heights, so they put him in something that would fuck him up. And Tremaine told me that there would be at least one scene that makes me very personally happy. When I told him that my favorite bit in Jackass 2 was when they made Bam cry, he smiled and said, ‘Oh, we do that again in this one.’