Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Mike Parker

2/23/2012 (3 years ago)

Grace Hill Media (

What went into creating the newly release film, "Act of Valor?" Veteran writer and film critic Mike Parker talks with the movie's co-directors Mike "Mouse" McCoy and Scott Waugh.


By Mike Parker

Grace Hill Media (

2/23/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Movies

Keywords: Act of Valor, Navy Seals, films,

LOS ANGELES, CA (Grace Hill Media) - In 2007, the Los Angeles-based production company Bandito Brothers filmed a short documentary about the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewmen. Descendants of the Vietnam era swift boat operators, the SWCC's primary responsibilities include inserting and extracting U.S. Navy SEAL teams from seemingly impossible destinations, where they carry out their sensitive and exceedingly dangerous work. That project led co-directors Mike "Mouse" McCoy and Scott Waugh to embark an another audacious project; a quest to present an authentic look at the behind the scenes world of one of the world's most elite and enigmatic military forces, the U.S. Navy SEALs.

Mike Parker - Act of Valor has a strong, pro-military message. Is that intentional, or were you just trying to make a really exciting action flick?

McCoy & Waugh - We wanted people in the audience to connect with and appreciate the service of our men and women in the armed forces. They do a phenomenal job. We also think it is important to recognize the service of all of our men and women in uniform, and that includes our first responders, our firefighters and police officers.

Parker - Beyond simply earning the respect of the Navy SEALs, I'm sure you had to get permission from the Department of Defense to shoot this film. What kind of hoops did you have to jump through to make it happen?

McCoy & Waugh - Once we decided we wanted to use the real guys in the roles of Navy SEALs, we had to come up with a battle plan that was doable. We basically partnered with the DoD to augment existing training exercises that were already on the books, so there was no need to take the men away from their training duties.

Parker - In addition to being a great action movie, there is a pretty strong secondary story about the sacrifice of the families that are left behind to keep the home fires burning. Beyond simply raising our collective consciousness about the challenges of being a military spouse, what do you hope results from this part of the film?

McCoy & Waugh - The wives of the SEALs are incredibly heroic. When their husbands are deployed they almost act as single parents. They deserve all the recognition we can give them. It takes a community to raise a family under those circumstances, and the way these women bond together to get through the hard times is inspiring. We really want to encourage commuinities to reach out to our military families and lend a hand where they can.

Parker - Last words?

McCoy & Waugh - The guys in the uniform in the movie weren't playing a role; they were doing what they do on a daily basis. Yes, they had to learn some dialogue, but basically they were just being themselves; doing and saying the things they would do and say in a real world situation. It is important to realize that everything that happened to a person in uniform in this film, really happened to a Navy SEAL.

It is also pretty cool to note that this is an authetic movie where the action is all caught on film. There is not a single CGI special effect in the movie. It has been a long time since, maybe since the 1980s, since you've seen that on the big screen, and we think audiences will really appreciate it.

ACT OF VALOR releases in theaters this Friday, February 24.


Mike Parker is a writer and film critic from


More Movies

Concluding chapter in 'Hunger Games' series - 'Mockingjay - Part 2' roaring into theaters Watch

Image of Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, turns her efforts into overthrowing the oppressive government in


The concluding chapter in the "Hunger Games" sci-fi film series, "Mockingjay - Part 2" roars into theaters on November 30. Widely and wildly popular, the dystopian fantasy series is based upon a series of books by Suzanne Collins. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Serbian film 'Enclave' peeks into the lives of persecuted Christians living in Kosovo under Muslim rule Watch

Image of


Serbian filmmaker, Goran Radovanovic, provides a look into Christianity in Muslim-majority Kosovo through the film Enclave, which he wrote and directed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Radovanovic wrote and directed Enclave to tell the world about the suffering the ... continue reading

James Bond star Daniel Craig says he's into it for the money Watch

Image of Actor Daniel Craig says that while a dream role for many, the part of James Bond is an awful lot of hard work.


In a candid interview shocking in its forthrightness, actor Daniel Craig, who just finished playing the iconic superspy James Bond in "Spectre," was asked if he was going to play Bond immediately afterwards. "If I did another Bond movie, it would only be for ... continue reading

Director Steven Spielberg returns with Cold War drama 'Bridge of Spies' Watch

Image of Tom Hanks plays lawyer James B. Donovan into another of his patented Everyman characters. Hanks is careful not to come off as too virtuous by infusing scenes with dry humor.

By Greg Goodsell (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Director Steven Spielberg returns to the screen with "Bridge of Spies," an incisive look into Cold War-era America. His first feature film since "Lincoln," Spielberg focuses on the real-life trade off a Soviet Spy in exchange for an American service man downed ... continue reading

Masses of moviegoers move to see 'The Martian,' making it number one at box office Watch

Image of

By Greg Goodsell (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Martian," a space opera about astronaut Matt Damon being stranded on the Red Planet, is doing astronomical business at the nation's box offices. In the manner of "Gravity" in 2013, an outer space suspense yarn that took moviegoers by storm, many analysts ... continue reading

Braveheart screenwriter contributes success to God Watch

Image of Randall Wallace.


Randall Wallace, known for his films Braveheart, Heaven is For Real, Pearl Harbor and The Man in the Iron Mask, said he was unsuccessful in life until he asked God to help him.After he asked God for guidance, Wallace went from jobless to becoming one of Hollywood's ... continue reading

Horrific notorious abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell, featured in documentary Watch

Image of Kermit Gosnell.


A new documentary has been created centered around abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, titled 3801 Lancaster: American Tragedy. The trailer is set to be released Monday night. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - The feature-length documentary has been in production ... continue reading

Filmmaker attempts to raise awareness of Christian persecution in the Middle East Watch

Image of 'Return to the Hiding Place' brings awareness of Christian persecution in the Middle East.


Film writer and director Peter Spencer has announced his attempt to raise awareness about the critical situation of Christians being persecuted in the Middle East through his film Return to the Hiding Place. It is about a group of people who fight to save the lives of ... continue reading

Faith-based film 'War Room' out grosses secular films such as 'No Escape' and 'We Are Your friends' Watch

Image of It pays to be frugal when producing films, as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A quiet domestic drama about a family who turns to prayer -- "War Room" opened at theaters nationwide this past weekend. "War Room" spoke to an unspoken need among moviegoers, as its box office receipts far overtook the debuting action drama "No Escape" and the ... continue reading

Horror film director Wes Craven, of 'Nightmare on Elm Street' series dies at 76 Watch

Image of A kindly man with a sly smile perpetually planted on his scholarly face, horror film director Wes Craven knew what he was doing.

By Greg Goodsell (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As a director of horror films, Wes Craven definitely had his vicissitudes. He had some disappointments, and not all of his films spun gold at the box office. He would remain world-famous had he only directed three of his films, "Last House on the Left" in 1972, ... continue reading

All Movies News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 1:13-15; 2:1-2
13 Priests, put on sackcloth and lament! You ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 9:2-3, 6, 16, 8-9
6 the enemy is wiped out -- mere ruins for ever -- ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:15-26
15 But some of them said, 'It is through Beelzebul, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 9th, 2015 Image

Sts. Denis, Rusticus, and Eleutherius
October 9: The first mention we have of these three martyrs who died around ... Read More