“Act of Valor” showcases real Navy SEALs, wives and kids ... and bullets

Producer-directors Mike "Mouse" McCoy and Scott Waugh didn't plan on inventing a new kind of movie, but realized the real thing is better than Hollywood

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SEAL training pushes recruits beyond human limits – mentally, emotionally and physically. Having the absolutely impossible

demanded eliminates those who are unable to pull off demanding missions and unexpected situations in which inventiveness, strength, cunning, team-spirit, mental toughness and versatility are vital.

And that’s what Waugh and McCoy show – how from Day One, trainees learn their lives depend on teamwork as well as willingness to sacrifice everything for their buddies. Navy SEALs have never left another SEAL behind on a mission. But filming that story while keeping out of the way was no easy task.

Open water rescue

“It’s important to note that no Navy assets were diverted into making this movie,” notes Waugh. “We worked around existing training operations and that’s why it took over two and a half years to shoot — and four years from start to finish.

“For four years,” says McCoy, “we were humbled and honored to be invited into the world of Navy special warfare, to take a look at their story. We spent a lot of time meeting the men and hearing the stories.”


Six months into the project, they identified five true-life acts of valor that had actually happened in the last 11 years. So, McCoy and Waugh hired screenwriter Kurt Johnstad to craft those incidents into a movie.

“Act of Valor” isn’t a documentary — it has a plot, including a damsel in distress.

Forest snipers

When her rescue in Latin America leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. The valiant men of fictional Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that could kill and wound thousands of American civilians — but must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.

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