Creative Babies

by Jonathan Moxness

Here at Action Playground our creative process is a lovely mix of collaborators. Whenever a group comes together to create something there are certain strengths that each creator brings with them, which we try to highlight as we plan, shoot and edit our videos. You could say it’s a bit like multiple cooks baking a cake or we can use the cliché of artistic creation being likened to human creation. Using the metaphor that Action Playground videos are little babies that we make, I’ll give you some behind-the-scenes insight into what we do.


Art, like children, is expensive. For example, the production budget for The Hobbit (part 1) was $250 Million. Action Playground’s budget is considerably smaller, and we don’t want to get too in depth into our budgeting and receipts (this is an article, not a spreadsheet) but to give some insight, if you watch Henchman in a Box you can see arms and armament on our henchman with a retail price tag of $3000. In Portal Fight the firearms and equipment cost close to $20,000!!

In addition to the monetary costs involved in our artistic conception, there is the human cost as well. We have shed blood, sweat and tears making our short videos. Arguably, not as much as in labor, but in the labor of love that is Action Playground, here are some of the ways we give of ourselves.


During shooting for Portal Fight, we were shooting in a Calgary warehouse. We were lucky to get such a space for filming at such a cheap price. During a break between scenes Jon was doing his classic “run-up-the-wall-backflip” maneuver. Unfortunately, the drywall was not solid enough to launch Purvis backwards without leaving a very neat footprint through the wall. So now we had two problems: continuity hates that fact that a previously unblemished wall has an obvious mark in it, and liability wise, we may have expensive repairs ahead of us. Fortunately, with a bit of digital blood, Moxness was able to incorporate the footprint into the story and even more fortunate, the warehouse was scheduled for demolition, so there was no cost to repair the damaged wall!


When Purvis and Olynek travelled to Estonia and filmed Tourist Trap, the shoot day was midsummer, very hot, in a stone dungeon (aka oven). It took about a half dozen takes of the action scene, with more even footage of the big moves like the lift at the end and the muay thai
elbow. Anytime you can get 6 dudes in a stone oven in Estonia there is going to be lots of sweat shed to get filming finished. Fortunately, we wore black, but if you look closely you can see how ‘committed’ we were. Or you can take a look at Simon, in grey.


During shooting of Granola Fight to the Death Jeff was in the process of getting new contact lenses because his current prescription was not up to date and as such his eyes were often irritated. Things that aggravated the discomfort were rapidly changing light conditions, too long wearing the lenses, and windy days. Well the shoot day was, as luck would have it, a windy day, and Jeff was struggling to not look like a weepy mess on camera as a result, certain takes were delayed so that his eyes could stop leaking, and with careful editing, the finished product betrays none of the ocular discomfort Jeff experienced. But if you look at the outtakes video at 3:37 you can see a redness of eye that demonstrates the tears shed in the pursuit of creation.

The projects that we undertake here at Action Playground are our internet babies. The digital media we release brings us much joy, despite the hard work it takes to make them. We are so terribly proud of the work we do and we hope that you continue to enjoy watching our videos and will keep watching us as we grow up.


I want to take this opportunity to inform you that Action Playground’s own Kyle Robson and his wife Mumtaz are expecting a baby. We are all so terribly happy for them, and even though our projects have been like babies for us, we know that Kyle’s upcoming ‘project’ will not only be new in an entirely different way, it will also be rewarding and soul filling beyond what we can ever achieve through our channel.

Congratulations to Kyle and Mumtaz!

Jonathan Moxness

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