It’s always fun when there’s a real, live bear on-set. There’s an energy and a hint of danger in the air when you’re dealing with animal actors, no matter how tame they seem. TaxACT understands our primal fear of bears, so they used a bear to represent “scary taxes.” Movie Prop Rentals joined with Green Film Factory and director Luis Gerard to create this thrilling 30-second spot.

About the Commercial

The TaxACT commercial was shot in two weeks in early December and aired on FX during “Dumb and Dumber To” the first week of January. The spot received 58,550,315 impressions. In it, a man outruns a bear and hops into his vehicle to find a TaxACT spokesperson already waiting for him.

The chuckle-worthy script went as follows:

“Fact: running from a bear that wants to eat you is very scary. Luckily, TaxACT assures that doing your taxes doesn’t have to be an equally terrifying ordeal. Though tax season may seem frightening at first, the company says you can quickly import your tax history and pay up to 30% less than what you pay with the big guys. Not only has a fortunate outdoorsman just outrun a bear, but he has also figured out his no-longer-daunting tax season.”

What We Did

First, we purchased our hero car – which turned out to be a 1995 white JEEP Cherokee for $2,900. Then we procured wood panel stickers and applied them to the sides for a true rustic, vintage feel.

Next, they wanted us to prepare for all possible outcomes. What if the bear didn’t want to perform? We set out to make the perfect fake bear stand-in– a fully pneumatic puppet. Ultimately, he wasn’t needed, but we had a lot of fun posing with him on-set. Filming took place at Camp Arev in Frazier Park. We arrived on a cold morning– when the moon was still up– because we’re early birds like that. We like the people we work with to have complete confidence– no matter what happens.

The shoot involved safety briefings for working with our 9-foot-tall, 1,000-pound “Grizzled” actor. We followed all masking and social distancing protocols during this time of COVID.

In addition to labeling a computer with the TaxACT logo, another bit of Movie Prop Rentals’ magic is the special effect where (fake) money blew all over the car. Now that was fun!

Insider’s Perspective

“It’s a shame the bear actor was so fantastic,” Movie Prop Rental’s Jerry Blohm laughed. “Our bear was so cool. It was really a Frankenstein of many different parts. We procured massive arms, several heads, and a whole rolling cabinet full of electronics. We snagged Alec Baldwin and Anthony Hopkins’ bear from The Edge, you know, just in case. In this line of work, you have to plan for a dozen different contingencies and be ready to switch between them at a moment’s notice, depending on the director’s whim, the weather conditions, or whatever.”

Contact Movie Prop Rentals for Your Next Commercial Spot

We make the impossible possible and customize every detail of the surroundings to your exacting specifications. Whether you need a fake bear– or not– Movie Prop Rentals has you covered. Contact us for a customized quote. No job is too big or too small. We’re from Miami, but we’ll travel anywhere in the USA to meet you.