Dr. Joseph Horrigan divides his storied 25-year background between sports medicine and strength and conditioning. With multiple board certifications, he has a unique understanding of what it takes to recover from injury, what it takes to achieve top form, and how to navigate effectively between the two. Dr. Horrigan’s wide range of scientifically proven techniques is designed to help identify weaknesses and develop training regimens that maximize potential.
This ability did not go unnoticed by the film industry. Studios and production companies for numerous films have called upon Dr. Horrigan’s skills. This confidence and trust by the studios and production companies is revealed by collective production costs of approximately $1.04 billion dollars and global revenues exceeding $4.1 billion dollars of the films Dr. Horrigan has been asked to consult. This trust has also allowed Dr. Horrigan to review scripts, storyboards, and fight choreography, all of which are typically jealously guarded by the production companies and studios.
Dr. Horrigan has consulted on several major films in a variety of capacities:
- review of fight choreography and stunts for safety,
- script review for safety,
- rehabilitation and overview of training, martial arts training,
- on-set monitoring of physical performance demands (fatigue and recovery) and reduction of risk by modifying stunt, action or fight technique,
- strength and conditioning services to prepare actors/actresses for physically demanding roles,
- program design to assist actors and actresses with weight loss or weight gain.
The key purpose of this service is to protect the actor/actress from injury, or further injury, and to help the studio complete the filming/production of the project in a reasonably timely manner. Injuries can and do occur in training/preparation for films and during action or fight scenes in production. These injuries can sometimes cause production to be delayed or in worst case, shut down. Neither the studios nor the performers want this financially catastrophic event to occur. Dr. Horrigan has been able to allow the actor/actress to perform in a safer manner by recommending modification in movements or techniques in action or fighting scenes and this allows the studio to move forward with production. Collectively, these services have saved several studios many millions of dollars.
Additionally, some film projects require a high level of physical performance by the actor or actress. Science-based strength and conditioning programs can produce the desired results for these demanding roles.
Specialized services that Dr. Horrigan can provide or coordinate include specialists for authenticity coaching in role performance: medical specialties; martial arts, fencing and boxing; track and field; volleyball and other sports. Strength and conditioning services can be provided through a network, which provides services in Vancouver and London, but arrangements can be made for travel to any location.
A few of the film projects that Dr. Horrigan provided consultation include:
- “The Matrix”, a Warner Bros. Production, Medical Consultant. The work on “The Matrix” involved meeting with the fight choreographers, review of story boards and script for safety in fight and action scenes, video review of fight scenes during pre-production training, and telephone conferences regarding safety with studio executives, producers and directors during production. The advice allowed modification in action scenes to maintain performer safety and keep the integrity of the story. This allowed filming to continue.
- “Seabiscuit”, Universal Production, Athletic Performance Consultant. The work on Seabiscuit involved preparing Tobey Maguire for his role as a jockey. This entailed preparing him for the strenuous work of a jockey and also to lose weight to represent a jockey. On-set observation and consultation was provided to monitor the volume of work and recovery performed during filming so continued film takes could occur while reducing the risk of injury or excessive fatigue. Dr. Horrigan shared the work during Seabiscuit with Pete Koch. This information was included in the press packet for the film.
- “Charlie’s Angels II, Full Throttle”, Columbia Pictures/Sony Films, Medical and Athletic Performance Consultant (uncredited). The work on Charlie’s Angels II involved rehabilitating an actress injured during the filming. This was followed by on-set observation and consultation to monitor the safety and volume of work and recovery of the actress as she performed during filming. This protected the actress and the studio by allowing the production to continue while reducing the risk of re-injury from excessive fatigue or high-risk maneuvers. This also required Dr. Horrigan to give input to fight choreographer, Cheung-Yan Yuen.
- “Spiderman II”, Columbia Pictures/Sony Films, Medical Consultant (uncredited). The stunts and action scenes were reviewed on story boards for safety by Joseph Horrigan, DC and Ian Armstrong, MD during pre-production.
- “Skeleton Key”, Universal Production, Medical and Athletic Performance Consultant. Dr. Horrigan consulted to help an actress in the final stages of weight loss needed for the film. This was given much media attention in May 10 and 17, 2004 People magazine, Vogue and others. Additionally, another actress was injured on the set and Dr. Horrigan provided rehabilitation and consultation to allow the filming to continue as soon as possible. William Hohl, MD also provided consultation for the injury.
- “Things We Lost in the Fire”, Dreamworks Production. Athletic Performance Consultant. Dr. Horrigan was asked to assist an actor with weight loss for the role of an addict.
- “Che – The Argentine”, Independent film production, Athletic Performance Consultant. The work on “The Argentine” and “Guerilla” involved preparing one of the actors for the physical nature of his role. These two movies were filmed “back-to-back”.
- “Che – Guerilla”, Independent film production, Athletic Performance Consultant. The work on “Guerilla” and “The Argentine” involved preparing one of the actors for the physical nature of his role. These two films were made consecutively. This included much track work, climbing, stair climbing, weight training and cycling in preparation for repeated scenes of hiking and running through mountains, hills and canyons.
- “The Lovely Bones”, Dreamworks production. Athletic Performance Consultant. This project required an actor to gain weight for the role. This was achieved with close monitoring of his nutritional status with specific interest in protein and calorie intake coupled with a weight-training program.
- “The Wolfman”, Universal Films production. Athletic Performance Consultant (uncredited). This project required preparation for running and brief course in fencing.
- “The Hunger Games”, Lion’s Gate Films production. Athletic Performance Consultant to Jennifer Lawrence. Dr. Horrigan was asked to prepare Jennifer Lawrence for the role of Katniss Everdeen. This has received much attention via various forms of media. The preparation included track work, coaching in archery, various forms of aerobic training, and nutritional consultation.
- “Savages”, Universal Films production. Athletic Performance Consultant (uncredited). Dr. Horrigan was asked to assist an actor prepare for his role as a hit man by an increasing weight training program.
- “Django Unchained”, Columbia Pictures production. Medical Consultant (credited as Special Thanks). Dr. Horrigan was asked to assist with medical direction and rehabilitation for several injured actors. The consultation required review of select action scenes for safety. This also required meetings with the props and wardrobe department for safety designs. The film was able to continue to completion.
- “Paradise Lost”, Chapter 2 production. Athletic Performance Consultant. Dr. Horrigan was asked to prepare an actor who needed to gain weight for his historical figure role. This was achieved by a weight training program and nutritional consultation.
The script and storyboard review, and stunt and fight review and recommendations during “The Matrix”, as well as the fight and stunt choreography review and recommendations during “Charlie’s Angels II Full Throttle” lead the Cheung-Yan Yuen fight choreography crew to ask Dr. Horrigan to be available for consultation on future projects.
This niche has also required Dr. Horrigan to recruit specific specialties such as a clinical nutritionist to assist actors and actresses through weight loss or weight gain; a 5-time Olympic archer, Khatuna Lorig, for The Hunger Games; fencing coaches; track coaches; and a pulmonologist to coach an actor through an untreated asthma attack for a scene. Once the new film project is reviewed with the actor/actress, director or producers, and the needs are identified, the required subspecialists are then recruited. Dr. Horrigan usually asks Dr. Doug Andersen, Certified Clinical Nutritionist for his assistance with actors and actresses.