Life on the Ledge

Lewis Helfer writes, directs, and stars in this quirky comedy about 32-year-old Brian Leib, a neurotic recluse who only leaves home once a week to visit his psychiatrist or to contemplate suicide from his rooftop. When he discovers a tumor on his neck and learns that he actually is dying, Brian breaks out of his shell and starts doing things he never would have dreamed—like speaking to Claire, the beautiful stripper who is also a patient at his psychiatrist’s office. Life on the Ledge premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.

  • Starring: Lewis Helfer and Melissa Sagemiller
  • Director(s): Lewis Helfer
  • Producer(s): Shannon Upstill
  • Screenwriter(s): Lewis Helfer
  • Distributor: TBD
  • Animal Coordinator: Lisa Whitaker
  • Release Date: Monday, April 25, 2005

Featured Animal Action

Brian is in a wheelchair in one scene, while a Capuchin monkey co-star moves throughout the room and performs several actions. To attract the monkey to his various marks the trainer scattered treats and also used a combination of hand signals and verbal cues. To get the monkey to hang a poster, a monofilament line was attached to the poster and guided by an off-camera crew member as the monkey hung it on the wall. 

As Brian and Claire sit outside a building and talk, a woman and her dog walk past. The producer of this film owns the dog and simply handed the leash to the actress for this brief A-to-B action.

American Humane's On-Set Oversight

American Humane’s Film & Television Unit monitored this film. Life on the Ledgeis a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) production, and therefore it was required to provide American Humane’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives on-set access whenever animals were used. During pre-production of the film, American Humane’s Film & TV Unit received a copy of the script and the daily call sheets. American Humane’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives carefully reviewed these materials to determine whether any scenes or situations appeared to put animals at risk. Animal Safety Representatives were then on the set to ensure the animals remained safe throughout production.

This film met the Guidelines  established by American Humane, received the Monitored Acceptable rating, and was awarded the "No Animals Were Harmed”® End Credit Disclaimer.