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'Sixth Sense' star to film movie in Triad

Author : DAWN DeCWIKIEL-KANE

First published at www.gotriad.com on Friday, 1st July 2005 12:30 pm

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE

GREENSBORO — Haley Joel Osment, star of films "The Sixth Sense" and "Pay It Forward," will appear in a basketball movie to be filmed in the Triad starting in August.

A high school sports drama, "Home of the Giants," will be the second movie for SymPics International, a production company started by Greensboro attorneys L. Charles Grimes and his wife, Elizabeth, and their partners.

Its first, "National Lampoon's The Trouble With Frank," starring singer/actor Jon Bon Jovi, was filmed in the Triad a year ago.

That comedy should open in theaters this fall, said Charles Grimes, who plans to hold a star-studded premiere in Greensboro.

Both movies show SymPics' ability to attract big talent to smaller, independently-made films, as well as the growth potential for the Triad’s film industry.

"I am hoping that it will pave the way for more projects," said Grimes, who is also chairman of the volunteer board of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, which works to attract film production.

In 2004, producers of film, TV, commercials and still photography spent $22 million in the 12-county region, said Rebecca Clark, director of the nonprofit film commission.

Clark and Grimes expect that figure to grow if the state adopts pending legislation to give a 15 percent rebate to companies spending $250,000 or more in North Carolina.

That would make the state more competitive with those that already offer incentives.

Grimes said he considered filming "Home of the Giants" elsewhere, including basketball-loving Indiana, native state of scriptwriter and director Rusty Gorman.

But in addition to the prospect of incentives, Grimes ultimately decided to film locally "because I love Greensboro," he said .

The movie will be filmed over five weeks starting in mid- to late August.

Locations have not been finalized, but Grimes said they will include spots in Greensboro, High Point, probably Winston-Salem and some yet-to-be-named colleges across the state.

Now 17, Osment's break-through role came in 1994 as Tom Hanks' son in "Forrest Gump."

He received an Oscar nomination for the 1999 film "The Sixth Sense," as a child who communicates with the dead.

His line, "I see dead people," recently ranked 44th among the American Film Institute’s 100 greatest movie quotes.

Since then, he has appeared in "Pay It Forward," "Artificial Intelligence: A.I.," "Secondhand Lions" in addition to voice-overs for animated films.

"Home of the Giants” is a coming-of-age story told through the eyes of Osment’s character, Robert "Gar" Gartland, a high school journalist who covers the basketball team as it heads toward a state championship. Gar’s best friend, Matt, is the team’s star.

When Matt is asked by a drug dealer and small-time hood to throw the big game, Gar inevitably gets caught in the middle.

When he started reading the script, Grimes said , "I couldn't put it down. It was so exciting until the last second. You don’t know what is going to happen."

Osment was chosen for the role because of his name recognition, box-office appeal and introspective style. "There is a lot of depth to his acting," Grimes said.

Filmmakers are also in the process of choosing "four to five very recognizable stars," Grimes said. SymPics plans to recruit locally for extras in basketball sequences and for production crew members, including students from local film schools. Details will be announced at a later date.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 373-5204 or dkane@news-record.com

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE

 

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