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Starmount home becomes movie set

Author : Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane

First published in the on 8th September 2005

Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE


GREENSBORO -- He gained fame for his screen portrayals of the son of Forrest Gump and of a boy who sees dead people.

On Wednesday, Haley Joel Osment, 17, started filming his latest movie, the high school basketball drama "Home of the Giants."

The movie actually is set in high-school basketball-loving Indiana.

But Greensboro-based production company SymPics International will shoot all scenes -- except for Indiana cornfields and water towers -- across the Triad this month and next.

Libby Grimes, an executive producer and her husband, Charles Grimes (center), a producer of the upcoming movie “Home of the Giants,” talk with Eugene Osment, father of movie star Haley Joel Osment. Most scenes in the film will be shot at locations across the Triad.

Location managers had scoured the northwest Greensboro neighborhood of Starmount Forest for a home that matched script settings. They found it at the Madison Avenue address of Emil and Jane Dovan, who welcomed the idea.

Wednesday, filmmakers transformed it into a movie set for a day.

They shot scenes with Osment and actor Ryan Merriman, who play best friends in the coming-of-age story about friendship and the potential dangers of hero worship.

The script by Indiana native Rusty Gorman, who will also direct, attracted him to the film, Osment said."This one is perfect for this age for me," Osment said as he took a break between scenes.

Osment's breakthrough 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.

Since then, he has appeared in "Pay It Forward," "Artificial Intelligence: AI" and "Secondhand Lions," in addition to doing voiceovers for animated films.

In "Home of the Giants," Osment plays Robert "Gar" Gartland, a high school journalist who covers the basketball team as it heads toward a state championship.

"It's important to find roles with characters growing up," Osment said. "Gar is one of those characters that moves me along the timeline in my career."

The dialogue particularly impressed him, Osment added. "It's how me and my friends talk to each other. It seemed very real and very natural."

Merriman, who has a lead role in the upcoming film, "Final Destination 3," plays Matt, the team's star.

The cast includes Danielle Panabaker of TV's "Summerland" and "Empire Falls." She plays a new girl in town who studies journalism with Gar.

ESPN commentators Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas also will have scenes, said L. Charles Grimes, the Greensboro attorney who started SymPics International with his attorney wife, Elizabeth "Libby" Grimes, and their business partners.

The public will have chances to appear in the movie, too.

Basketball game scenes will need thousands of extras for large crowds. Some may be shot at Winston-Salem's Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum and possibly at area colleges, Grimes said.

Dates and locations have not been finalized.Call the extras casting hotline at 232-5913 for updates.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 373-5240 or


Be sure to read the ORIGINAL ARTICLE


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