scoreboard in Joel Coliseum this weekend reads: "Welcome to Indianapolis!"
- and still - the home of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the coliseum is currently
home to the Indiana high-school basketball championship - at least on film. Writer/director
Rusty Gorman is making his first feature film, Home of the Giants, in the Piedmont
Triad, and the production is looking for extras to cheer on the mythical team
at the center of the movie.
the crowd at the basketball games, the production also has more than 1,000 inflatable
dummies, dressed in the respective schools' team colors, and positioned throughout
the coliseum by production assistants. On the upper levels, cardboard standees
replicate human fans.
"They are the
most cooperative actors," joked Amber Smith, the film's extras coordinator.
"They're here all weekend. They don't need food or pay, and they're always
smiling. They're not very good at remembering lines, however."
said co-producer Jessica Koller, you can't beat the real thing. Anyone who wants
to cheer on the Giants as an extra can do so today and Sunday. Potential extras
can arrive at the coliseum about 1 p.m. Filming is expected to continue into the
evening on both days.
people to come out throughout the day - the earlier the better and the more people
the better," she said.
For each extra
who reports and stays all day (12 hours), the production will donate $5 to the
Red Cross on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. There will also be raffles
and other incentives to keep the extras during setups.
Joel Osment, a nominee for an Academy Award for The Sixth Sense (1999), stars
in the film as a high-school reporter who follows the Giants as they make their
championship run. The film also stars Ryan Merriman (Taken, The Ring Two) as the
team's star player and Danielle Panabaker (Empire Falls, Sky High) as a fellow
Rebecca Clark, the
director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission who helped coordinate pre-production
of the film, was at the coliseum yesterday. "We've got some good things going
on, and this is one of them," she said.
of the Giants will be the first production to reap benefits from a state film-incentives
program that was recently put into final form. The program offers a 15 percent
rebate to filmmakers who shoot in North Carolina. Even before the incentives,
however, regional and statewide production has been remarkably steady.
Carolina has a lot to offer, and, thanks to the incentives, I think more filmmakers
will come here to make movies," said Charles Grimes, both the producer of
the film and the chairman of the board of the film commission.
a longtime basketball enthusiast who himself hails from Indiana, said that the
film "isn't really about basketball, so it's a different perspective from
other sports films. It's about the difference between friends and heroes. It's
really a coming-of-age story."
described Osment, his 17-year-old leading man, as "brilliant."
feel really blessed that he took the role," he said. "He, Ryan and Danielle
are the best things that happened to us.
three of them are going to have major careers. Haley's already got one, and Ryan
and Danielle are coming up fast. Working with them has been great."
this weekend, Home of the Giants will have reached the midway point in principal
production, but you can't call it halftime.
is no halftime on a movie set," said Gorman with a smile. "There's no
about participating as an extra, call the Extras Hotline at 232-5913.
Mark Burger can be reached at 727-7370 or at email@example.com