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One Big Party for Home of the Giants !

Author :Leigh Maxwell as told to Daniel Chia . Thanks also to Meg Sumner from the Greensboro All-Stars for additional information

First published 17th October 2006

All photographs © 2006 by Leigh Maxwell (except when credited to SymPics)

An Original article for the Home of the Giants Tribute Site


Leigh Maxwell is currently a senior at Greensboro Day School, but when she was a junior last year, little did she realise that something exciting would happen to her and her quiet neighbourhood in Greensboro, North Carolina . Not only did Director Rusty Gorman and his cast and crew descend on Greensboro to film much of the gritty basketball drama Home of the Giants, Leigh found the film crew spending a night at her house to film a segment of the major motion picture there !

Many members of the Greensboro Day School basketball team had been roped in as the players in the game scenes of the film. Leigh's friend, Brittany Gardner , who is a cheerleader in her school, invited Leigh to join her on the first day of filming as an extra .

The film's cheerleaders were however not played by the cheerleaders from the Greensboro Day School , but were from the community's competitive cheerleading team, the Greensboro All-Stars . The cheerleaders from the Greensboro All-Stars played cheerleaders not only for the Giants team, but also for the Devil and Eagles teams . One of Leigh's friends, Emily Mohorn , who is a cheerleader from the Greensboro All-Stars , appears in the film's trailer as the cheerleader who gets thrown up and does a flip.

Emily Mohorn, Greensboro All Stars Cheerleader, doing a midair flip for the film . Picture is taken off the unofficial trailer for Home of the Giants .

On Leigh's day of filming as an extra, Leigh's role was to stand in the crowd and Ryan Merriman as basketball star Matt Dunbar would wink at her. Leigh was to blush and and shyly smile back. Leigh was thrilled that she was standing right in front of Brent Briscoe! Leigh recollects that " this was filmed one weekend in early November 2005 , and it was shot out in a warehouse. It was a green screen kind of thing where they were going to insert us into the crowd at one of the games. "

Leigh continues the story , " After a number of takes we were asked to go out into the tents and wait to be paid. While waiting Jon Felson approached me and my friends. He was looking for a big high school party where they might be able to take some footage for a party scene. They were hoping to do it the following night but it would be a Sunday night and we were almost certain that there were not going to be any high school gatherings on a school night. "

"My parents were out of town, but I called them and asked if I could let the crew come over and film for a few hours and have a bunch of people from my school come and help out. They said ok and I called up Mr. Felson and let him know that I would be more than happy to host a party sunday night, I described the house and gave him directions to it. I was thrilled that a segment of Home of the Giants would actually be filmed at my house! "

Leigh's friend, Ramsay Horn, pointing at the massive truck of equipment that the crew brought over. This was taken before the rest of the "extras" came over and the crew was starting to set up.

"The next day I rallied about 50 of my friends and neighbors and had them come all dressed in winter attire as was required by the film. It was late fall, but still not very cold so you can imagine that it get pretty toasty, especially with all the lights that they had set up inside the house ! "

A crew member setting up lights in the foyer of Leigh's house prior to filming

"Once the lights and cameras were all set up, Jon sent a guy up to the grocery store to buy assorted beer and solo cups to be used as 'props'. " Leigh laughs as she recollects, " They asked that we try to not drink the beer, however they did offer it to us after we had finished the filming since they didnt reallly need it for anything else. "

About 45 of Leigh's friends turned up for the filming. Pictured here (from left to right ) are Dana Cook, Lauten Crow, Chris Kelly, Costen Warner, Luke Sanderford, Kailie Torres, Ramsay Horn (Bottom) Bruce Young.

"The filming took about 3 hours starting between 7:30 - 8 pm and ending around 11 pm . Everyone was very excited about the movie after we finished filming because the producers showed us some of the footage they took of our scene on a tiny video monitor It was all very fun and exciting and the footage looked great !"

Pictured here (from left to right) are Ramsay Horn, James King, Blake Jennings, Catherine Covington, Shira Solomon, Megan Duda, Cary Duda, and Alan Fox (Alan was one of the main basketball players in the movie)

"We all started making plans to go and see the movie together when it eventually comes out, and even a year later everyone involved continues to ask me about the release date and when we might get to see it. I think we all would be very disappointed to see the scene cut from the film . "

(from left to right) Ellison White, Leigh Maxwell (me), and Michael McAdams

We all look forward with you to seeing you and friends in Home of the Giants , Leigh !

That's Nolan Elingburg , one of Leigh's friends from school, on the bottom far left of the picture , in a crowd scene from Home of the Giants with Ryan Merriman.

 

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