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'Home of the Giants' to play at Indy film festival
Marion native's film inspired by hometown; some footage shot here Some scenes will look familiar City proud of director, movie Gorman's career bright

Written by MARIBETH HOLTZ

© 2007 www.chronicle-tribune.com

First published 15th October 2007

Be sure to read the original article

'Home of the Giants' to play at Indy film festival
Marion native's film inspired by hometown; some footage shot here Some scenes will look familiar City proud of director, movie Gorman's career bright

BY MARIBETH HOLTZ

Hoosier basketball and a dream for directing set the scene for Marion native Rusty Gorman to make his debut film, Home of the Giants.

The film stars Oscar-nominated actor Haley Joel Osment and will be shown next week in Indianapolis at the Heartland Film Festival

"This was Rusty's first feature film, but if you didn't know that, you certainly wouldn't be able to tell by the way he directed the film," Osment said this week.


Osment will likely join Gorman on Saturday for a 3 p.m. screening of the film, which will include a question-and-answer time afterward.

Gorman, a 1980 Marion High School graduate, finished the film, which though fictitious is influenced by his experience in Marion and includes shots of the city. It was shown Friday and Saturday at the Chicago International Film Festival, and the next step will be film festivals and a potential theatrical release in spring 2008.

"I hope that anyone in Marion that has the opportunity will come down to Indy and see the film at the festival," Gorman said.

Osment said he was happy with the end result of the film.

"Rusty's had a vision for this film for many years now, and we worked really hard shooting everything we could," Osment said. Saturday will be Osment's first trip to Indiana.

Osment said Gorman has a lot of good ideas and that he will have a bright future in the film industry. He said Gorman was "a nice guy," "personable" and handled bumps in the road well.

For Gorman, directing the film, which he also wrote, helped fulfill plans for his life.

"If the movie is released wide and goes well, then I'll be living my dream," Gorman said. "(But) you just never know - it's a crazy business. When I was making Home of the Giants, I was having a ball."

Gorman wrote the script for the film and wanted to film it all in Marion, he said, but in the end it was North Carolina's tax breaks for the film industry that sent the project out of state.

A crew did, however, come to Marion in spring 2005 to capture scenery footage. Grant County residents will recognize shots of stores and restaurants on the Bypass, Matter Park, the Marion VA Medical Center and more.

The crew used Gorman's brother's dental practice, Gorman Center for Orthodontics, as home base for filming. Because of that, the practice is mentioned in a radio advertisement in the film.

Marion resident Matt Dubuque plays the assistant coach in the film; Marion native Robert Garlati also has a role in the film as an angry fan. Both were high school friends of Gorman's. Dubuque was a basketball player for the Giants.

The film stars Osment, Ryan Merriman and Danielle Panabaker. Set in the present-day, Robert "Gar" Gartland (Osment) is a high school journalist who covers his high school basketball team on their way to the state championship. Gar's best friend (Merriman) is the team's star and is asked to throw the game; Gar gets caught in the middle.

Osment said this was the first time he portrayed a regular high school kid. He said very few films are able to really portray how high school students interact with each other.

"Rusty really treated these young kids with respect in the screenplay," Osment said.

Osment's father, Eugene, plays a police officer in the film. Osment said besides working with Gorman, it was also a pleasure working with Merriman, Panabaker and Kenneth Mitchell.

"Their performances are so outstanding," he said.

Osment, 19, is a New York University student studying film and history. He hopes to write and direct films.

Gorman calls the Home of the Giants a coming-of-age story, which includes some suspense. He said there's a local feel with Marion's scenes, even though the majority of the film was made out of state.

Gorman said local politicians were working with him to bring the filming to Marion.

"I had certain images in mind that are only in Indiana," Gorman said, adding that he had wanted the games to be shot at Marion High School's gym.

Mayor Wayne Seybold said he's disappointed most of the movie ended up being filmed elsewhere because, he said, a few people at the state level dropped the ball. A movie production would have been good for the local economy, he said.

"But we're thrilled that the movie happened," he said. "We're all thrilled that it's based around Indiana basketball. It's a very, very exciting thing for the city of Marion. It's kind of a sad thing for the state of Indiana that it wasn't filmed here - everyone wanted it filmed here."

Seybold plans on to go to the Indianapolis film festival, as does Mark Fauser, executive director of Marion's Community School of the Arts.

Fauser, who was once a roommate of Gorman's in Los Angeles, said Gorman is an inspiration because he insisted on living his dream and directing the film himself.

"I believe in Rusty," Fauser said.

Dubuque, one of the Marion residents in the movie, said filming was one of the neatest experiences of his life. He also plans on attending next week's screening and said he loved meeting fascinating people in the film industry.

"It was thrilling to see one of my best friends, oldest friends be a part of that," he said.

For Garlati, the other Marion native in the film, the movie was an inspiration to him to keep on acting. Garlati's name was the inspiration for Gar's nickname in the movie. He said there's no question about it that Marion residents would like the film.

"The opening scene is in Marion," he said. "I think they'd like it a lot, yeah. It's just easy to tell it's our culture."

Gorman said the film is in festivals now to give it exposure. Producers are working on a deal for domestic release, he said. When and where the film will be released in theaters is unknown.

Gorman said most of the movie was filmed in September 2005. The film was delayed for 10 months because he had to find new financing.

Gorman said seeing the end result of the film is rewarding.

"(I had) three great young actors," he said. "They just brought the script alive."

He said it was a privilege to work with Osment, who is best known for his lead role in The Sixth Sense. Gorman said Osment has an incredible mind and an unbelievable memory.

"He couldn't have been nicer, couldn't have been more down-to-earth," Gorman said.

Dr. Courtney Gorman, Rusty's brother and local orthodontist, said Marion residents will love the film.

"It's about growing up in a small Indiana town, and basketball is the centerpiece in it, and that's about Marion, Ind.," he said.

Courtney Gorman added that he's "so proud" of his brother.

"He's been in this business for a long, long time, and he's been working to direct the film since he graduated college," he said.

Rusty Gorman has written scripts for other films, including the upcoming Droneand Food of the Gods.

Gorman lives in Chicago with his wife, Gayle Teicher, and three children, Quinn, 8, Logan, 7, and Phoebe, 2. Quinn and Logan appeared in Home of the Giants.

Gorman earned a master's degree in film production at the University of Southern California. He received his undergraduate degree in radio, television and film from Northwestern University.

"It's a lot of fun," Gorman said of his career. "When I'm working, I love it. The though part is there's not a lot of job security in the film business.

"My goal is to continue on directing. Directing has always been my end goal."

Originally published October 15, 2007

 

Be sure to read the original article

 

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