Wednesday, March 11, 2009

WAR EAGLE ARKANSAS

When you are young, you keep saying "Someday, I'll ------"


Well there comes a time when those "some days" have to be come "to-days." With out much pre- thought when I retired, I started a "Get off your butt and do it" list.



Some things I had all ready accomplished before moving to Arkansas. Some have happened since and some are yet to happen but I am sure will happen. One fun thing happened not too long after I got here that wasn't even on my list. I am not opposed to penciling in an addition as it comes up.



There was an ad in the Little Rock paper saying that a couple hundred extras were needed for a movie being made in Fayetteville. All the ad said was that it was for a crowd scene and that we were to wear Razorback attire. Well I had a nice red Razorback shirt and thought, "What the hay." I'm sure everyone is a bit curious about how movies are made, I sure was. The movie title was War Eagle Arkansas.



Fayetteville is about 3 hours from here and the shooting was in the afternoon so I decided to get a room, spend the night, and take Mighty with me. So off we went. I put Mighty in a Motel 6 which is reasonable and pet friendly. He was not amused.



It was easy enough to find the athletic field and I joined the hundreds of red shirted extra wanta be's. It was a small field with limited seating but I got there early and found a good seat. Pretty soon, we were all talking to our neighbor like long lost friends, wondering what was going to happen.



The premise of the movie was explained to us just in case there were some "method" extras that needed motivation. This was a story of two teen age boys, one confined to a wheel chair with Cerebral Palsy and the other was a star high school baseball player with a severe speech impediment. They were inseparable life long friends who together created a whole person. Further info on the story and movie is here. Our job as part of the crowd at an all star game was just to cheer. Yea.



People with cameras, and sound equipment strolled around and then there was the announcement.

While they thought some of us would show up in Razorback shirts, it seems that every one did. It was a sea of red. So the wardrobe crew sent tee shirts through the crowds hoping to change up the color scheme a bit. Then they mixed and matched us, even splitting up families, to eliminate the seamless mass of red.


When they were happy with our colors, we were given our acting instructions. The director stood on the pitchers mound. When he made a pitching motion, we were to watch intently or cheer. This we did umpteen times as he pitched a no hitter and the cameras panned the audience.



Then they brought the kid in the wheel chair to sit in the crowd. Now we were supposed to really get into the yelling part, for the game was now on the line, though there was no one on the field but the director. Yea!! We could yell, whistle or fist pump if we wanted to stretch our acting muscles. Being a novice, I just yelled. We were also given props of empty Pepsi containers or empty pop corn boxes. So we pretend ate and drank. Yeah, I kept my empty Pepsi container weenie that I am.


One of the stars who is a favorite of mine, Brian Dennehy and his co star Mare Winningham came into the stands and again we fake cheered while they had a conversation. I was not nearly close enough to hear the dialogue.


In this picture, Brian is merely the red ball cap in the distance. Didn't have a zoom at the time.


We had started in mid afternoon and it was dark thirty before we saw the first ball player. Our job however was finished. We were all on film meant for editing. I was pretty worn out from sitting so long so I left with most of the others. I had learned what I had come for. Movie making is hurry up and wait with zilch glamor.


I have followed the films progress here since that day. It has done really well at film festivals but so far no one has picked it up for distribution. This is a sweet movie based on a true story. I hope it at least someday makes it to DVD. When I watched the trailer, I am almost positive my right ear is in one of the scenes.



And that folks is my right ear's millisecond of fame.

6 comments :

  1. You were that close to Brian Dennehy! My fav growing up - way cool! Let us know when it comes out on DVD so we can see your famous ear. : )

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  2. I've always wanted to do that, but whenever there has been a call for extras in our area, I've had to work. How cool!!

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  3. Jewels, Brian is a favorite of mine also. Just a big teddy bear of a man. I'll keep my "ear"to the ground for a release date.

    Kenju
    Hope next time there is a casting call, you don't have to work. It is fun to be a part of. Go for it.

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  4. What fun! I'm glad you just "took off" and enjoyed the experience.

    Thanks for your visit to my ABC Wednesday post.

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  5. What fun! Can I have your autograph?

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  6. Pat Arkansas
    I found if I wait for a friend to become available, I often miss out. Mighty is always ready and I generally meet cool people when I get there.

    Betty
    Guess the best I can offer is an ear print and yes, it was fun.

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