... in "The Longshots?"
The KTBS anchormen did some play-by-play for the movie's climactic Pop Warner Super Bowl. I sent a few questions to the local small screen stars. Here are there answers. (They answered them in two separate emails, but I've streamed their responses together for ease of read.)
Alexandyr Kent: What was most interesting about doing the Pop Warner play-by-play?
Gerry May: I can tell you the most difficult thing was looking down at an equipment box on a gym floor and pretending there's a football game going on “down there” that we’re describing. It actually called for some acting, and I'm no actor. It was not easy. One thing I had to learn was to NOT look at the camera. I was supposed to be watching a game from a press box. Also, Durst wanted us to pause between our lines. That was the most difficult thing. On the news, we take our cues as quickly as possible to quicken the pace of the show. On the movie shoot, it was awkward waiting a beat after Ed stopped reading, or after I read a line, to read the next line.
People might be surprised at how nice all the people on the crew are. Really nice people. You might think that under the pressure to shoot a movie and stay on schedule there'd be a lot of uptight and short-tempered people. They're not. From the director on down to the camera operators and wardrobe and makeup people, everyone is really nice. That was also my experience in “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.” (I play an anchorman there :-) No acting needed. I just read my lines like I do the news every day.
Ed Walsh: We had to do it without watching the play. At least in television you can watch and describe what’s happening in front of you. That wasn’t the case here. It was all memorization and acting as though it was happening in front of you. That was probably the toughest part of the whole filming.
AK: How many days did you work, and how many takes did you two TV pros need?
GM: I worked two days. The first day was the play-by-play of the Pop Warner Super Bowl. We did lots of takes because I think both Ed and I interpreted the script differently than the director wanted. But Fred Durst was really nice and patient with us. We did the scenes until he got what he wanted. The second day was a pre-game interview I did with coach Ice Cube, which was a lot of fun. I think we did four takes. On the last one, Durst told Cube to just let it all hang out. Cube told me to stay with him because he was going to ad lib. Did he ever! It'll be interesting to see if they use that cut.
EW: I actually worked for one day. I was on set at 9am and we wrapped about 7pm. We only shot for about an hour. Trust me it took a few takes to get what Fred Durst was looking for. He would call cut, come over and explain to us how he wanted it.
AK: And really, who carried who when the cameras were rolling? Who’s got the better parking spot at KTBS now?
GM: Ed had most of the lines since he was play-by-play and I was the color commentator. So Ed carries the game action. And Ed always gets a great parking spot because he rolls in here before the rooster crows.
EW: This was truly a team effort. Gerry and I played well off each other, like most of us do here at KTBS. As for the better parking space, we both still have parking spots underneath the satellite dishes.
AK: What’s most memorable about the experience?
GM: The long days waiting in the trailer for them to call us in to do our parts. Both days I/we were supposed to shoot early. But on the first day, threatening weather forced the crew to shoot as much as they could outside before they did our scenes inside the gym (the makeshift press box). On the second day, I don't know what the story was, but again I had to wait around all day. They have DVD players in the trailers. So if I do this again, I'm going to bring some movies to pass the time.
EW: For me the experience will be my most memorable moment. I can talk into a camera until the cows come home. But this was not one of our video cameras, this was the full fledged Panavision camera you always see in those behind the scene documentaries about movies. There had to be about 25 people on set and that is also intimidating. I’m glad I did it, but I think my future lies in television, not movies.