J. Parker Ragland Special to the Business Press
When you think of a sports film, which one comes to mind? Is it Rudy or Field Of Dreams or Rocky? These films are passionate and inspiring. There’s just one problem. Filmmakers have been using the same formula for more than half a century; you know that, in the end, the underdog wins – sometimes on the field and sometimes off it, but the underdog always wins. And viewers know this will be the case when they walk into the theater.
That’s not quite the case with Intramural, the latest feature film from Fort Worth’s Red Productions, according to the producers. The tagline gives you the idea: “The epic sports movie … for the guys who don’t deserve one.” In an attempt to refresh the genre, director Andrew Disney and writer Bradley Jackson delve into the world of intramural college sports. In the film, Caleb Fuller, played by Jack Lacy, is a fifth-year senior facing the real world: marriage and law school. Before he graduates, he just wants to have a little fun. Getting the old intramural football team, The Panthers, back together seems to be just what he needs, but doing so is harder than it sounds. The Panthers’ last season ended in tragedy, with one of their receivers being paralyzed from the waist down. In a lighthearted manner, Intramural intends to explore the very real fears of college students nearing graduation as well as the complex relationships built and broken throughout the college experience.
“There are some life lessons to take away from this film, but this one is … a comedy,” said Red Sanders, founder of Red Productions and producer of Intramural. “I don’t know what kind of comedy this is, but it’s fun.” Pulling from the talents of Saturday Night Live, BriTANick and others, casting director Nancy Nayor found actors she hopes can fully capitalize on Jackson’s script. The film is being shot in Austin and will feature some local venues including The Liberty Bar and Poodle Dog Lounge (also featured in the cult classic Dazed and Confused).
When asked about challenges the crew has faced throughout production, Sanders said, “The biggest hurdle we have faced was getting the football field to film the football movie on. No one wants stadium lights to be blaring into their household at night … but the whole city of Austin is a great backdrop for a film like this.” Ralph Smyth Entertainment and Red Productions banded together to produce the feature-length film, and despite the intense Texas summer heat, they expect filming to be completed in late August. Producer Andrew Lee commented, “Ideally, we will release Intramural to film festivals in the spring of 2014, then it is up to the distributors. We’ll have to see what happens.” Red Productions produced the 2011 feature film Searching For Sonny, the debut for writer/director Disney. That film starred Jason Dohring and Minka Kelly and was shot in Fort Worth.