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Open casting call for Disney movie to be held

Posted: October 15, 2013 6:20 p.m.
Updated: October 15, 2013 6:20 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - Want to try out for a role as an extra in an upcoming Disney film? Then lace up your shoes and get ready for your closeup.

An open casting call will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at The Master’s College for an upcoming film titled “McFarland,” which details the real-life story of how the cross country team from the small, largely impoverished town of the same name in the San Joaquin Valley defied the odds to become cross country champions.
The movie stars Kevin Costner.

Mark Ellis, the sports coordinator for the film, said he is looking for about 100 men, ages 18 to about 28, to serve as extras in the film.

“They’re going to play the opponent cross country runners that will run against the McFarland teams,” he said Tuesday.

Ellis, a longtime veteran of the film industry who has done sports coordination work on other films including “Miracle” and “Jerry Maguire,” said those interested in trying out don’t necessarily need to be cross country or track runners.

“We’re basically looking for athletes,” he said. “If they’ve got some athletic ability, then we’re going to take a good, hard look at them because there’s going to be a lot of running.”

It is especially important to get people with running experience so the movie is as realistic as possible, Ellis said. After all, he noted, you don’t see too many sports films that pertain to the sport.

“I’ve done a lot of sports movies and there’s the usual football and basketball,” he said. “But how many of them are about cross county?”

Those selected to be extras will be paid, Ellis said, and be expected to be available for filming in and around the Santa Clarita Valley.

Zach Schroeder, a cross country trainer for the film and coach at The Master’s College, said Tuesday those looking to try out should show up ready to run.

“It’s a great thing to be a part of — for anybody that’s local and interested in running,” he said of the film.

Both Ellis and Schroeder cautioned that athletes under college scholarship for cross country or track should not try out for the film, since the compensation they would receive could present a compliance problem as far as the NCAA is concerned.
Try-outs will be held at the Pete Reese Athletic Field at The Master’s College.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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