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‘The Express’ to film scenes on campus next week; extras needed
‘The Express’ to film scenes on campus next week; extras needed June 14, 2007Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
“The Express” will roll into Syracuse next week to complete principal photography for the Universal Pictures feature film based on the life of legendary SU running back Ernie Davis. A production crew of 35-50 people will be on the Syracuse University campus to film five scenes and campus exteriors. The shooting date is tentatively scheduled for Friday, June 22.
Rob Brown (“Finding Forrester”), who is playing Davis in the film, will be involved in all of the scenes. Dennis Quaid, who stars as Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder will not be in Syracuse; he will complete his scenes in Chicago on Tuesday, June 19. The filming in Syracuse will mark the conclusion of Director Gary Fleder’s (“Runaway Jury”) 52-day shoot.
The film began shooting the first week of April in the Chicago area. Northwestern University’s Ryan Field was used to replicate Archbold Stadium, The Cotton Bowl and various other stadiums in which Syracuse played during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Various other sets were sprinkled throughout the city of Chicago and surrounding areas.
The scenes to be shot at SU include Ernie’s arrival on campus, a meeting with athletic director Lew Andreas, and jogging through campus with a teammate. In addition to the scenes with dialogue, the crew will shoot scenic shots of the historically pertinent campus buildings to be incorporated into the film. All location sets on the SU campus used for filming not be open to the public during shooting.
Express Films, LLC, the producers of the movie, plan to hire up to 50 extras to play college students and professors in the background of some of the scenes. Those men and women between the ages of 18 and 60 who wish to be considered are encouraged to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Syracuse” in the subject line. Individuals should include in the e-mail information on height, weight, dress or jacket size, waist, inseam, shoe size, hair and eye color, and age, plus contact information and an e-mail attachment of a recent photograph.
All extras retained will be provided costumes, hair styling and makeup that will replicate the late-1950s period of the movie. Extras must be prepared to work a full 12- to 16-hour day beginning as early as 5 a.m. Compensation is $65 for the first eight hours with overtime paid for any hours worked beyond the initial eight-hour commitment. Food and beverages are provided. Extras will be employed by Express Films, LLC.
“The Express” is the life story of Davis, who came to Syracuse from Elmira in 1958 and led the Orange to the school’s only national championship in 1959. He became the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy, in 1961. Despite being the first player taken in the 1962 NFL draft, Davis never played a single game of professional football. He died of leukemia in 1963, at the age of 23.
Universal Pictures announced last week that “The Express” will be released in theaters nationally on Oct. 10, 2008.