Minnesota movie “Good Sport,” a comedy about youth basketball, will shoot in West St. Paul

Minnesota movie “Good Sport,” a comedy about youth basketball, will shoot in West St. Paul

While students and teachers sleep in during spring break at Heritage E-STEM Magnet School in West St. Paul, at least one former student will be working hard there.

“Good Sport,” a comedic spoof of exciting sports movies like “Hoosiers,” begins 11 days of filming at schools and other east metro locations on Wednesday. Filming will continue over spring break the week of March 24, and Heritage graduate Dylan Orth is one of the filmmakers.

“It’s going to be an R-rated movie. It’s set on one [basketball] game and is a satire on youth sports or how parents operate in youth sports, especially when the kids are around 12 years old. We’re definitely poking fun at it, but there’s going to be heart,” said the 25-year-old Orth. He co-wrote the film with director Andrew Zuckerman, 24, and co-produced with Zuckerman and John Cronin, 25.

All three were in youth sports in the West St. area. Paul/Mendota Heights. Their film will be based on the misbehavior they witnessed there — though not, they are quick to add, from their own parents.

“John and I first met in the third or fourth grade while playing baseball in West St. Paul. I played basketball in the same gym we’re going to shoot in,” said Orth, who has a degree in film from Chicago’s DePaul University and whose father is a youth sports coach.

“There’s a lot of inspiration from how we felt as kids,” added Zuckerman, who, like Cronin, graduated from the University of Minnesota.

“I just saw the news today about a bill that would fine parents for unruly behavior at sporting events,” Cronin said. (Similar bills have been proposed over the years).

The film will feature semi-regular “Ted Lasso” Mike O’Gorman as a rebellious coach and local actor Sam Landman as a good coach having a bad day.

Orth knows this territory: “In high school, I went back to referee the same league I played in, and a lot of parents were pretty upset — at a third- or fourth-grade basketball game.”

Esera Tuaolo, the former Minnesota Viking, and Michelle Hutchison, who played one of the prostitutes in the movie “Fargo,” will have small roles in “Good Sport,” which also features “A Serious Man” star Sari Lenick and local kids as the athletes.

The $150,000 film is the second for the trio, who made “Undergrads” with Twin Cities friends during the pandemic and raised the money for “Good Sport” from private investors. (“Undergrads” can be rented on Amazon, Apple TV+ or watched for free on Tubi.)

“We’re a lot more confident going into this one, and it’s great to have a professional cast and crew behind it,” Zuckerman said. “By knowing the different stressors and things that come up, we’ll have a better idea of ​​how to deal with them.”

Their plan is to finish the film this summer so they can submit it to festivals and try to find distribution. The cast and crew are full, which is good as there has been a mini-blessing in local production, including the film Unholy Communion and the TV series Love Is Blind. Mostly, it’s a coincidence, said Melody Bachan, executive director of the Minnesota Film and Television Council.

The state has increased its investment in local production, but Bachan noted that bigger-budget productions are on hold, slowly resuming after last year’s Screen Actors Guild strike while they await the resolution of contract negotiations with the International Alliance of Screen Actors Guild. the theater stage.

“We have a lot of interest in projects coming to Minnesota, but until the IATSE contract is settled, there probably won’t be many coming in,” Bachan said.

Good Sport didn’t benefit from state incentives — the timing didn’t work out — but Bachan notes that productions of all sizes help establish the film community here.

For their part, the collaborators are happy to have the opportunity to make a film at home.

“This is what I’ve wanted to do forever. So even though it’s super stressful right now and pre-production is tough, once we get on set, we know it’s going to be fun,” Zuckerman said.

Leave a Comment