Behind the scenes: Plan changes costly

By Cotty Chubb:

Editor’s note: The producers of “Believe in Me,” a film about a 1960s Oklahoma girl’s basketball team’s run at the state title, will write a daily diary in the Clovis News Journal until filming ends in Clovis later this month.

The sun is shining brightly down here in Portales, while we’re shooting indoors. Just our luck. We need sunlight to get our beautiful exteriors but when the rains hit Tuesday and we jumped down to the gyms, we also committed to staying in the gyms for a couple of days.

Now we gaze at our weather reports worriedly and try to figure out where to move our company. The Canadians refer to the production base camp as “the circus,” and that’s what it feels like — a traveling troupe, a caravan, a medicine show. And moving it on the fly, as we did on Tuesday, is neither easy or cheap.

Let’s say we manage to work 12 hours a day, from the time everyone is told to show up on location to the time that the first assistant director calls “wrap” (meaning time to pack up and go home), and every day costs us $75,000 on average. We’re spending a little more than six thousand dollars per hour. Losing a couple of hours to an unscheduled move starts to add up.

“So what are we going to do tomorrow?” was the central topic in the producers’ trailer this morning. The director is busy directing his actors and we’re planning ahead.

If it’s sunny, do we go to “Brawley’s Ranch”? We have Bruce Dern here to play “Brawley” and we need to get some of his scenes shot. Unfortunately, the stunning location that we have chosen is accessible only on dirt roads that are mud tracks right now. There’s no way we can get our trucks there.
How about the Church scene in Floyd? Well, the scene is set during a drought, and there are ponds of standing water in the parking lot. Okay, we can suck the water out and drop a load of gravel there. What’s the chance of rain? says “sunny,” but Accuweather Professional says 25 percent chance of thunderstorms.

Let’s do it. Calls go out to the picture car wrangler… Can you get the cars there tomorrow? And to the Atmosphere casting director… Can you get the congregation there tomorrow, in their hair and their clothes? Can we get the 21 scheduled actors there? We think so. We hope so.
We’re rolling the dice. That’s what we do.

P.S. — “Remember, this weekend is the chance for area residents to be in the movie as part of our first big basketball championship game Saturday and Sunday at Portales High School.

Try to get there by 9 a.m. (or right after church on Sunday).
Go to or for important information and helpful ideas about our early ’60s dress code.