Behind the scenes: It takes a town

By John Manulis: Producer of “Believe in Me”

It takes a town
The last few days have seen our cameras rolling on scenes large and small, in town and in country, with Hollywood stars and many of your friends and neighbors.

From the cotton fiels of Texico, where dozens of cast and extras labored on a beautiful day in the film’s big fundraising drive for new team uniforms — and I had my hand slapped for nibbling on prop food (delicious fried chicken, I might add — film lore has it that the prop department sprays prop food with nasty-tasting preservative to ward off hungry habds, but I’m here to tell you that’s not true); to Main Street in Portales, where our Middleton basketball team received a hero’s send-off from adoring family and friends, complete with a couple of vintage firetrucks and the high-school band; to today, where the only onlookers to the dramatic work of Bruce Dern and Jeffrey Donovan, in front of an even more dramatic sunrise, were a couple hundred head of very patient, marginally interested cattle and their wranglers.

And Friday, when we begin our three-day basketball “homestand” at Clovis High School. Local girls Andrea Dawson, Felicia Powell, Stacy Schill and Shannon Wilson (coached by Clovis’ own Miles Watters), will face off against local friends Hailey Grimes, Kerbey Smith and Alison Cochran on our “hero” Middleton team, in the penultimate scene of the movie…in front of over 1000 screaming fans … we hope.

Behind the scenes, this is all made possible by local folk like Ben Salazar, who returned to Clovis to take care of his aging mother and now nurtures the entire production office with his unflagging cheer, gung-ho attitude, and refreshing interest in all things new; and the lovely JL Campbell, Sgt. JL Campbell actually, who came to Clovis as an Air Force jet mechanic, and now dreams of staying here with a new life as a wrangler, but helps spearhead our outreach for and care of our basketball crowds; and our make-up support team Jennifer McDaniel, Kendra McCloud and Jennie Piepkorn, whose smiles and skills keep our actors calm and camera-ready and our set a more pleasant place to be.

It takes a town to make a movie

SO, THIS WEEKEND, why go to a movie when you can be IN one instead? Our championship basketball game will be shot this weekend at Clovis High School gym (Friday starting at noon, Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 11a.m.) … with special prize drawings for early birds. We are your backstage pass to the movie business: if you ever wanted to go on the Universal Studios Tour, just come out and spend the day with us. Not only will you get to be IN a Hollywood movie, you’ll see how they are made, up-close-and-personal, and you may even win one of the many great prizes I’m sure you’ve heard about (Ford Escort or Honda ATV, anyone?).

Make sure to check out the MOVIE’S 1960 DRESS CODE at www.bettermix.com