REMEMBER THE TITANS
Jerry Bruckheimer's Technical Black label makes its debut appearance with
"Remember the Titans." "This film speaks to the type of stories we hope to develop; smaller films, cutting edge stories that explore issues not generally seen in main stream filmmaking," says
Bruckheimer. "I love all kinds of movies and too often the industry tends to pigeonhole filmmakers. Technical Black is a way to enlarge our scope. It's another way of trying to bring the best entertainment to the
screen. 'Remember the Titans' is a testament of our
commitment to that end."
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer was immediately interested in "Remember the Titans" after
he first read the script. "Chad Oman brought the story to my
attention," Bruckheimer recalls. He was very enthusiastic, and I responded right away. It's an emotional story and the fact that it's true
made it even more important to tell.
Academy Award®-winner Denzel Washington was equally intrigued. He read the script early during the development process and indicated that lie would be very
interested if the filmmakers ever received a green light. I just thought it was a fascinating
story," the actor says. "The emotional core of the story is with the kids. I w as also
impressed with Coach Boone as a man, a coach and a father."
Writer Gregory Allen Howard lived for several years in Los Angeles before moving
back home to Virginia where he felt the creative environment was more
fulfilling. During his first year back, living just outside the D.C. beltway, lie noticed the city of Alexandria was
uncommonly well integrated in a
way I'd never seen," he says. "Movie theatres, restaurants, neighborhoods. I
couldn't understand why. Why here and almost nowhere else? I started asking around and I kept hearing
about this high school football team. I think it was my barber who first told me about the Titans
and these two coaches. I couldn't imagine that a high school team could so effect an entire town. Some say they saved the city."
Howard was immediately captivated by the inspirational story.
After convincing Herman Boone he was not part of a practical joke being played on him by fellow teachers at
T.C. Williams, Howard began his research in earnest.
He spent months interviewing Boone and Bill Yoast as well as former players, their patients and school personnel.
He then spent three years peddling his story to no avail. At first he tried to entice
different companies with a treatment and when that failed, Howard decided to sit down
and write the script, hoping it would be an easier sell. "When I went in for my first meeting with Jerry and Chad, I was a little embarrassed," he says. "It
seemed that every studio in Hollywood had turned me down, why would Jerry Bruckheimer be
interested, but he was!"
"The fact that this is a true story really sold me," Bruekheimer affirms. "It's about people learning to get along. We live
in this world together, and as it gets more crowded we'd better learn to
communicate. It's the key. It's what Boone and Yoast did and what they taught these kids.
"This is not cliche or manipulative," he says. "It's reality. And we're
better off looking at the truth of where we are and learn to move forward. The Titans
proved it's possible and the effects of their experience are still visible in Alexandria
30 years later."
Director Boaz Yakin found the emotional heart of the movie within the context of sport. It's a
about a time when sports actually meant something other than big bucks, glamour and the latest
fashion," he says. "It's about a bunch of kids who played football in a more innocent time where what they did actually affected
people and changed their lives. A
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