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About The Location

Production began October 5. 1999 in Atlanta, Georgia. Although the producers were warmly received by the city of Alexandria and invited to return to the actual location of the story, the company was bound by budgetary and time constraints. Instead they elected to select a southern city that not only afforded them the proper locations, but also a pool of talent to round out the cast and crew.

"'One of the reasons we did not film in Virginia was that we needed to be near an established film community," says executive producer Michael Flynn. "Atlanta is a major commercial center as well as being a production center. There was an acting pool from which to draw and the city's school system was incredibly helpful."

Budgetary concerns actually assisted the filmmakers in creating one of the more fun  sequences in the film. "We needed to show how the city changes over time," explains Yakin. "But that would have been prohibitively expensive to do in terms of first unit coverage. I had an idea to shoot something on 16mm as if it's 8mm home movies the boys are taking but we didn't have time for it in our schedule. I asked Ryan Hurst who plays Bertier if he would do it. All of the boys got involved. Ryan did a great job and at the end of the day, it's one of the more delightful scenes in the film. You really are watching their home movies."

Director of photography Philippe Rousselot supervised the cinematography on the film. Like Yakin, he knew little to nothing about football. "I have a fan's basic knowledge," the director says. "When they go that way, it's a touchdown, you have four attempts to make ten yards, stuff like that. But Philippe had never watched a football game in his entire life. I think everyone was a little afraid of us being in charge," he laughs.

"Working with Philippe was the best experience I've ever had," Yakin continues. "He's a marvelous D.P., he not only: understands the camera and working with light, but he enables you to tell the story the way that you want to tell it. We would get 30-35 set ups a day on a very tight schedule. We would never have been able to do that without Philippe. We also tried to integrate the football into the fabric of the film in a natural way rather than shooting like we were 'Wide World of Sports."'

Because Yakin and Rousselot were not savvy in the sport, the football sequences were besieged amid coordinated by former USFL player Mike Fishier. The filmmakers sent Fisher to Atlanta two months before production began to breakdown the script and create plays for each plot point.

"The script had great football sequences outlined, but we needed to be more specific about it," says Flynn. "Rarely do you follow the score and what's happening moment to moment. The football is there to support and illustrate character issues so we had to create plays for each one of these incidents. Mike spoke with Herman and Bill a couple of times and then came up with 50-60 plays and made these books with each play diagrammed. We'd go over them with Boaz and explain the details and what the play was. Mike really determined what would happen with the football."

When the real coaches visited the actor's football camp, Herman became so enthralled that he threatened to go back to coaching. He even had his hand in running some of the practice sessions and gave the actors some extra pointers during production.

One of the most difficult aspects of the football was finding extras to round out the Titan team and to act as their opponents. "We were shooting right in the middle of football season," explains Fishier. "Frankly, it was difficult to find the right mix of guys. We h


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