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Production Information (Continued)
A further testament to the caliber of Weitz's script and reputation as a talented director is the stellar roster of actors the filmmakers assembled for supporting roles: Marg Helgenberger, cast as Ann, Dan's pregnant wife (who simultaneously filmed her role while taping her top-rated television series, CSI); David Paymer (Get Shorty) as less than-optimistic Sports America ad salesman Morty; Philip Baker Hall (Bruce Almighty) as sports equipment company owner Eugene Kalb; Clark Gregg (The Human Stain) as driven Globecom management team member Steckle; Selma Blair (Hellboy) as Carter's short-term wife, Kimberly; and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as the enigmatic and charismatic chairman of Globecom, Teddy K.

Helgenberger's affection for the script, the cast and the filmmakers is evident when she says, "It's such a wonderfully calibrated script, with the juxtaposition of Dan's work life and his family life. Paul's script is warm and funny and observant, and he's come up with a really timely American story to tell. But he doesn't hit you over the head with the age issues—he really comes at it from a comedic perspective, which is a much more subtle way to approach the themes in the story. Dennis is such a pro and the rest of the cast are just marvelous to work with. It's projects like this that really attract me to working in film. There is so much heart and soul in this.”

Principal photography commenced in mid-March, filming in and around the Los Angeles, including: suburban Pasadena, filming interiors and exteriors of the Foreman home; and Downtown Los Angeles, which provided not only the urban backdrop for several scenes, but also the sound stages, which housed the impressive 6,000-square-foot sets that comprised the various work areas within the Sports America high-rise offices.

Production designer William Arnold and his art department spent close to three months designing, constructing and dressing the modern glass accented Sports America set, which is elevated six feet above the ground allowing an expansive view of the New York skyline (courtesy of a 25' high, 211' long trans light, ostensibly an enlarged color transparency) surrounding portions of the set. Specifically challenging to Arnold was having to create a practical way to transform the existing set into two additional and differing Sport America offices, as the company falls victim to the takeover and the subsequent shifts in personnel affect the workspace—which was accomplished by utilizing a second trans light with an alternate city view and by reconfiguring walls and re-dressing the cavernous sets, courtesy of set decorator, David Smith.

Once filming began, it was Chris Weitz who found himself in unfamiliar territory as he watched his brother take on the sole directing duties. "I get a lot less respect on set now,” he quips, "I feel like the trophy wife who's hanging around and people feel they have to talk to.”

But Chris, who is set to make his own solo directorial debut with the upcoming His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, is quite serious when speaking of his brother and his strengths as a director: "Paul is fantastic when it comes to working with actors. He comes from a theater background and really has a deep understanding and love for what an actor does when he or she goes about performing a scene.”

Executive producer Andrew Miano echoes that sentiment, adding, "One of the things that actors respond to is the chance to take on a part that both challenges them and allows them to change it up a bit…I believe that's what attracts actors to Paul. He is very good at giving them an opportunity to shine.”

Weitz, however, has not forsaken his theater roots. He recently returned to the New York stage, writing the dark comedy Roulette, which premiered in February 2004 (while he was in pre-production on<


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