Hollywood comes to Arlington; extras abound
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
Actors and crew get ready to start filming "Seven Minutes" in Arlington on Sunday night.
Jennifer Buchanan / The Herald
Pam Cox (left) applies face paint to Jennifer Tanner as they wait for filming to begin on a movie at Arlington's Haller Middle School on Sunday night. Both are teachers at Emerson Elementary School in Snohomish and answered an open casting call for extras.
On Sunday evening, at least 400 people filled the stands at Haller Middle School to join in on the fun and to be able to tell their friends they once had a little slice of Hollywood -- filling the role of an extra for the film, "Seven Minutes."
The producers previously had been on location in Everett and Snohomish County in May.
Sunday's scenes depicted a game between two rival football teams with members of the Everett and Cascade high school football teams asked to play the roles.
And of course, they needed walk-on fans to cheer the teams. Participating extras were asked to wear red or blue representing the team colors of the two teams depicted in the movie.
The movie's production crew hoped for a turnout of hundreds of people, and they got it.
The stadium bleachers were half-full two hours before the public was asked to show up at 6:30 p.m., said Bert Kern, one of the film's producers. Cars jammed the school parking lot and surrounding streets.
The film's plot is about the heist of a mortgage broker's stash of money by a young athlete who takes a wild turn after suffering a serious injury.
The film stars Leven Rambin, who played Glimmer in "The Hunger Games," Australian TV actor Luke Mitchell, as well as Kris Kristofferson, Jason Ritter, Zane Holtz and Brandon Hardesty.
One of the extras who made a point of arriving early was Deanna Crowe, from Kirkland. "We got here five-ish," said Crowe, who brought her daughter and four other girls.
The girls participate in drama and just finished a production of "Les Miz," she said. Once they arrived at Haller Middle School, Crowe said, the girls couldn't be bugged, not even for supper.
"I ran out and got them pizza," she said.
Eli Bradford, a part-time actor, drove from Renton to be a face in the crowd. "I'm mainly just doing this for experience," he said.
Bradford said he was surprised at the hundreds of people who packed the bleachers. "I knew there would be a big turnout, but not like this," he said. "It's like being back in high school."
Mack Gray, 13, from Arlington, said he heard about the opportunity to be an extra from a friend. "I got dressed and came."
His friend, Brantly Stupey, 13, was dressed in blue. "I think it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said. "I think it's a cool movie and when it comes out I'll get to say I'm in it."
Three members of the staff of Emerson Elementary School in Snohomish wore bright blue wigs, painted their faces blue and white, and dressed in blue T-shirts accented with silver and blue necklaces.
Jennifer Tanner has been a teacher at the Emerson for 24 years "At 50, its time to start checking things off the bucket list," she said.
"I'm on the cusp of fame," exclaimed Pam Cox, a parent-educator at the school who brought along her daughter, 6th grader Haley Cox.
Elaisa Navarro, who teaches special education, joked that perhaps their participation could be a stepping stone to a new TV show, "Dancing With the Teachers."
Jayona Battle, 6, from Lake Stevens was dressed in red. She said she's wanted to be in the movies since she was 4. "I was so excited," she said about the opportunity to participate in the film.
Her grandmother, Susan House, from Snohomish, said that after seeing films in production during trips to California, she, too, decided to join in Sunday's night's production.
"It's really fun, really exciting to see how they put it all together," she said.
The movie is expected to open in theaters next year.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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