“…There are a couple of lacrosse movies being filmed in the next couple of months. We have an entertainment group and we’re working on that movie. We also shot a pilot in June or July and Xander Ritz [doubled] as the star in the pilot. One of the guys who was cut from the lacrosse team in 90210 is playing the lead…”
But, after not seeing lacrosse on the show for a couple of weeks, we started to get concerned that it might have been a one-shot deal. Then Hochstadt sent us this photo (above) and we asked him to fill us in on all the details…
IL: You’ve got two weeks of shooting under your belt now, but you hadn’t done much with the show since the first two episodes (they’ve just aired the 8th one). How far in advance to you get notice for these shoots?
SH: It’s weird. They don’t tell me an exact time in advance. They called me this time the week before, but they didn’t tell me the exact time when we were shooting. Then they finally did and I had to staff 20-25 players and stunt doubles in like 24 hours. It’s crazy.
IL: So how do you get all these guys together? Who did you use this time?
SH: Well we have a lot of Starz program alumni playing at local programs like Chapman, Loyola Marymount and Cal State-Fullerton. We use them for the action scenes and the pro guys as stunt doubles for the main characters.
It was pretty cool this time, we had a bunch of diving around the world shots for game winners and the cast and crew were pretty impressed.
Jimmy Burrell’s a little more active this time as a double for Dustin Milligan’s character, Ethan. And Xander Ritz has a bit to do with it as well. There’s an African-American kid who’s been in the Starz Program and has been playing for a year, Johnny McDonald, who jumped in as Tristan Wilds’ character. And we had Michael Watson and former Maryland goalie Danny McCormick.
IL: Do you ever step in and suit up?
SH: We were really close to being understaffed, but it didn’t come to that, so I didn’t step in. I work with the directors and assistants on the shoot. I sit with them and look at film and help make it look legit when it comes out. But they do the editing and they’ll take shots from three different angles and put it together. I don’t approve the final cut or anything.
IL: Last time we spoke, we didn’t get a chance to touch on the anatomy of shooting these scenes, so let’s do that now. What’s the process of scripting and shooting these lacrosse scenes like?
SH: They send me the script ahead of time and I have an idea of what we need to do with the scene from there. It’s usually at 6-on-6 situation.
I’ll block it out and do it first. I dummy it and jump in there and then have the stunt double do what I did in live action. Usually we’re filming about 30 seconds of lacrosse, but it could take up to 6 hours to get it right, because of the different types of shots…we’re going from 6:30 AM to about 6 at night and sometimes having to reshoot at the end of the day.
And they’re very specific about what they want. They’ll say this is a practice, this is a game. Or, Dustin scores the game winner and make sure he lands in the crease so they can jump on him with the crowd in the shot and make sure the crowd stays in the shot as the team runs off the field. It’s pretty detailed.
IL: That makes sense. You watch a show like Friday Night Lights, and it seems like they just get a bunch of people into a stadium and basically shoot a full game or something close to that. This seems more focused.
SH: Yeah, we really have only one bleacher full of fans and you have to shoot in that direction the whole time. There’s really nothing else around the field but that.
IL: So we really haven’t seen lacrosse since the first two episodes of the season, are we going to be seeing more in the coming weeks?
SH: Yeah, they’ve been getting the acting down lately, but now that they’re doing better, they feel more comfortable with the lacrosse. The people up top are saying, ‘this is cool — let’s make the show that much more exciting.’
And the actors are getting into lacrosse…Tristan [Wilds] and Dustin are calling me to train — they want to do their own stunts.
IL: How close are they to getting that down?
SH: They’re still a couple of months away from doing it. They’re filming six or seven days a week now, so there’s not much time to get into training. Eventually I see Tristan getting into it more. He was shooting a scene where his character was hogging the ball and having four defensemen beating on him…he really enjoyed shooting that.
IL: So the program got extended for two more episodes — that makes 24 for the season. What does that mean for you?
SH: Everybody was excited to hear about it. The more it’s on and the more they want to film, the better for us. We’re getting more apparel for them to wear in the off-field scenes and are doing more with those opportunities.
Like, we did some cafeteria scenes with uniforms (see above pic), shooting a pep rally and the guys throwing around in the cafeteria.
IL: Ok, so we’ll catch up with you later next month. Anything else you’re working on that we need to know about?
SH: There are a couple of lacrosse movies being filmed in the next couple of months. We have an entertainment group and we’re working on that movie. We also shot a pilot in June or July and Xander Ritz [doubled] as the star in the pilot. One of the guys who was cut from the lacrosse team in 90210 is playing the lead.