News Column

Fans needed to fill stands for baseball movie being filmed in Visalia

October 12, 2013


Oct. 12--Those with the local film production company Blare Media know the football season is in full swing, but they are banking on a few hundred sports fans willing to go into baseball mood for a couple of more days.

They are looking for 250 baseball fans and/or movie buffs to be extras for the filming of "FAN27" Sunday and Monday at the Visalia Rawhide Baseball Stadium.

The movie is about a Rawhide pitching coach who gets tips for his struggling team from an anonymous blogger known as FAN27.

"I know there is football on Sunday and Monday, but we would love to have people come out whenever they can," producer Joe Moffitt says.

Moffitt decided to shoot in Visalia because of the city's ballpark and a positive reception by local officials.

Originally, filming was to be in Shreveport, La., about a fictional team. But a push was put on by a group that included Eric Coyne, the Tulare County film commissioner and tourism manager, to use the real Visalia minor league team as the backdrop.

Coyne says that while this is only a 45-minute film that will be used to get funding for a full-length production, the idea was to make the filming process so pleasurable and easy the production would return to Visalia if a deal is struck to make a feature film.

Shreveport didn't get completely left out of the movie. A team from the Louisiana city will be the Rawhide's opponent in the film. Rawhide General Manager Jennifer Pendergraft agreed to allow the Rawhide franchise to be part of the movie as long as they were the winners in the game.

The production should benefit Visalia businesses. The local film crew is expected to spend about 20% of its small film budget on food, lodging, equipment rental and other aspects of filmmaking, Coyne says.

Long-term, the city hopes the film promotes the city and leads to added tourism.

"There was just a brief mention by Brad Pitt in 'Moneyball' and we got a lot of attention from people interested in Visalia," Coyne says.

Along with the two days of filming in Visalia, the film also will shoot one day in Fresno.

Cameras rolling

You can see a movie and be in a movie if you attend the screening of the 1925 version of "The Phantom of the Opera" at 7 p.m. Thursday at Warnors Theatre, 1400 Fulton St.

A crew will be shooting footage for the low-budget movie "The Concessionaires Must Die!" that could be used in the comedy film about a group of people trying to save a historic theater.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. with a costume contest to run until 6:45 p.m. The theme for the costume contest is Masquerade attire. Actors from the movie will be dressed in period clothes and roaming through the theater.

Dave Moreno will play the theater's pipe organ to provide the accompanying music and sound effects.

Warnors, a nonprofit foundation, also has turned back the calendar when it comes to prices to see the movies. A single ticket is $3, while a family ticket costs $8 (there are no limits as to how many members are in a family).

Tickets for the film series can be purchased at the door for individual showings, and series passes are available at

For more on the movie being shot at the theater, go to

Film festival circuit

The documentary "The Fight for Water: A Farm Worker Struggle," the movie that looks at the California water crisis of 2009, focusing on Joe Del Bosque and George Delgado, two farmers who are Fresno State alumni, will be shown at several film festivals.

It's the work of Juan Carlos Oseguera, a filmmaker who has been part of the CSU Summer Arts at Fresno State.

It will be screened at two major environmental film festivals: Kuala Lumpur Eco Film Festival in Malaysia, on Sunday, and the Life Sciences Film Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, on Monday-Friday.

The production also will be the closing film at this year's Vina de Oro Fresno International Film Festival, at 9 p.m. Oct. 19.

If you go

Extras for filming of "FAN27" at Visalia Rawhide Baseball Stadium, 440 N Giddings St., 9 a.m. Sunday and Monday. Wear Rawhide clothing or plain shirts that are any color except white. The team color is red. Bring small snacks and water since the filming will last five to six hours. Extras will not be paid.

TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at


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