Adam Sandler is an underrated dramatic actor
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How do you spin football?
Because football in Waterboy - The guy with the water damage plays a major role, the images on the football field should be as convincing as possible. Stunt coordinator Alan Graf, who is already in Jerry Maguire - Game of Life and The Program ("The Challenge") had made sure that the sports sequences looked breathtakingly real, was hired to choreograph the numerous game situations - a real challenge when you consider that shooting in Orlando was only estimated at nine weeks.
"None of our players had ever been in front of the camera in a film," explains Graf, who himself played football in college and in the World League. "It was very exciting for them because they weren't used to all the interruptions and meticulous work. They also had to be very focused so as not to actually meet and possibly injure the actors. They got really nervous, like caged predators because they couldn't really let their energy out. "
In order to find all the players for the teams in the film, search ads were placed in the newspapers and appeals were broadcast on television and radio. The filmmakers wanted to appeal to the widest possible range of sports enthusiasts: former NFL players, college graduates, arena football players, and Canadian Football League players. The shooting was deliberately placed in the break between two seasons in order to target more players. Thirty men were eventually selected, some from the Florida state selection. With the help of a few costume changes, they could be used again and again for the individual teams.
"There was more testosterone in the air on this set than I've ever seen before," laughs Fairuza Balk. "All these muscular guys, that was pure poetry in my eyes."
Stunt doubles were used on the sports field so as not to put the actors in danger of injuring themselves. Adam Sandler, however, did not prevent the prospect of bruises from intervening with the action. A few times he narrowly escaped the elbows of the cast football specialists. Most of the time, however, they tried very hard not to hurt the star. So much so that sometimes they themselves slipped and crashed to avoid him. These accidents not only created a good mood on the set, but also created some exciting scenes for the film.
"The football in the movie is pretty realistic, very tough and straightforward. I used a whole bunch of cameras to capture the action in as much variety as possible. You could say it was almost like we were playing a real game I've never used a crane as often as here, "recalls Frank Coraci. "The cameras were always on the move to take you from one scene to the next."
Stunt coordinator Graf agrees: "It was a big challenge to make the football sequences as real as possible, because a large part of the cinema audience is also very familiar with sports and would quit immediately if the scenes were staged. I'm proud of that we have achieved our goal.
"Coraci's quest for authenticity continued outside of the direct sports scene, casting a number of real football personalities, including coaches and media personalities, in minor supporting roles." They were great, "notes producer Jack Giarraputo, an avowed football fanatic." You were fun and very cool. Your presence gives our film a little real NFL vibe. "
Fairuz Balk says: "When things get stressful on film sets, people mostly get tense and quiet Waterboy there was no such thing: everyone involved was completely insane, so every day on the set was incredibly fun. "
Says Kathy Bates, "The work was so fun we couldn't wait to get on set in the morning. Adam's talent is well known in the industry, but I had no idea he was such a nice guy. I was actually old." enough to be his mother, then I would be proud of such a son. But I would like to emphasize once again that I am not that old yet. "
In order to find enough extras and to fill the stadiums in the football scenes, interested parties were called in the local media. 8,000 enthusiastic fans appeared on the scheduled date at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. In order to ensure a wide variety of camera settings, the crowd was directed back and forth in the stadium. For some, the work literally paid off as they were able to take home some of the prizes provided by production as a thank you. As a bonus, some of the actors gave impromptu speeches. Adam Sandler even recited some crazy poems he had just composed and thanked the extras for their hard work and patience.
The football field in DeLand, Florida was used in the training sequences of the Mud Dogs as well as in some of the games. There the team and actors also experienced the tornadoes that raged over northern Florida during the production time. Parts of the sets were swept away, but at least the football stadium was spared the destructive force of the winds of up to 300 kilometers. Some of the city dwellers were less fortunate and lost all their belongings in the storm chaos. The filmmakers spontaneously joined forces and donated clothing and some money to help those hardest hit by the disaster out of the worst.
The home of the Bouchers, made of clapboard, was made on the pier in the small town of Deberry in Florida - far from the Louisiana swamps, where the story actually takes place. In the vicinity of the dilapidated house, which was further disfigured with sports equipment lying around and rusted animal traps, an old propeller boat was covered with plants and moss to make it look unused and shabby. The idea was to give the impression that Mama Boucher would only rely on her son and his lawnmower driving skills when she went out.
Accordingly, Sandler spent a lot of time on the lawnmower to study the perils of the infernal machine at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour. In the film, Bobby's friend Vicki hairdresses the vehicle so that it finally reaches top speeds of 100 kilometers per hour. During a few practice laps on the "new" lawnmower, Sandler almost got thrown off the machine because he underestimated the driving force. In fact, he raced past the camera so quickly and obviously without control that everyone involved burst out laughing.
Meanwhile, Kathy Bates and Fairuza Balk were surprised by the speed of the propeller boats. Because Bates had already operated a similar boat once, she did without a stunt double - but underestimated the wind and the propulsion of the boat. When it suddenly shot off, not much would have been missing and they really would have "lifted off" - much to the delight of the audience on set.
Even if there was often reason for laughter, it was always important to director Coraci to remain as serious as possible despite all the flailing. "In many comedies, the audience doesn't care about the characters by the third act at the latest because they forgot to involve the audience emotionally in the plot," he explains. "As in The Wedding Singer I've made an effort to make the characters so fond of the third act that one really wants to know how their story ends. You believe in the characters and develop an interest in their fate.
We have some very apt, heartbreaking moments in this film. For example, when people hold up torches in the hospital scene to lure Bobby to the window, a cold chill is guaranteed to run down your spine. We have developed a very specific rhythm, so that after dramatic moments, a few gags are guaranteed to come back quickly. I want my audience to feel good, to be happy - and to be served tough football. "
Fairuza Balk explains: "I think this film will appeal to everyone. Everyone has big dreams, has felt like an underdog or a loser at one point or another. Even those who make it at some point have probably already seen themselves insecure or shy This aspect of the film is as appealing as its uninterrupted punch lines. Waterboy - The guy with the water damage is funny to die for. "
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