Borg vs. McEnroe

(Source: Teaser Trailer.com and Pinterest.)

This film just completed its run at my job and I wanted to unpack my thoughts about it. Not the quality of the film, which in fact was very good, but the process that went into making it.

The reason is, there are so many locations used, crowd scenes, costuming, historical accuracy respected, camera angles, stunt doubles, and shoot days.

Let’s start with locations. According to Wikipedia, this film was shot over at least 5 locations: Gothenburg, Sweden; Södertälje, Sweden; Prague, Czech Republic; London, United Kingdom; and the country of Monaco. The stadium used to mimic the Centre Court arena was in Prague and not the actual arena in Wimbledon* if you can believe that.

Crowd scenes. Oh boy do I know about quite a bit about this. Working crowd scenes, seems to be what I do mostly on my background shoots. Whether I’m at a party or a courtroom, chances are I, and a number of other background actors are being herded to set by Production Assistants. For this type of crowd scene though, they needed hundreds. With enough costuming to cheat the shot and make it look like thousands were in attendance. I could only imagine the casting notice for a shoot like this:

Seeking Men and Women, ages 18-99 for early 1980s Upscale Spectators in an outdoor sporting event. Must have multiple Summer looks to choose from and period appropriate hairstyles.

I didn’t include a pay rate because I don’t know how much they paid their actors, but that would usually be a part of the casting call too.

Costuming for the late 1970s, early 80s would be a pain. Not only does the background have to be in time appropriate clothes, but the principals as well. Many of the actors, I could tell, grew out their hair to match the look of the era. Though some of them had wigs on that looked mighty questionable.**

The costuming wasn’t the only thing that had to be respected historically, but much of the play too! The stunt doubles that actually played tennis match are great at what they do, because it definitely looked like they matched key moments of play.

The camera work and later editing, is what made this film. I’m sure this was multiple shoot days as it usually takes about a 12 hour day to film 5 minutes worth of footage at different angles. Plus the days had to be sunny. This doesn’t include the hard work the lighting crew has to put in to assist with making the lighting look consistent throughout the entire tennis match.

By far one of the more impressive films I have seen composed on the independent circuit.

*I kept wanting to spell Wilmington, which is where I live lol.

**I have a different word other than “questionable”, but I’m trying to be polite.

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