Sports Movies and Mark Ellis

Recently we watched two movies focused on sports, that were nothing alike: a basketball movie based on the real-life high school basketball coach Ken Carter called Coach Carter (which I rated as 8 out of 12) and a baseball comedy called Mr 3000, which got 7/12 from me and Olivia (links go to the Internet Movie Database site, IMDb).

The reason I mention both of them in the same sentence is that, while watching the "making of" documentary to Mr 3000, I noticed a guy called Mark Ellis training the actors to look like baseball players and also selecting the hopeful baseball players to look like actors and star in the movie...and, he did the same for the basketball action in Coach Carter! What a cool job, to know everything about sports and design how the action will be played out on-screen.

Checking Mark's entry at IMDb reveals he is the "sports co-ordinator" or "assistant sport co-ordinator" on a stack of movies, including films like The Waterboy, Jerry Maguire, Radio and The Longest Yard (all featuring American Rugby/gridiron), as well as the upcoming Superman Returns (baseball). Once again, a cool job - and the training he puts the guys through does not look easy! In Mr 3000 he had something like 1,500 applicants for 15 positions - and some of those that got through were in the movie for only a couple of seconds.

Here's a question I've been pondering, that's kind of related: is it easier to teach an actor to pitch and look like a baseballer (for instance), or would it be easier to get a baseballer to act like an actor? The question brings to mind The Truman Show, where there's a scene with actors playing doctors who have to perform an operation...wouldn't it be easier to pay a doctor to act for a bit?


Noticed the "Word Verification"?

I turned on Blogger's in-built "Word Verification" for comments to stop the occasional, highly annoying comment spam that I sometimes get ("Word Verification" is the random sequence of letters that you have to type in to enter a comment on this blog).

I hope it hasn't turned anyone away. Just think, the inconvenience is worth it for the author (me) who has to delete the trash, and the readers (you) who also have to read blog spam. Yeeech.

Grand Final 2005


Last weekend was the AFL Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and Perth's West Coast Eagles. I can safely admit that I have not followed football at all this year - but it's still great to watch the big game with plenty of food and company. This year we got together with our friends Jarrod and Kellie who put on a good spread and had the big TV going.

The game itself was epic in proportions - there was heroes and villains, blood, controversy, a few bad calls, some luck, a lot of skill and a thrilling (yet low scoring) finish that saw Sydney just make it across the line first. My Perth blog buddy Rodney points out that the Eagles were not disgraced, and I agree...both teams played really well. I personally was going for Sydney for my friend Anthony, and in the absence of Collingwood I guess a partially ex-Melbourne club was preferable!

It was surprising in the press how much the Melbourne history of the former South Melbourne Swans was promoted, even though they moved decades ago. I reckon more than a few people from Victoria were clinging to that history and going for Sydney too.

Back from our Apollo Bay holiday..rested!

Our holiday to Apollo Bay on Victoria's Great Ocean Road last week was great. Aaaah - a week of relaxing in a cabin with a gas log fire (for those winter nights) and a huuuge spa bath (for the rest of the time). I really feel like I needed a holiday. January was my last time off (not long, I know, but I needed a break). And this was a good time of year to go, as it's well into spring time and a week before school holidays to avoid the rush, and the weather was very good shorts and t-shirt weather...although we did get 1 day where we couldn't do anything owing to the rain.

The two photos are us eating lunch at Marriner's Lookout, overlooking Apollo Bay (and behind that, Marengo Bay which is where our caravan park was), and us on a bench at the Twelve Apostles Lookout.

The Twelve Apostles were awesome, especially from the air - we went on a very brief but altogether awesome helicopter ride, I got to sit in the front, and TJ had a smile on his face the whole time. The other highlights of the trip were the Cape Otway Lighthouse, coffee in Lorne, taking the ferry, coffee in Glenaire, a tree top walk and nights with my beautiful wife!

All up an amazing holiday. Thanks Wifey for organising it!

Johnny Lee Clary

Rodney posts about an interview with Johnny Lee Clary on Channel Two's Enough Rope. Johnny Lee Clary is a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, who says he's "...sick of racism and prejudice and I'm gonna do something about it...". A very moving and insightful interview for anyone who's ever come across racism.

TJ's party, and Father's Day

Last weekend was really busy and exciting and fun for us, as TJ had his 4th birthday party, and Sunday was of course Father's Day.

TJ's party was fantastic - lots of games, food, cake, other food (Olivia did a great job catering), presents, and lots of playing. We had a pirate party and TJ got into it most of all with his pirate costume, eye-patch, cutlass and Lego pirate ship present that arrived on top of his cake. We also had a big skull-and-crossbones flag and treasure chest, and we played "Pass the Treasure" and had a treasure-hunt in the backyard. Olivia, Maya and I joined in and had pirate tattoos as well (I'll post some photos of the young man when I can - it seems like his eyepatch hasn't left his head for more than 5 minutes since Saturday).

I was really proud of TJ as he enjoyed himself and handled himself really well on the day by using his best manners, plus he was involved in making decisions beforehand e.g. who to invite (he's really starting to grasp the concept of a "friend"). Maya was also great and was her usual social butterfly self...I hardly saw her for two hours as she played with everyone!

Today (September 7th) is TJ's birthday...Happy Birthday my big 4 year old!

UPDATE: added the photo of TJ showing off his tattoo!


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