My first day of filming was on 14 January 1997 at one of the Treasure Island soundstages where they built the basketball stadium from scratch. My younger brother (Dan Trimble) and I arrived in the cold early morning and were positioned on the upper balcony level of the stadium while, down below in the foreground of the shot, Robin Williams filmed a scene where he swung his hands out and knocked over two passers-by.
After several takes, it was completed and more extras were brought inside. We went downstairs and sat in the lower-level bleachers with Cindy Suen, Victor Nee, and their friends Daniel Gowdy and Tim Tu who had all just arrived. Ngoc Vu, Jennifer King, and Nancy Ku sat further down the same row as us.
We had to do the next scene many, many times, in which we pantomimed cheering for either the Rutland or Medfield basketball teams, depending on what color clothes we were wearing. In the foreground of the shot, Robin Williams was giving the Medfield players his pep-talk while the Rutland team ran out onto the court. We took a break for lunch outside and then came back and worked on this same scene some more. At one point, some people thought they heard, "That's a take", and caused everyone to start cheering enthusiastically since we had finally finished. But we were wrong and had to do it about two or three more times.
During the break after that shot, Robin Williams talked to some young cancer patients who were visiting the set. He took pictures with them, putting tears into the eyes of the kids' parents. He then went around and shook hands with some extras, including myself, Cindy, and Dan.
The next scene was a panorama shot in which the camera moved over the game and zoomed in on the Medfield cheerleaders. In this one, Danny was down at the tunnel walking in and taking a seat somewhere. Another scene was done here in which it was the last fifteen seconds of the game and the Medfield team went into a huddle with Robin Williams yelling something from the stands.
After a long break while the crew rearranged the equipment, I and about fifteen other people were sent to the other side of the stadium to do a scene around Wil Wheaton, Raymond J. Barry, Clancy Brown, and Ted Levine. An assistant director positioned me and Cherie Mitchell of Yuba City in front of Barry and Wheaton. The director Les Mayfield told the two of us to jump up and cheer for Rutland. This was the scene where Wil Wheaton is complaining about Barry making a bet against their own school. It was also the only scene in which I am clearly visible in the final cut of the film.
We then did another scene here in which it is now the end of the game and Rutland has lost to Medfield because of the flubber. Most of the extras around us are gone and Cherie and I are sulking and complaining while the famous actors get up and walk away. This was the last scene of the twelve-hour work day. We got our payment stubs signed and then got to leave.
On my second day, 15 January 1997, the crew worked on the same scene with Williams, McDonald, and Harden from 7:00 to 5:00, using only 50-70 extras. The other 200-300 of us just sat in the bleachers on the other side of the stadium and waited, reading books and talking amongst ourselves. Sharon Primo was in this scene at the top row of the stadium.
Robin Williams goofed around a lot between takes. He would sing and yell, making his funny noises and voices to entertain us and relieve boredom. He and Chris McDonald often started rapping or harmonizing up to the second that Mayfield yelled "Action".
At 5:30 the rest of us got to move back to the other side of the stadium to fill in the rest of the seats to the left of Williams while the camera did a shot from behind. I did this scene with Cherie again, as well as Mary Goodnight, Steve Earley, and Janette Barrios whom I had befriended during the day.
We also appeared together in the next part in which we now redid the Wheaton-Barry scene again from another angle. Cherie and I were up in front again, but probably not in the shot.
By the time we finished that day, I had worked 14 hours. Leaving Treasure Island, I just barely had enough time to make it to Berkeley where I S.M.ed at Putnam Hall for another 5 hours. Nineteen hours of work that day from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM!
On my third day, 17 January 1997, I went to the set with my then-roommate's younger sister Adrianna Granville and her roommate Rhys Cheung. The first scene of that morning involved the character "Werner", Medfield player #12, played by Kevin Lowe, a student at San Jose State University. Kevin was the small basketball player who wore the goggles over his glasses. In this scene he was flat on his back and one of the Rutland players took the ball away from him in order to score. They redid this shot from three different angles and then we went to lunch.
The next shot was a close-up of Rutland player #3 trying to block a Medfield player's pass to the court. Adrianna, Rhys, and I are in the side background on the left. Maggie Stevens from Channel 5 (KPIX-CBS) and Wayne Freedman from Channel 7 (KGO-ABC) wandered around the set doing interviews for the evening news.
After this I went back to my position next to the main bad guys, but since the real actors were not on the set this day, photo-doubles were there instead. They filmed a few shots of everyone cheering for some Rutland slam-dunks.... Today the main stars and director were filming at San Jose State and today was being run by the 1st Assistant Director, Pat Regan, and the 3rd Unit Director, Mickey Moore.
The crew then filmed a shot in front of the judges and scorekeepers, probably including Adrianna and Rhys in the background. They came back to our side again and did some shots of the Rutland cheerleaders rooting for their team. A little while after this we got to go home, after only 11 hours today!
Some background extras and featured extras in the movie:
Sarah Batt, Rhys Cheung, Adrianna Granville, Carrie Huie, Jennifer King, Nancy Ku, Jessica Mullan, Victor Nee, Sharon Primo, Kiní Schoop, Cindy Suen, Scott Trimble, Tim Tu, Ngoc Vu, David Zubiria.
Paul Franjieh, Melanie Rachelson, Dan Trimble.
YUBA CITY / SAN JOSE:
Janette Barrios, Steve Earley, Mary Goodnight, Cherie Mitchell.
Daniel Gowdy (Cupertino), Kevin Lowe (San Jose State), Jeannie Robertson (San Francisco).