Hockey Headlines

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Hurry Up And Wait

I spent a very long day at the set of the the newest CBC creation. Coming next fall will be a two-part mini-series about the life of Don Cherry, entitled Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story, written by Don's son, Tim Cherry. It's a biographical piece on Don Cherry's life, and today was a casting call for extras for scenes in the AHL in specific time periods. Today featured the 1950s and 1960s that saw Mr. Cherry playing for the Hershey Bears and Rochester Americans. I've promised the production and publicity staff that I will disclose any details about what scenes were filmed, and I will honour that request to the fullest extent of my word. I will, however, describe some of what was seen today.

First off, I have to say that the wardrobe people for this production have done an outstanding job. The uniforms for the players look absolutely fantastic, and the costuming for the other stars was entirely perfect for the periods of time that were filmed today. Without a doubt, this movie appears to be very accurate historically when it comes to the wardrobe, and that tickles me pink since I love historical pieces of work.

Secondly, the staff and crew working at the Selkirk Recreation Centre today were incredible. They worked tirelessly, and really made the day for the volunteer extras. Wanda, Shelly, Reid, and Colleen worked magic with the volunteer extras today. Don and Summer were intrepid with their props and replenishing of prop materials... despite them probably never wanting to see another popcorn kernel after today. A huge "thank you" to those individuals for making today a much more fun day than what could have been. Sitting in arena seats for twelve hours was never so much fun.

A huge "thank you" has to go out to emcee Ace Burpee, weekday morning show host on radio station Hot103. Ace kept the crowd in a great mood all day by cracking jokes, telling stories, giving away prizes, and asking trivia questions. Thanks for making the time pass so quickly, Ace. Great work!

Ok, to the meat and potatoes.

Jared Keeso is playing Don Cherry in the mini-series, and he is a consummate professional. He's not over-the-top in his portrayal of Mr. Cherry, but does pull off a convincing Grapes. If you're a Smallville fan, he played "Nate" in two episodes in 2004. He's also a part of I Love You, Beth Cooper that is to be released this year, and he plays a character named Dustin.

Stephen McHattie appears as Eddie Shore, head coach and owner of the Springfield Indians. He has literally appeared in hundreds of television and movie productions. He plays the ornery Shore, and really looked good in the part today.

If you're interested in getting involved, and will be in southern Manitoba soon, here is the website with all the info you may want to read. I won't lie: the days are long, and there is a lot of takes, re-takes, and re-dos. But it is an experience that is interesting to see, and really gives you a perspective as to why it sometimes takes projects years to get to the screen. The directors and producers are looking for something specific, and it has to be right for them to move on.

And just to give you a little insider, the story is about Rose Cherry, their life together, their kids, and Cherry's nomadic career as much as it is about Donald S. Cherry. Honestly, today was a pretty solid day of filming, and it appears that the CBC is going for all-out historical accuracy in this hockey biography.

Much like Mr. Cherry says, it looks like "a beauty".

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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