Producers calling all extras

By Tova Fruchtman: CNJ staff writer

John Manulis, producer of “Believe in Me,” met with members of the community and the Clovis Chamber of Commerce on Monday to figure out how to get Clovis residents to participate as extras in this weekend’s basketball scenes.

The solution: Give people a chance to win a new Ford Escape SUV, a trip to Disney World or Las Vegas, a Honda all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and a myriad of other prizes during the final shoots in Clovis scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Clovis High School gymnasium.

Manulis said he needs at least 1,250 people in on Saturday and Sunday, days set aside to shoot the championship game scene, and 500 on Friday for another scene.

“Believe in Me” is an $8 million production based on a 1960s girls basketball team’s run a state basketball championship.

“I genuinely believe people would like to participate,” Manulis said. “We need to make it the must-do thing this weekend. There’s the ability for a lot of people to get something out of it. I think once people have been in they are really fascinated and have a good time.”

Stacia Brigham, a unit publicist for the film, said people interested should arrive at the Clovis High School’s Rock Staubus Gym “dressed up” — 1960s’ style.

Brigham said people who cannot meet dress code can come anyway and be dressed by the production’s wardrobe department.

“Come and be excited to be in a movie. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Brigham said.

“Early birds” will get entered for special prizes, but Manulis said chances of getting placed in a good spot in the scene are also good for those who arrive early.

Although Manulis said coming early and on time is great, he said people can come whenever they can and leave early if they need to.

Manulis said he hopes Clovis and Portales residents will come not just for the prizes but to be in the movie.

After all, for people in the area this is the last chance to be a part of “Believe in Me” — the crew will leave after this weekend.

“There’s a sense of ownership I think people should feel for the movie, and in that want this scene to work as well as it could work,” Manulis said.