Hank Azaria, star of the upcoming IFC series, “Brockmire,” was in Macon on Thursday on the new show’s set.
A crew began filming a scene that appeared to show Jim Brockmire, Azaria’s character, walking into the fictional Morristown Stadium for the first time. The scene was shot about a dozen times before cast and crew members took a lunch break.
Onlookers, some from out of state, huddled around the outside of Luther Williams Field hoping to catch a glimpse of the action. Repeated inquiries were made by those on hand, asking about being extras. Location managers directed those interested to the Macon Film Commission Facebook page for more information.
James Walker, a construction worker and landscaper from Birmingham, Alabama, is an extra on the show. Walker said he tries to work as an extra in two or three productions a week.
“I love it so far, it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
While he has not gotten a chance to talk to any of the show’s stars, he hopes to. Walker said watching them work was fun enough.
Tami Edwards, a mother from Atlanta, said getting a chance be a part of the show was worth it.
“We (the extras) are not trying to be models and actresses. This is a pastime,” Edwards said. “This interested me because, ‘Oh, we need the crazy sports fans,’ and I’m a soccer mom. That’s me.”
Aimee McDaniel, co-founder and sports coordinator for Game Changing Films, is in charge of training a different kind of extra. She and her company are helping to coordinate the series’ baseball scenes and are in charge of the baseball players who auditioned for spots on the various “Brockmire” baseball teams.
McDaniel said maintaining the integrity of the game while also making the show look and feel real is no small feat.
“What we find, especially when you have a lot of actors, is that you’ve got to bring the actors up a little bit and bring the real players down a little bit,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said that with “Brockmire” it has been a little tougher because of the fast pace. Normally, her crew has a few days for rehearsal, but in this case they only have one.
“So far so good, the actors have been great,” she said.
Game Changing Films hosted baseball tryouts this week for athletes who wanted parts in the series. McDaniel said it can be difficult to curb an athlete’s instincts for competition.
“It’s the hardest thing to tell an actual athlete to not do what they’ve been told over the last 18 years to do. And to do it well and do it right,” McDaniel said. “A real athlete always has a little bit of an ego.”
Baseball scenes are scheduled for film beginning next week, according to McDaniel.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the network Brockmire will be on. It is IFC.