"42" Wraps Up and Moves Back to Atlanta
The Jackie Robinson movie “42” finished its last days of filming in Macon on Wednesday and moved production back to Atlanta to complete shooting the film.
The crew shot a baseball scene where Robinson steps up to the plate and fans cheer and boo for him. The extras were segregated to portray the 1947 game when Montreal played the Dodgers in a spring training game in Florida.
“Well this is a scene where it was segregated baseball,” Second Unit Director Allan Graf said. “Blacks sit at the ends and the white set in the middle and here's Jackie Robinson, the first black player to play here. So you have all that animosity."
When not shooting, extras in the stands pitched up umbrellas to protect themselves from the Georgia sun while baseball players on the field played catch. Actors Chadwick Boseman and Lucas Black tossed a football around in between takes.
Another famous face on set was former Atlanta Braves pitcher, Pete Smith. He is the baseball consultant for the film and was a stand in on Wednesday. Smith closely observes the actors to guide them in portraying the game of baseball correctly for the movie.
"It’s the little things,” he said. “Some people don't think about where they're supposed to be standing in a batter's box or if somebody's sliding in, the way they should slide, the proper technique."
While the crew filmed a couple of infield scenes, extras and more than 1,000 inflatable dummies sat in the stadium seats. This gave the venue a full background look on camera.
Visuals help tell the story but producer Jason Clark said the film has a deeper meaning.
“It's not just about baseball, it's about a man's journey and heroism in the face of great adversity," Clark said.
While the film focuses on Robinson struggles, it also depicts the love story between him and his wife Rachel. Clark said this other aspect to the story will hopefully draw crowds to the theater.
"I think that will be a great driver to get audiences to want to see the movie," he said.
The remainder of the film is being shot in Atlanta. When asked about leaving Macon, the crew said it's a bittersweet goodbye but they enjoyed their time in the area. The film will premiere in theater's on April 12, 2013 coinciding with the 66the anniversary of Robinson becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball.