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New Costner movie features local scenes

Aspen Times Staff Report

About 100 members of a Universal Studios film crew – and actor and part-time local resident Kevin Costner – wrapped up a week of shooting local footage for a movie about professional baseball on Friday.

Film crews arrived in town last Monday and filmed scenes in Snowmass Village, near Ruedi Reservoir and at Costner’s house on Independence Pass east of Aspen. The movie, “For the Love of the Game,” is due to hit theater screens next summer.

“We’re going back to Los Angeles to finish production,” said publicist Dave Fulton.

The scenes shot in the Aspen area depict Costner as veteran baseball pitcher Billy Chapel at home between baseball seasons. “We thought the mountains and the snow depicted the off-season perfectly,” Fulton said.

In the scenes, Chapel is on the verge of being left by his girlfriend and traded after 20 years with the Detroit Tigers.

In the midst of pitching a perfect game, Chapel reflects back on his career and on his tumultuous relationship with Jane Aubrey, played by Kelly Preston. With dramatic changes in his life ahead, Chapel realizes that he needs to make up his mind about some things before the game ends, according to a press release.

But Costner and company had other things to worry about last Tuesday, according to a source at the Aspen Skiing Co. Security personnel had to escort two people away from the scene who were trying to snap pictures during the shooting in Snowmass. The source said that once the paparazzi were removed, Costner invited Skico employees on the set to eat and posed for snapshots with them.

The incident occurred during filming of a hospital scene. Universal crews had transformed the parking lot into a helipad and the Snowmass Land Co. building into a hospital. The scene, which included about 35 locals cast as extras, depicted medical personnel rushing Chapel from a rural hospital to the helicopter.

The other scenes shot locally included a drive around Ruedi Reservoir and romance and recreation at Costner’s home on Independence Pass. Additional scenes and stage work were filmed in Los Angeles, Fulton said.

The local economy probably fared well from the entire affair. About 100 crew members, from accountants to grips to video assistants, were lodged at the Inn at Aspen and the Grand Aspen. A few locals were hired on as support staff, as well.

The film is being directed by Sam Raimi.


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