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Will Galen
04-12-2005, 03:29 AM
Playing at a theater near you?
Miller and Davis fancy roles behind the scenes in films


http://www.indystar.com/articles/9/236169-9949-179.html

By Mark Montieth
mark.montieth@indystar.com
April 12, 2005

With their basketball careers nearing a conclusion, Reggie Miller and Dale Davis have begun their transition to the real world.

Movies might not represent reality to those who watch them, but they are harshly lifelike for those who make them. That's where the two Indiana Pacers hope to make a mark with projects that are scheduled for filming this summer.

Miller, who will soon retire after 18 seasons with the Pacers, has formed a company called Boom Baby Productions and will be the executive producer of a movie called "Beautiful Ohio."

Davis, 36, isn't ready to retire from basketball, but has been active with music and film projects the past few years. He is reviewing distribution opportunities for one completed movie, "Playas Ball," and hopes to begin filming another on sports gambling.

"It's fun, from a creative standpoint, putting different pieces together," Davis said. "When you have that finished product and you have an opportunity to showcase it, there's nothing like it in the world."

Davis doesn't approach it as a hobby, however.

"It's fun, but you're not in the business just to be there," he said. "You want to make money. I'm in it as a long-term situation."

So is Miller, who has been networking around Hollywood for years in anticipation of his next career.

Miller received permission from Pacers radio commentator Bob Leonard to name his company after the exhortation that Leonard uses whenever one of the Pacers hits a 3-pointer. Leonard, who has copyrighted "Boom Baby," has called most of the 3-pointers Miller has made in his 18-year career, and the two are linked by the phrase.

Miller will team with Hollywood veterans Hillary Swank and Chad Lowe on his first film. The two married actors -- Swank won an Oscar this year for her portrayal of a boxer in "Million Dollar Baby" -- have formed a production company, Accomplice Films, which will co-produce Miller's first project.

"It's great for them to accept me and help me," Miller said. "I mean, for her to come off another Oscar, there's so many other things she can be doing.

"I'm walking right into the batter's box, but I'm looking forward to it. It's just another challenge. Hollywood's a different beast. But I'm not looking to do a $100 million film."

Modest goals

Miller's taste in movies runs to small-budget works that tell simple, realistic stories. "Searching for Bobby Fischer," a critically acclaimed, below-the-radar film from 1993 that focuses on the relationship between a father and his chess prodigy son, is his favorite. He cites "Good Will Hunting" as another model for his company.

"We're not looking to do 'Spiderman' or 'Titanic'," Miller said. "We're looking to do good, small, independent films that have a message and a story.

"We want people to leave the movie theater thinking. Because every family has its own drama."

"Beautiful Ohio," described by publicists as "a poignant coming-of-age tale," has a budget of $3.2 million. Tim Hoy, an attorney for the SFX Sports Agency that represents Miller, says Miller has invested "seven figures" (at least $1 million) in the project. The movie is in pre-production, with shooting scheduled to begin in May.

Miller plans to become involved with casting, editing and other aspects of the industry, but has no interest in acting.

Davis takes the same approach, although he gave himself a bit part in "Playas Ball." The movie tells the story of a basketball player who has been framed for fathering a child by a woman he claims to have never met. Davis purchased the script from Jennifer Harper and Jason Towne, and Harper directed it.

"I said a couple of words," Davis said. "All in fun. I'm not an actor."

Davis' company, based in Atlanta, is called WAR Entertainment. The acronym stands for World Ain't Right, and is intended as a statement against "the negative vices of the world," according to the company's Web site.

"At this point we're starting small, but ultimately we want to be a powerhouse in the entertainment field," Davis said.

Different approach

Davis' tastes in movies are more "urban" than Miller's, and he has particular interest in sports-related stories. He relates to the story line in "Playas Ball" from his experiences in his 14-year NBA career. His next project, "Double or Nothing," tells the story of a stand-up comic who falls into danger when he can't pay his gambling debts.

The script for "Double or Nothing" was written by Charlie Minn, who just completed a six-month stint as a sportscaster and newscaster for the Cleveland CBS television affiliate, but is heading to Las Vegas today to begin full-time work on casting and finding a location for the movie. Minn, 37, met Davis in Portland when Davis played for the Blazers and Minn worked for a Fox affiliate there.

"There are tons of subjects out there," Davis said. "In our lifestyle, I see and hear things. To put some of that stuff in movie form, I think it's something that people want to see."

Davis said he has invested about $1 million in "Playas Ball" and another $1 million in other projects. He expects to begin seeing returns when he reaches a distribution deal for "Playas Ball," and is hopeful of a limited theatrical release.

"We're just now getting out there, so the returns aren't there," he said. "But I'm looking for a decent return. There are deals on the table as we speak."

Davis and Miller were Pacers teammates for nine seasons before Davis was traded to Portland in 2000, and were reunited when Davis was re-signed in February. They don't rule out the possibility of working together in their next career, either, merging their money and their interests.

"We're going to get together when the season's over and see what we can come up with," Davis said. "You always want to do business with people you know and trust."

Will Galen
04-12-2005, 03:42 AM
I'll give them both a chance. I'll either go see their movies or rent them if they are available locally. I'll do that just because I like both of them.

Heck, I would probably do the same for people on here, even Geezer! (giggle,giggle,snort)

Harmonica
04-12-2005, 05:54 AM
Miller will team with Hollywood veterans Hillary Swank and Chad Lowe on his first film. The two married actors -- Swank won an Oscar this year for her portrayal of a boxer in "Million Dollar Baby" -- have formed a production company, Accomplice Films, which will co-produce Miller's first project.

"Beautiful Ohio," described by publicists as "a poignant coming-of-age tale," has a budget of $3.2 million. Tim Hoy, an attorney for the SFX Sports Agency that represents Miller, says Miller has invested "seven figures" (at least $1 million) in the project. The movie is in pre-production, with shooting scheduled to begin in May.

With Swank starring, that movie will turn a profit in foreign distribution rights before it's even completed. Or that may be how they raised the additional $2.2 million needed to shoot it. Either way, good business move by Reggie. Although I'll be interested is seeing how a film directed by Chad Lowe turns out—he doesn't seem like the most interesting guy. Sounds like it may be a pity project from his wife.

indygeezer
04-12-2005, 07:43 AM
I'll give them both a chance. I'll either go see their movies or rent them if they are available locally. I'll do that just because I like both of them.

Heck, I would probably do the same for people on here, even Geezer! (giggle,giggle,snort)



Hey buddy, have I got a sure-fire money-making project for you!!! :buddies:


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3ptmiller
04-12-2005, 12:49 PM
Yea.. Reggie will be the Alien and Davis will be schwarzenegger!

Jaydawg2270
04-13-2005, 07:35 PM
i'd rather see reggie commentate

TMJ31
04-13-2005, 08:25 PM
About my biggest goal in life now is for a role in a Reggie Miller production, as a die hard fan, and an actor, that would be the (almost) ultimate!

I need to talk to my agent!!