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Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers #63: Andrew Disney Fought Through a Brutal Texas Summer to Complete 'Intramural'

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire April 21, 2014 at 11:20AM

Andrew Disney, husband, father, and Texan, is bringing his second feature film "Intramural" to Tribeca. "Intramural" is an ensemble comedy about 5th-year college seniors going for one last shot at glory in intramural flag football. " It’s essentially my love letter to the 80s/90s sports movies of my youth" he told Indiewire. "Everything from 'Hoosiers' to 'Cool Runnings,' 'Rocky' to 'Sandlot,' and 'Teen Wolf' to 'Teen Wolf 2.'"
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Andrew Disney, husband, father, and Texan, is bringing his second feature film "Intramural" to Tribeca. "Intramural" is an ensemble comedy about 5th-year college seniors going for one last shot at glory in intramural flag football. "It’s essentially my love letter to the 80s/90s sports movies of my youth" he told Indiewire. "Everything from 'Hoosiers' to 'Cool Runnings,' 'Rocky' to 'Sandlot,' and 'Teen Wolf' to 'Teen Wolf 2.'"

Biggest challenge in completing this project? The Texas Sun… We were able to assemble a fantastic cast (Jake Lacy, Kate McKinnon and Beck Bennett, to name a few) but scheduling forced us to film a sports movie during July and August, the hottest months in Texas. Most of the football games were at night, but for the opening game of the film we had to shoot three days in 106 degree heat.

I don’t remember much of those days. They feel like a distant fever dream. I’d drink 20 bottles of water in the morning, and at lunch I was still dehydrated. My DP and I would huddle around the monitor in video village and try to just think straight. On dialogue days, we’d have maybe twenty setups, but on football days it could be up to fifty. Your mind is racing, and you feel like you’re on the verge of fainting.

And the actors… they’re the ones actually running football plays out in the open. Fortunately it’s flag football, so they didn’t have to wear pads, but still… nothing can prepare you for that July heat in Texas. There’s really no way to overcome it. The only thing that helps is playback. Though it was hot as balls, playback would always remind us that it was all worth it.

Did you go to film school? I went to NYU. I’m a Tischie. BFA in Film/TV Production. Class of ‘08

What camera did you shoot on? We shot on the RED Epic. Almost chose the Alexa, but we decided we wanted that Epic 5K resolution. It’s perfect for indie comedy because there’s always a struggle between coverage and takes. Normally for an indie, you should do three, maybe four takes tops. But with comedy you want a ton of takes for your performers. The magic happens around take seven, once you’ve got everything in the can, and it’s time for a freebie. That’s when the sharpest (and also weirdest) improv strikes.

But because of time, you’ve got to sacrifice coverage. Instead of getting the close-ups, you just shoot the mediums and the master. And with the Epic’s 5K resolution, you have the choice of punching in later if you really need it.

Did you crowdfund? Yes! We used Kickstarter to raise an extra 53K. Some of the money went to renting a 2nd camera and hiring another camera unit to shoot the football games quickly and effectively. We also used it to secure some amazing songs for montages. Gotta have those for sports movies.

I love Kickstarter. The biggest fans and supporters of the film always come from Kickstarter. I believe the crowdfunding model is more than a cash-grab; it’s a way to forge relationships with your greatest present and future fans.

What films have inspired you?
For INTRAMURAL - "Hot Rod," "Wet Hot American Summer," "Teen Wolf," "Happy Gilmore," "Friday Night Lights," "Rocky," "Old School," "Karate Kid"

In General - "Big Lebowski," "Back to the Future," "Die Hard," "PlayTime," "Vertigo," "Innerspace," "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," "The Good The Bad and The Ugly," "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

What do you have in the works? I’ve wrote a sci-fi action comedy called MAKE LOVE NOT ROBOTS. I love time travel movies of the late 80s - "Back to the Future," "Bill and Ted," "Terminator" - and it’s my take on the genre.

And then Bradley Jackson, screenwriter of INTRAMURAL, and I have been cooking up a TV show pitch. It’s like WORKAHOLICS meets INCEPTION… and I’ll leave it at that.

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2014 festival. Go HERE to read all the entries.


This article is related to: Meet the 2014 Tribeca Filmmakers , Tribeca