indieWIRE’s “Bigger” Project of the Day: The Louisville-Set Tennis Comedy “Tan Lines”

indieWIRE's "Bigger" Project of the Day: The Louisville-Set Tennis Comedy "Tan Lines"
indieWIRE's "Bigger" Project of the Day: The Louisville-Set Tennis Comedy "Tan Lines"

Each week, iW usually gathers up four or five projects in progress to feature in a single column. Now it’s going to be a daily feature, so there will be a singular spotlight on one project each day. Most Fridays, the daily project will give attention to a film in production and has financing.

Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell iW in the comments below.

“Tan Lines”
Director: Tim Kirkman
Cast: Josh Hopkins, Cameron Monaghan, Alexie Gilmore, Billy Magnussen and Dash Mihok.

Sports movies are usually a struggle to bring to the screen. And an independent one, even more so.

“Tan Lines,” an independent production, concerns Owen “Game Set” Match, a cocky top tennis pro who gets fired by a prestigious sports club only to find himself trying to piece back his career at the Derby City Rec Center club. Producer Gill Holland described it as a cross between “Caddyshack” and “Tin Cup,” but with tennis subbing for golf.

“I’ve been telling other producers that this is the hardest shoot I’ve ever been on,” said Holland over the phone from the Louisville, Kentucky where the film is days away from wrapping principal photography. “For example, we had 125 extras on set for 12 hours the other day and the weather spiked to 97 degrees. We had a medic. One person got sick.”

Despite the production spending two long weeks shooting on a sweltering tennis court, Holland said the shoot’s been going great so far.

“We’re getting so much local support,” he said. “The director [Tim Kirkman] came here two months before we began shooting to really imbue himself in Louisville life. We’re putting all of the landmarks into the film.”

Kirkman, best known for “Loggerheads” and the documentary “Dear Jesse” (movies Holland jokingly referred to as “sad gay films”) might not seem like the first choice for a lightweight sports comedy, written by Louisville native James Markert.

“We like to joke together that this is his ‘Pineapple Express,'” said Holland, playing on David Gordon Greene (“All the Right Girls,” “Your Highness”) new (and unexpected) career trajectory. “Both ‘Jesse’ and ‘Loggerheads’ had fun, light moments. He just told me after reading the script that he needed to make it.”

Holland is aiming to have the film ready in time for next year’s Tribeca and South by Southwest Film Festivals.

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