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Movie Filming Continues Monday

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins have been starring on the ice.

Soon, they’ll be showing up on the big screen, too.

The Dreamworks SKG studio shot some footage a scene for its newest romantic comedy, “She’s Out of My League” during the Penguins-Islanders game Thursday night.

T.J. Miller, Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve and Krysten Ritter are filmed Thursday night for a movie scene in "She's Out Of My Leauge."

The two main characters in the script are Penguins fans, and the lead actors attended the game in Penguins gear for crowd shots with actual hockey action in the background.

“We called that a preproduction shooting because, essentially, we’re still preparing to be ready,” Co-executive producer David Householter said. “Our first day of official photography is on Monday. But, because the game was scheduled for Thursday, it seemed to make sense to shoot that.

“It’s great for us and it’s really perfect that the place was full and there was so much excitement. The fans are great,” he continued. “We’ve been to five games since we got here. We really captured the essence. It’s really like no other place I’ve been to. The crowd is fantastic.”

The actors and crew will come back to Mellon Arena on Monday and Tuesday and shoot the dialogue scenes in an empty arena. Many local hockey players will take part in a simulated Penguins-Islanders game those two days, including writer Joe Sager, who will be in goal for the Penguins. Check back for unique behind-the-scenes coverage those days.

Starring Alice Eve (“Starter for 10”) and Jay Baruchel (“Knocked Up” and “Tropic Thunder”), the movie centers on an average guy who works at the airport and becomes involved with a gorgeous girl who is “out of his league.”

The other co-executive producer is Jimmy Miller, a Castle Shannon native and a graduate of Keystone Oaks High School and Point Park College. Miller, who once worked as an usher at the Civic Arena during his college years, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that shooting a scene at the old arena before it is torn down “will definitely be the highlight of my career.”

Miller, who continues to be a Penguins season ticket holder despite living in Los Angeles, is a partner in the Mosaic Media Group and works closely with megastars such as Jim Carrey and Will Ferrell. Miller credits his brother Dennis, the famous comedian, with getting him interested in hockey back in the 1970s.

So far, Pittsburgh has turned out to be an ideal location for the film.

“Jimmy Miller, the producer on the picture, is from Pittsburgh and always wanted to bring a picture here. Everything just kind of lined up,” Householter said. “One of our characters is a TSA agent, so we needed access to an airport and lucky enough, at Pittsburgh International Airport, they have the end of Concourse B that’s closed and was available to us. We have been working with the airport authority, which has been fantastic and gone out of their way to make sure we can do it. The film commission has been great. They read the script and introduced us to the people and we kind of put the elements together.

Cameras zoom in on actress Alice Eve cheering as Krysten Ritter, T.J. Miller and Jay Baruchel look on Thursday.

“Really, we have the airport place for several days in our schedule, Mellon Arena for several days and we’re looking at shooting at the Warhol Museum. There are a lot of things in Pittsburgh that just all seemed to line up and made sense. It’s been great; it’s been a fabulous experience.

“The only thing we haven’t figured out is the weather and we’ve asked a lot of people that have lived here a long time and they said it’s tricky. Really, other than that, it’s been great. People have taken care of us, from the hotels to all the people we have been dealing with at different locations. You pull into a neighborhood, look for a house, talk to people and they’ve just been really nice. It’s really a pleasure to be here.”

Householter has plenty of experience in filming movies with a sports theme. He served as executive producer for this year’s movie Semi-Pro as well as 2006’s Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Filming during a live NHL game was much easier than during a NASCAR race in 2006, but had logistical similarities.

“It’s similar in that you have to coordinate with the owners and with the teams and the drivers and the league in general,” he said. “You go in and try to figure out how to shoot a live event without being too intrusive, but at the same time, the whole idea is to really capture the spirit of the game. When the film comes out, you want everybody to feel like they are really there.

“Everything worked out perfectly here. The Penguins and the NHL have been great. We’ve had to change some things and work with them, but they have been really good with working with us and having some patience because the nature of the business is that things change and it’s very fluid and you try to get it right. Sometimes, you have to change things to get it better. They have been really good with accommodating our needs.”

The Dreamworks SKG crew will be shooting the film in Pittsburgh through May 24. No release date has been set.

“We’ll shoot for eight weeks. I think it’ll be great,” Householter said. “We haven’t had any hiccups along the way, so I imagine shooting will be as good.”

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