HAMPSTEAD, N.C. (WECT) – Cameras are rolling and so are golf balls on the set of an independent movie that’s a dozen years in the making.
Birdies, a golf comedy, comes from writer Dave Longo’s real-life experiences working at a golf course and the stories he shared with the film’s executive producer, Brandon Luck.
That was twelve years ago. Luck and his friend, writer and director Troy Carlton, shot a pitch piece for the project. The idea back then was to film a TV series. But it didn’t take flight for a few reasons.
“It fizzled out,” said Luck. “The film industry left. Everybody moved away. But we got things back together twelve years later with a full script for a film.”
Now, with many of the original players, Birdies gets its mulligan.
Some scenes will also be filmed next week at Beau Rivage in New Hanover County.
Sydney Penny, who many remember from her time on All My Children, was part of the original cast and returns to the fairways for the film.
“They were all so fun and, frankly, somewhat insane and irresistible,” she said. “We had a lot of fun doing that and then all these years later, they said we’re going to do this thing for real, come and play with us and so here I am.”
It’s a comedy that keeps the cast and crew laughing.
“Every time we cut, everyone loses it,” said Luck. “They laugh their butts off every time and even during we have people lose it right in the middle of a take, an actor or a sound guy just starts laughing.”
So, will Birdies be on par with other classic golf comedies?
“You had Happy Gilmore and Caddyshack and a few others but that’s been 25 to 40 years ago, so why not do another one?” Luck said. “It’s just a whole different story line.”
The story follows a washed-up golf pro hired at a struggling course, Twin Pines, which according to IMDB is “a failing country club where maintaining a buzz is par for the course.” The owner puts the club on the line, betting his team can beat the golfers from the town’s wealthy, well-to-do country club, Magnolia Point.
“I think the core of the story is about really loving your fellow man and being good to each other and appreciating who is in your life and second chances,” Penny said.
The cast and crew, which includes several familiar faces to the Wilmington film industry and local theatre, are enjoying this second chance at making Birdies.
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