'Major League II' soon to be in the bottom of the ninth of its filming here

November 19, 1993|By Wayne Hardin | Wayne Hardin,Staff Writer

The World Series ended before Halloween and the 1993 baseball awards are history, but for the producers of "Major League II," it's still baseball season in Baltimore.

"Most of the baseball action is done," says Michael Battaglia, unit publicist for Home Run Productions. "But we still have some dugout and bleacher scenes left in Camden. Then, we start interior locker room stuff, some at Memorial Stadium and some on the sound stage. We should be wrapping up here Dec. 10."

Home Run has been in town since near the end of the regular baseball season filming a sequel to "Major League," the 1989 comedy that starred Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna, among others. Several times now the company has called for Baltimoreans to populate Memorial Stadium so they could film crowd scenes.

Last week, there'd been talk of another big gathering.

But, Mr. Battaglia says, "We're finished with that. We got what we needed with fewer people. We've been using 300 or 400 paid extras for crowd scenes."

Rumor around town had it that the company's later casting calls for unpaid extras were going largely unheeded, but Mr. Battaglia says the company has been pleased with the turnouts so far.

If a final turnout had been needed, Mary Seymour, who was there from 7 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Oct. 8, "probably" would've been willing to go again "if the weather was nice. I enjoyed it the first time," says Ms. Seymour, 23, who works in St. Joseph Hospital's mailroom.

The first and largest of the filmed crowd scenes occurred Oct. 8, when about 17,000 people were at Camden Yards. Participants earned $1 each for favorite charities.

They also had some bad weather, particularly the weekend of Oct. 30 and 31, which had been heavily promoted. But a cold rain fell steadily both days, spoiling Central Casting's plans.

But Mr. Battaglia says overall the filmmaking company's experience here has been good. "The only problem we've had was the rain and we worked around that."

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