By Wayne Gates
A big name star has been signed for the movie Chance, which is currently shooting in Brown and Clermont counties. Matthew Modine will star as Coach Mike, one of the lead characters in the film. Many people remember Modine as Doctor Brenner from “Stranger Things” on Netflix or Private Joker in “Full Metal Jacket.” His acting career has spanned thirty years. “We are grateful to have Matthew Modine starring in this production, and more than that, to have his heart. He loves young people, and wants to leave the world a better place,“ said Executive Producer Michael Daly. Production of the movie has been going on for about two weeks. Daly said that four days were spent filming at Bethel High School, and that work was also done at the Flash Baseball Complex and the Holiday Inn in Eastgate. “We are grateful to these locations for their help”, Daly said. Two others with big jobs during the production are Producer Mike Hagerty and Producer/Director John Crye. Both are Hollywood veterans who are bringing their experience and expertise to the project. Chance will be the eighth film that Hagerty has produced, including Leave in 2011 and Will Gardner which is currently in post-production. He has also been an actor in movies and television for the past 25 years. “I decided about ten years ago that I just wanted to produce. I wanted to produce movies that I wanted to see with messages that I wanted to share,” Hagerty said. He added that he came to the Chance project because of a chance meeting. “With (Executive Producer) Michael (Daly), we had a friendship because he had met my wife on a plane. We started talking about the story. I read the script and we spent the next two years developing the story. Once that happened, it was about putting together the team.” Hagerty said that Hollywood is closer to places like Brown County than many people think. “At the core of Hollywood is middle america. We have three people that we’ve cast in the movie that live in Los Angeles but they are from Ohio. So they’re coming home,” he said. Crye has worked as a director, producer, writer, actor and distributor. He has worked with such films as Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko, The Prestige and Passion of the Christ. He said that getting an actor with the stature of Modine is very exciting. “For Matthew Modine, there is an intellectual toughness to him. The characters he plays always seem to be operating on two levels at once. What you needed from whoever was going to play Coach Mike was someone who could seem hard on the outside but then has this enormous depth of generosity on the inside.” Crye and Hagerty both said that the story is what drew themselves and Modine to the project and that it remains the most important thing. “A big part of this story is that is very important to see that you cannot judge anyone just on your first assessment. In the story, the character of Chance is viewed by his peers as someone who can’t be hurt. They don’t realize that he’s an emotionally brittle kid. Just because he looks like a big baseball star doesn’t mean that he can take the kind of pressure that might come his way.” Crye also felt a personal connection to the project and the message behind it. “For me it was the fact that I have two sons. We are in a time where we are doing a lot to empower young girls, which I think is great. What I haven’t really seen is what we are doing for boys. I think we have young boys who are growing up in America that don’t have male role models around them. We aren’t really training boys to become men,” he said. “I think what touches me about this film is that everyone is doing their best. The parents are doing their best, the coaches are doing their best, the teachers are doing their best. This kid seems to be firing on all cylinders. He’s a good student, a baseball star and even that kid is a risk.” Crye said that his goal is to tell an honest, human story that will have a lasting impact. “I especially hope that we have young people see the film and then ask why this suicide happened. The conversation that could come from that and the answer that there is no good reason for suicide could have a big impact on a young life. If we can get a child who was considering it to say that it’s not a good option, that would be great.” Chance will continue to be in production for another few weeks.