EAST LONGMEADOW – Rand Willard, East Longmeadow High School (ELHS) alumni from the class of 1974, plans to make a high school football film called “Freaky Friday Night Lights” and hopes to shoot the movie in town this summer.
Willard told Reminder Publications the film is inspired by the East Longmeadow and Longmeadow High School football rivalry, but with a twist – the parents of high school football players swap bodies with their kids, similar to the film “Freaky Friday.”
“My idea is that the parents that are part of the high school Spartan football dynasty are trying to do everything they can for their winless sons that are about to play Longmeadow and that’s where the fun begins,” he noted.
Willard said the film also focuses about the relationship between parents and their children.
He added that he formed his production company, 8-Point Productions, in order to create the film, for which he wrote the screenplay. He’s written other screenplays in the past, one of which, an action-drama called “By Their Rules.” which was optioned to a production company.
“The production company that I optioned it to had Jean-Claude Van Damme as their target actor in it, but it never went anywhere,” he added. “There’s about 2,000 screenplays sold a year; there’s about 200 movies produced a year.”
The first step in the game plan for shooting in East Longmeadow is for the production company to gain approval from the town and school district, Willard said.
He noted if the company is allowed to shoot at locations in town, he anticipates starting in June.
Willard, who has lived in San Diego, CA for the past 15 years, said he typically returns to East Longmeadow for school reunions. He was a member of the 1972 undefeated ELHS Spartan football team, which was recently inducted into the ELHS Athletic Hall of Fame.
He noted that he has three brothers – all of whom were varsity football players – and a sister who are also ELHS graduates.
The production company is seeking funds through an IndieGoGo campaign. As of Dec. 1, the campaign has raised $560 and has a goal of $800,000. The crowdsourcing fundraiser ends Jan. 3, 2016.
If the film is screened in theaters proceeds would be donated to organizations helping individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and the East Longmeadow school athletic community, Willard said.
He noted that his former ELHS head coach Bob Dobias suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
For more information about “Freaky Friday Night Lights” visit www.indiegogo.com/projects/freaky-friday-night-lights-movie#.