"I think that the obsessive nature of sports fans is a fascinating
backdrop for a film, and a comic take on the idea of fans kidnapping a player
is a very funny premise," says director Tom DeCerchio. "There
is a ring of truth to the characters in this story. We've all seen people
watching a game either in a bar or at home, who scream at the television
set. This behavior is not invented in the story. So it was a combination
of the reality and the humor in the script that charged my own enthusiasm."
"It really is the obsessive nature of these fans that makes the script
so funny," adds producer Roger Birnbaum. "A story about two fans
kidnapping the star player from the opposing team is a simple yet very hilarious
idea with a lot of potential to be extremely entertaining."
Discussing his choice of Tom DeCerchio as the director for "Celtic
Pride," Birnbaum says, "Tom was extremely articulate about the
script. He has an excellent feeling for character and a talent for capturing
detail in the characters' worlds that really matter in bringing them to
life in a feature film."
Screenwriter and executive producer Judd Apatow notes, "Tom and I
developed a really good relationship in working on this project. We definitely
saw eye to eye on the tone and spirit of the film and he had a feel for
these characters. His job was especially difficult because we were walking
a fine line with our style of comedy. We wanted the movie to be funny without
being broad. Since obsessed fans are very broad to begin with, you can play
these guys exactly as they exist in real life without having to create an
exaggeration for the movie."
DeCerchio adds, "The more we played the situations for real, the funnier
"The characters are funny because they are almost tragic," continues
Apatow. "This is a very human comedy in that everything is driven by
real emotions and real frustrations. It becomes funnier because you care
about these guys and you want to see their lives turn out better. Even though
they're doing something horrible, you kind of understand the reasons that
Mike and Jimmy are giving themselves as justification, since, as much as
sports fans yell and scream, they can't control the game. And these fans
actually figure out a way. Most fans wouldn't do this, but I think they've
all thought about it."
Explaining his own attraction to the project, executive producer Charles
J. D. Schlissel says, "I liked the idea of doing a movie that was centered
around the fans,
monument. Around almost every corner of Boston there is a piece of history
waiting to be discovered, but as production designer Stephen Marsh explains,
the choice of the many specific shooting locations around Boston was lead
by other criteria.
"It was more important to get locations that gave background and life
and history, and felt right for our characters, rather than just make the
film look like it was shot on location in Boston," Marsh says. "And
the challenge is to tie all of the sets together, giving the film a broad
visual spine, a continuum. One scene should visually flow naturally into
the next, and I think you can help that along with the use of a color palette."