Photos From My Set Visit to GEOGRAPHY CLUB, the Movie

So a year ago last June, I flew down to Los Angeles for four days to watch the filming of Geography Club, the movie based on my book (to be released on November 15th, 2013, in select theaters and on video on demand).

The most interesting thing I saw was the football stadium scene. In the book, it’s the scene where Russel joins the baseball team to be closer to Kevin, and he ends up sort of accidentally hitting a homerun. The producers of the movie decided football would be more cinematic, so they changed sports. And sure enough, the resulting scene is spectacular — one of the best in the whole movie.

As I watched them film it, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit like how the Egyptian pharaohs must have felt watching them build the pyramids. There were over a thousand extras! There was a marching band, two football teams, two cheerleading squads, and about a zillion crew members. All to film a movie version of this little book I cranked out almost fifteen years ago? If I’d known everyone was going to make such a fuss, I think I would have worked on it a lot longer!

Anyway, here are the pictures I took.

I remember when I thought up the name "Goodkind." I was trying to be ironic (because much of the school isn't good OR kind), but I've always wondered if it was too much.

Cameron Deane Stewart plays Russel. Right before we took this picture, he said, "This is the most un-Russel scene in the whole movie!" That's when I knew: (a) he got the character, and (b) I liked him a lot.

Justin Deeley, another great guy, plays Kevin. Seeing the actors on set, I'm so glad I don't have a job where I have to be the focus of all that attention.

Alex Newell plays Ike, and he's wonderful. But I honestly don't think I understood what a phenomenon GLEE is until I saw Alex interacting with the extras in the crowd. People went NUTS for him!

Nikki Blonsky, the lead in the movie HAIRSPRAY, was such a fan of GEOGRAPHY CLUB the book that she contacted the producers saying she'd play any part. They rewrote the role of Terese for her, and she's terrific.

When I first met Ally Maki, who plays Min, this stunningly beautiful woman walked into the room. And I thought, "Huh. I always thought Min was attractive, but that's not exactly how I pictured her." A day later, I saw her in hair and make-up, and I watched her acting. And like magic, Min magically appeared before my eyes!

Allie Ganino (from TV's THE LYING GAME) plays Kimberly. Frankly, the character is a bitch, but Allie had me hysterics on set, saying so much in each take just by rolling her eyes or sucking on a lollipop.

Andrew Caldwell, who plays Gunnar, told me that when he told people in high school he wanted to become an actor, they all said he was too fat. That made him more determined than ever. Now he has a very successful acting career, and I'm sure their lives all suck!

Teo Olivares plays Brian Bund, which I think is one of the most difficult roles in the movie. How do you give dignity to an object of ridicule? But boy, does Teo pull it off.

My view from the stadium seats. Jesus, all this for my little book?! Is it too late to fix all the things I desperately wish I'd written differently?

My agent Jennifer DeChiara, who is the reason (a) the book got published in the first place, and (b) a movie got made. No, seriously. She made it all happen.

My incredible partner Michael. All the great things in my life have been so much better having him to share them with.

Behind the scenes! But I confess that by 5 AM, I was ready to get some sleep...

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4 Responses to “Photos From My Set Visit to GEOGRAPHY CLUB, the Movie”

  1. Ella Jedlicka 12 November 2013 at 1:32 am #

    I've been looking forward to this since the news first came out that the book had been optioned.. Whether the characters as I imagined them will be the ones in the film or not,,it would take a lot to screw up what you have done . Kudos to you . Congrats on the movie, congrats on the nuptials . I've missed your presence and the old AE.

    • Brent Hartinger 12 November 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      Aw, thanks, Ella, for all the nice words. :-)

  2. Adrian Yee 29 March 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Hi Brent,

    I had never heard of the Geography Club until the movie was shown on free to air TV as part of Mardi Gras week in Sydney, Australia earlier this month.

    After watching, I instantly fell in love with Russell and his story. I wish this book and movie had been around when I was in high school (some 15 years ago). I would have come out then and not left it until years later.

    I quickly bought the DVD and the book which I read in a week. While the movie adaption is different from the book in some ways, it still was a great read.

    I believe there are sequels so I'll have to buy the next book.

    Sydney, Australia

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