Her Best Move

Filming is a different sort of ride for race-car champion Norman Hunter. Inspired by his three children, Hunter stepped behind the camera. It’s paying off, too. Hunter’s film, “Her Best Move,” made its debut on screens such as the KIDS FIRST! film festival, and now is picked up for distribution by some major companies and will soon be seen around the world.He shares some of his ride with us below. For more information, check out the film’s website.CP: Could you please give me an idea of why you chose to write a story like this and tell me how it came about?NH: I was shopping my “racing” script in Hollywood (I was a racing driver out of college) and the head of a studio told me that the film was too ambitious for a first-time director and that I should write something I could direct. I was coaching my kids in soccer and a story came to me as the seasons progressed. I always find myself drifting off into the imaginary world – probably because of all the books I read as a kid.CP: Why did you have soccer as a focal sport as opposed to other sports or interests?NH: I played soccer in high school – and I think there is a reason it is know as “the beautiful game.” Although you might not know it by how it is sometimes played today – just you-tube Maradona to see some terrific soccer. And it seems to be the universal family sport as kids grow up, equally accessible to both genders. With 2 daughters and a son, I am way into equal opportunities for girls/women.CP: We are starting to see more intact families in film, while in the past, they tended to be more split. Your film merges the past and present by having a split and reconciliation. Why did you decided to approach it that way?NH: Having been married for almost 25 years, I know enough about the pressures of life to realize that the “perfect” marriage isn’t necessarily the “Leave It To Beaver” model – that people need space and that a relationship can have a natural ebb and flow that doesn’t threaten to destroy it. I actually failed to communicate properly why Gil was spending so much time at work – he had a major fear of failing in his job and resorted to living at his office, but, as is often the case in low-budget (and first-time) films, it got a little lost in the shuffle.CP: Please give me an anecdote from filming that inspired you or made you laugh.NH: Daryl Sabara is enormously talented – like the rest of our cast – and while filming the Cold Stone scenes, his spontaneous ad-libbed lines cracked me up so much I actually fell out of my director’s chair. Unfortunately, most of the stuff was too out-of-character to make the final cut, but it stayed in a long time, it was so good.Another time, Scott Patterson’s character “Gil” was watching a little kids’ soccer game and reflecting on his history with his daughter. You might not know if from watching Gilmore Girls, but Scott has some really deep acting chops. After a particular take, brilliantly nuanced by Scott, I asked for another to really get the character’s state of mind. Scott happily complied, but by his look I know he thought we had already nailed it. Looking at the dailies, my second take was much too obvious – Scott’s original take brought all the emotion you could want from that scene. He is such a talented guy – I learned a lot about acting & performance from him.CP: What projects are you working on now?NH: I have a slate of 8 films – I am just finishing a re-write of my script “In A Heartbeat” , a romance/drama/sports/comedy about a racing driver, a widow and her 10 year old daughter. I also have a girls volleyball movie, a couple of music-themed stories – more sports and flying!CP: Why did you send your film in to the KIDS FIRST! film festival?CP: I long for the days when movies were funny-clever, not funny-raunchy. I also like stories that have heart and some sort of message, particularly those that can be enjoyed by all age groups. Think of Remember The Titans, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Sleepless In Seattle, Mrs. Doubtfire, A League of Their Own, etc, not to mention the classics of the forties. Kids First seems to recognize that films can be entertaining and meaningful while not relying on vulgarity or violence – it just takes imagination!CP: How has KIDS FIRST! helped you?NH: We’ve played in over 30 film festivals, with Kids First instrumental in placing a number of those. It’s nice having the Kids First! “seal of approval” – it’s a way for people to understand what kind of film it is.CP: Is there anything you would like to add?NH: Thanks for providing both the opportunity and the sensibilities that the American public wants. While NOTHING substitutes for good parenting, I think movies can provide role models for kids that we can applaud, so that is my goal.

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