Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl”) isn’t rattled by the prospect of his Jon Hamm baseball comedy “Million Dollar Arm” facing off against “Godzilla” on May 16 — not after a hectic shoot last summer in India, where temperatures hit 125 degrees.
Why did you shoot in the summer?
We had a very narrow window between the end of “Mad Men” and the start of the monsoon season. Our last shot (in India) was at the Taj Mahal on a Thursday; we began shooting in Atlanta the next Monday.
How did you make the baseball look authentic?
Producer Mark Ciardi is a former MLB player, and he’d done “The Rookie.” The tough part was teaching (stars) Madhur (Mittal) and Suraj (Sharma) to pitch badly.
You’re Australian, and you’re doing a baseball movie?
I played baseball when I was growing up, and I’m a huge sports movie fanatic. My wife gets on my case about it, but I always cry over “Hoosiers.”
What’s your best memory from the India shoot?
We were shooting in a village where the boys were saying goodbye to their parents with about 20 minutes of light left and 300 extras. My d.p. Gyula Pados got the woman who was playing one of the parents with tears in her eyes even though I hadn’t told him to shoot her. That’s why you need a d.p. who’s intuitive. The scene just breaks your heart.