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Red Land Little League movie meets $50,000 goal

The film about the team's journey to the 2015 Little League World Series just moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

The Red Land Little League film just moved a step closer to becoming a reality.

An anonymous $20,000 donation pushed the film just past its $50,000 Indiegogo goal last Tuesday with five days left in the campaign.

That money will help producers secure an A-list actor and keep control of the film in Central Pa., producer Jameson Hesse said.

“If we weren’t doing an Indiegogo campaign and we went to normal Hollywood investors, we wouldn’t be able to film the movie in Central Pa.,” he said.

This Indiegogo goal is 90 percent lower than the $500,000 goal originally proposed at the official film announcement in Camp Hill March 23.

According to an April 16 post on the “Against the Odds” film’s Facebook page, producers lowered the goal for three reasons:

  • If the film’s $500,000 goal was not attained, Indiegogo’s commission would have been 9 percent, the Facebook post said. But since the film reached its more attainable goal of $50,000, commission will be lowered to 5 percent.
  • Now that the new $50,000 goal has been achieved, the film can extend its campaign for another 60 days to increase its development funding. If the goal had not been achieved, this extension would not have been possible.
  • After the second phase of the campaign ends, the film can use that additional funding to help attract other film financiers to help them reach their $1.6 million budget.

The 60-day extension began after the first phase of the campaign concluded on Sunday, May 22.

Hesse said he expects to have $80,000 in corporate sponsorship by the end of the month and hopes to secure $100,000 by the end of the extension period.

The more development funding producers can raise, the more power they’ll have during conversations with investors to keep the film in Central Pa., Hesse said, adding that he’s willing to wait as long as it takes to find a financier willing to film in Central Pa.

“Our goal is to make the film in Central Pa.,” he said. “We’re not going to accept anything else.”

“Against the Odds” — inspired by the Red Land Little League’s 2015 U.S. Championship win — will follow the Wagner family (including coach Bret Wagner, his grandfather Harold Wagner and his son and Little League pitcher Cole Wagner) as it tells the story of how Bret, who was once a Cardinals first-round draft pick, overcame the guilt of quitting the game when he coached his son’s team to the Little League World Series.

“It’s a powerful story,” Hesse said. “It’s not just about the boys winning. It’s about a four-generation baseball family who has been through a lot. It’s just about their triumph.”

Hesse said he hopes to sign an A-list actor to play Bret within a month.

Producers have already been in contact with Clint Eastwood’s son Scott Eastwood for the role, Hesse said. And they’ve also reached out to James Caan, Burt Reynolds and Chuck Norris to play Wagner’s grandfather. But nothing has been finalized.

“They’re just people who showed interest,” Hesse said. “It’s just a matter of who will be available, who wants to do it and what kind of deal we can strike.”

Confirmed actors so far include James Wilder (“Melrose Place”), Peter Dobson (“Forrest Gump”) and E.G. Daily (voice of “Babe” and Tommy Pickles from “Rugrats”).

Once an actor and funding has been secured, Hesse said producers will work toward an August film shoot.

To contribute to the project and become part of the filmmaking team, visit Everyone who contributes will receive a perk package, and high-level sponsors will receive product placement, stadium banners, speaking roles in the film and visits to the set.