“On this movie, there's about 500 bets made a day and no one ever follows through with them. Everyone says things like ‘I will pay you five bucks if you can get the basketball in the hoop.’ Everything is a bet,” laughs Hallie Kate Eisenberg.
Director Bob Dolman thinks that audiences will enjoy seeing any eventual behind-the- scenes features about the making of the movie. “I would love for people to be able to see what it has been like for these kids to go through this, because it has been unique. The kids are really featured all the way through this movie, there are hardly any adults in it. The kids dominate and carry the movie. To see how they pulled that off, how they worked with me and with the crew. To see how all of the parents helped these kids to learn their lines and be ready on set every day. The families helped us enormously, there was a huge collaboration that went on with the parents, grandparents and the friends of the kids that were here.”
The ‘worm kids’ (as they began calling themselves) and their families were so touched by their journey that they made their own video to thank their director for the experience. “I really felt like they were thanking the whole crew, all of the people that were involved. They were just warm and genuinely grateful,” says Dolman. “It just touched everybody."
One final challenge for filmmakers was scheduling the ADR (additional dialogue replacement, or sound “looping”) before the voices of the boys changed. “We wanted to do it as soon as possible after wrapping principal photography. Both Adam Hicks and Ryan Malgarini are 13 and their voices will pop soon, big growth spurts are coming,” relates producer Philip Steuer.
After a quick 39 days of production, principal photography wrapped on Sunday, September 18th, 2005, along tree-lined Highway 21 in Bastrop County, forty-five minutes outside Austin. For filmmakers, cast and crew, summer camp was over and it was time to go back to school.