One Cleburne resident has found his chance to be a part of an inspirational movie and give himself the inspiration he’s been seeking at the same time.
Anthony Embry, a 2006 Cleburne High School graduate and standout athlete, will play a high school football player in “One Heart,” a film in production that depicts the true story of a 2008 football game between Grapevine Faith High School and Gainesville State School, a maximum security juvenile facility that hosts the most violent teen offenders in Texas.
Embry had to survive through four cuts last week before learning he had a part in the movie, he said. It started when the crew checked to see if the players had the young high school look, and the second cut came on a different day after doing running drills. Embry was told to come back the next day to show his skills with a football and survived some morning cuts. After some passing drills that afternoon, the final cut was made.
Out of the 400 who auditioned, about 70 players made the cut, co-producer Russell Lake said. Lake and two other production team members had children enrolled in Grapevine Faith in 2008.
Movie in the making
The Grapevine Faith head coach asked the three to help the school’s community reach out to the players from Gainesville the night of the game depicted in the movie. Lake took his video camera, not knowing what to expect, he said.
Lake said the Grapevine Faith cheerleaders formed a spirit line for the opposing Gainesville team, cheered for them and even filled their side of the stands. Grapevine Faith parents of the players sat on Gainesville’s side and rooted against their own children.
“The parents in the stands were booing the refs when they’d make a call in Grapevine’s favor,” Lake said. “They were booing against their own kids.”
The night left the Gainesville players with priceless reactions and hope, which Lake said made him think it would make a good story or film.
“[Producer] Steve Riach and I had worked on another film. The game happened in November, and by Christmas we decided there was enough here to make a movie,” Lake said. “We did background interviews on inmates who played in the game just to learn what that night did for them. How impactful really was it? We asked the same questions to the guys from Grapevine Faith and discovered it was a really meaningful night for the guys from both sides.”