The Parthenon

Campus filming begins

By: Matt Haught

Issue date: 4/5/06 Section: Online Exclusive


A chain link fence and three orange traffic cones separated the hushed fans from the filming of the first on-campus scene of "We Are Marshall."

The set was open for people to watch at a distance, and what they saw was beginning of the telling of a story of strength and courage.

But the ball in this scene was round and orange.

Marshall basketball players Mark Patton, Adam Zimmerman and LaVar Carter hit the basketball court in this scene, and Matthew McConaughey as coach Jack Lengyel set out to recruit them for the Young Thundering Herd.

Producer Basil Iwanyk said the first day of on campus filming had been a good one.

"Things here are great," he said. "We're excited to get going with things."

The crowd of eager onlookers included two faces that are familiar with the story. Red Dawson and Jack Lengyel watched filming from the director's area.

"They are doing a great job out there," Lengyel said. "Both Matthews look like coaches and they speak like coaches."

At a break in the filming, McConaughey and Matthew Fox, who is portraying Dawson, greeted the former coaches. As the four talked, Lengyel joked with Dawson about Fox portraying his character.

"Red, he looks just like you," Lengyel said. "He stands like you."

Connecting the actors to the real characters has been an important part of the project. Lengyel said he has met with McConaughey to talk about how things were in 1971 and to say how he recruited players.

And even when the cameras were not rolling, McConaughey assumed the role of Lengyel, staying in character the entire day.

More students lined up outside the Memorial Student Center as filming moved to there for the rest of the day.

Filming continues today with scenes in Morrow Library and at the Memorial Student Center plaza.