Moving across the country is hard for any teenager. It's even harder when it's 1972, your hometown team is the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Roberto Clemente is about to make his 3000th hit. So high school jock Mickey (Trevor Morgan) and his brainy little brother Roger (Rory Culkin) decide to drive from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh on a learner's permit to go to the game. There's just one problem: Roger has muscular dystrophy. Undaunted, the boys throw Roger's wheelchair in the trunk and set off for The Burgh, Three Rivers Stadium, and their beloved Slovakian grandfather (Seymour Cassel). As recounted by Ray Liotta as the adult Mickey, the simple plan is soon waylaid by a thuggish short-order cook (Kevin Gage). On a subsequent detour through the South - with their mother (Lauren Holly) on their tail - the boys are helped along by a train-hopping runaway (Tania Raymonde), a motorcycle gang leader (Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde), an eccentric farmer (M. Emmet Walsh), and a hip emergency room doctor (Ricardo Chavira). Based on the true story of co-screenwriter Bill Mikita's cross-country trip with his brother to that record-setting September 30 game against the New York Mets, this script eschews easy sentimentality for the clear-eyed acceptance of life with a disabled sibling. Suffused with both brotherly love and the love of the game, Chasing 3000 is an affectionate road movie with enough twists and turns to keep the ball in play until the final inning.
Director's Statement Collapse
Chasing 3000 has been a special experience for me as a filmmaker. I am a die hard sports fan, and a sucker for "inspired by" or "based on" true stories about real life people attempting to overcome great odds.
As a parent of 2 young children, I am constantly asking myself how my choices in life are affecting the foundation for which my children will develop their personalities, their ethics and their moral code. Will they grow to be leaders or followers? Are they going to challenge authority, or bow to it? Go with the flow, or create it? The characters in Chasing 3000 live in a world of extraordinary circumstances that most of us will never have to experience. And they must make choices with a lot more at stake. Through these characters, the audience can delve into the story and honestly ask themselves how they might behave or react in similarly trying circumstances.
As deep as some of that may sound, Chasing 3000 is a road movie, and is about having fun. Kids need to be kids. Even at 16 and 17 years of age. The great part is that the innocence of youth sometimes acts as a hall pass to do things that later in life one might think twice about doing.
About the Director(s)Collapse
GREGORY J. LANESEY has been a director and screenwriter (WGA) for over fifteen years. His first feature, 30, Still Single: Contemplating Suicide won nearly a dozen awards at film festivals across the U.S., including three Audience Awards for Best Film, and two jury awards for Best Comedy. Chasing 3000 is the second feature that he wrote and directed. His most recent feature, Zerophilia, had an art house release in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and is now out on DVD. Lanesey also co-produced TV Junkie, which won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2006. Lanesey was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, and now resides in Los Angeles, California, with his wife and two kids. Prior to attaining his M.A. in Film Production from the University of Southern California's School of Cinema Television, Lanesey received his B.B.A. from the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration.