Three days after this year's Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the All England Lawn Tennis club opened its doors to the public again, when the Paramount film company began shooting its latest motion picture, "Players".
TGV PAN Deserted Wimbledon courts
GV PAN People queuing outside for tickets
SV Sign "All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club"
GV PAN Stage crowd at centre court with cameramen walking across court
SV Producer Robert Evans TILT UP TO cameraman on stand
CU Another cameraman focusing camera
GV Players about to play
SV Guillermo Vilas receiving service
SV Pancho Gonzales among spectators turns towards camera
Play in progress between Dean Paul Martin and Vilas (closest)
GV Martin playing, wins point
MV ZOOM INTO CU Robert Evans talking to reporter
SV & CU Ali McGraw. talking to reporter (2 shots)
REPORTER: "Robert, as a producer, how important is it to be here, at Wimbledon, making a movie?"
EVANS: "I would say being here today, touching this grass at Wimbledon is maybe the most exciting moment of my professional career. To think that we could bring our crews here, and get the cooperation of these people at Wimbledon, who have been extraordinary to us, and recreate the finals at Wimbledon, well, for a man who likes to make film magic, I feel I just cannot beat it. I will never be able to do better than this."
REPORTER: "Ali, for an actress, how exciting is it to be at Wimbledon in simulated tournament conditions?"
MACGRAW: "Incredible. Extraordinary. I mean there is no....without it there is no authenticity, that is the problem. You know there are so many movies where everything is hokey, and then it is called a Hollywood movie. This, is immaculate in detail, and it is largely due to the Wimbledon men."
"Players" -- the first movie MacGraw and Evans have made together since the multi-million dollar grossing "Love Story" -- will also be shot in Los Angeles and Mexico. Among other tennis stars appearing in it, are Ilie Nastase and Ion Tiriac. It is due to be premiered in London next year, in the week preceding Wimbledon.
REPORTER: NICHOLAS JENNINGS
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Three days after this year's Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the All England Lawn Tennis club opened its doors to the public again, when the Paramount film company began shooting its latest motion picture, "Players". The film, produced by Robert Evans, of "Love Story" and "Chinatown" fame, stars Ali MacGraw, and numerous tennis players, including Wimbledon veteran Pancho Gonzales and this season's most successful money earner on the International Tennis circuit -- Guillermo Vilas of Argentina. It also features Dean Paul Martin, son of American entertainer, Dean Martin, making his screen debut as a rising tennis star, who has a blossoming off-court romance with an older woman -- Ali MacGraw.
SYNOPSIS: With clearing-up operations almost completed after this year's Championships, which attracted over 335,000 spectators, the crowds descended on the famous courts once more. Several thousand people queued for hours for the unique opportunity of a place of the centre court, where "Players" was being shot.
It is the first time the world's premier tennis venue has been used as a backdrop for a major motion picture, and presents producer Robert Evans with the best possible conditions for realistic fictional re-creation.
In the film, Guillermo Vilas -- appearing as himself -- is Martin's opponent in a Wimbledon's men's singles final, and there are long sequences of highly competitive tennis. With Pancho Gonzales -- who plays Martin's coach -- always on hand to lend professional advice. Martin, at the far end, is a professional tennis player in his own right, and plays team tennis in the United States for Phoenix Rackets. He regards himself as a player who can act rather than an actor who can play.
During a filming break, Ali MacGraw and Robert Evans expressed delight at being permitted Wimbledon access.