Brian Morgan stood in silence along the rail near the home team's tunnel.
Those were his orders as he waited for the director to again scream “action.”
Morgan, and a few hundred others like him, was explicitly instructed to not engage the cast in conversation. Not even during long periods of down time.
But when the 6-foot-10 man of the hour sauntered over, sat down on the arena's hockey wall and struck up a chat, well, all bets were off.
“Inside, I was kind of freaking out,” Morgan said. “Kevin Durant was standing right next to me.”
Morgan, 28, of Edmond, was one of roughly 300 extras who attended a daylong session of filming for Durant's upcoming movie “Thunderstruck.” Wearing a white polo shirt with the Thunder logo on the left breast, Morgan became one of the lucky few who got to interact with Durant, the Thunder star who said, ‘what's up?' and reached out and slapped him five while waiting to shoot a scene.
But collectively, each extra got to experience a small taste of Hollywood as Chesapeake Energy Arena on Tuesday was transformed into a set of a major motion picture.
“It's been fun seeing the whole process of how it happens,” Morgan said. “All the behind-the-scenes stuff is pretty cool. You don't get to see that when you're watching a movie.”
In the movie, Durant plays himself and stars for the actual Thunder thanks to the NBA granting filmmakers license to use league property. The plot has Durant mysteriously losing his basketball skills when his abilities are magically transferred to a teenager, causing Durant to fall into a prolonged slump that threatens to ruin the Thunder's season.
On Tuesday, producers filmed a scene in which the kid (played by actor Taylor Gray) attempts a half-court shot and another scene where the kid transfers Durant's skills back to him.
Hours and hours pass before cameras capture footage that will be, at best, 15 seconds in the movie. Still, there are no shortcuts taken.
The entire Thunder Girls roster is on hand to perform at half-court. The Thunder's mascot, Rumble the Bison, which will be featured prominently in the movie, is at the session, too. The film even used real ushers to make it as realistic as possible.
Durant's teammates, though, are impostors. A five-man crew of athletic young men was hired to run out of the tunnel before Durant. They wore Thunder warm-ups and replica jerseys that gave the impression they were teammates Serge Ibaka, Reggie Jackson, Nick Collison, James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
“I didn't know how much work it is,” said Chris Merriewether, who wore Jackson's replica No. 15 jersey.
Merriewether, 23, is originally from Florida but now lives and works in Bartlesville. A former basketball player at Kansas State from 2006-10, Merriewether actually played against Durant in high school and college.
“It's a lot of rushing to wait,” Merriewether said. “I didn't realize how much work went into one scene. It's a lot of work.”
Some showed up solely to gain the experience.
Terri Ingle, 47, of Grove, made the three-hour drive to Oklahoma City on Tuesday morning to bring her two children to the set to be extras. Both are aspiring actors. Ingle's daughter, Sarah, is 16 and wore a blue Durant jersey. Her 13-year-old son, Jake, wore a white Harden jersey. Terri Ingle and daughter Sarah stood side by side one row above Morgan along the rail in the scene in which Durant emerges from the tunnel.
“I had a lot of fun, and I learned a lot,” said Sarah Ingle. “It's neat to see how it's so different in real life that what you see on TV. There's a lot more work than you would think.”