Chesapeake Arena, local extras get a taste of Hollywood

Roughly 300 extras participated in a daylong session filming for Kevin Durant's upcoming move ‘Thunderstruck'
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: January 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm •  Published: January 24, 2012
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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.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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