TOWN OF NEWBURGH–Peter Lewis was pretty confident he would have one of the coolest stories to tell his classmates when he goes back to school in about two weeks.
The 10-year-old Somers boy had a role in a feature film being shot at the Town of Newburgh Little League complex on Sunday.
Though he was just an extra playing a first baseman on the losing team, the boy called it a memorable and ultra-fun experience.
“It’s exciting. I did something that most kids don’t get to do,” he said. “I got in a movie, and it was kind of cool and stuff.”
That seemed to be the consensus among all the extras showing up for the final shoot of “Twelve,” an independent film about a boy, played by child actor Wyatt Ralff, who moves to a new town and tries out for a Little League all-star team.
Parental politics get in the way, so he doesn’t make the team, but his father won’t have it. He puts his son on the opposing team, which he leads to victory.
Mark Gamma, the location manager for the film, called it a “Rocky” for kids.
“It’s a really good story about not giving up your dreams and doing anything you want if you want it bad enough,” said Gamma, the owner of the Newburgh Actors Studio.
“The boy is bullied a little bit, and there’s nepotism involved, but he overcomes that with perseverance and heart and passion, and he’s the hero. It’s also about overcoming the ignorance of adults. How many parents are always yelling at Little League and getting thrown out of games?”
The low-budget film, expected to be released later next year, shot at various locations in the Mid-Hudson Valley over a 20-day period.
Gamma made a connection with the producer and went to work scouting locations and actors.
Through his efforts, the film was shot at the Newburgh, Fishkill and town of Wappinger Little League fields.
He also found a house in Hopewell Junction that a couple rented to the filming crew. It served as the home set for the boy and his father.
Gamma also worked with administrators at Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park to use the ball field there.
In all, about 100 area children from various Little Leagues in the region landed roles as extras, something they said gave them butterflies at first.
“I was nervous for a couple of seconds, but then, I got really, really excited, and I was hyped,” said Austin Hollis of Saugerties.
The 12-year-old played a first-base coach, cheering for the star after he hits a homerun. Hollis said he cannot wait until the movie comes out and is pretty sure his whole family will be lining up to see it.
Though some have suggested HBO may pick it up, Gamma could not say for sure where “Twelve” may be distributed, but he noted that the interest is great.
“It’s a great film, and I’m proud to say I’m part of it,” he said.
So were people like Rosanne Piaquadio of Newburgh. She played an umpire in the film, and outside of that role, helped the crew throughout the day.
Piaquadio has been an umpire for 20 years and is on the board for the town of Newburgh Little League, so being a part of the film just felt natural.
“It’s just awesome. I love kids and I love baseball, and I’m here all the time,” she said. “To play a part of something you do in real life–in a movie–is too good to be true. How much better does it get?”