GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — An independent film centered on farming in Northeast Wisconsin and the 1993 Green Bay Packers season has finished shooting and now moves to post-production. Craig T. Nelson has a starring role in the movie that also features Packers Super Bowl Champion Leroy Butler and Wisconsin-based comedian Charlie Berens.
In an exclusive story for NBC 26, director Anders Lindwall shares a look behind the scenes at how this story is making its way to the silver screen.
Lindwall and his brother, who also serves as senior producer for the film, grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, familiar with both farmers and the Packers as common threads to the Midwest lifestyle. The two had been sitting on the working title, God Loves the Green Bay Packers, for years before the time felt right to pitch it. A commercial client was interested in working more with their production company, and Lindwall presented their story.
"We wanted to show people a film about coming together, that has goodness to it, bringing people together," Lindwall said. "I think that's really where our passion for that story, and why at this time it just all sort of – the stars aligned. Lets try to make something really good and beautiful."
From the initial pitch, Lindwall says that investors and actors were inspired by their script. Craig T. Nelson was the first actor to see the script and is the lead actor in the feature film. Lindwall noted that as a low-budget film, Nelson took an extraordinary paycut to participate in the project.
"Craig doesn't fly out to do indie movies in Wisconsin, you know? Like it's a pretty big deal for him to come out here and do it with us," Lindwall said.
Charlie Berens, a famously Midwestern comedian and host of the Manitowoc Minute, is also in the film as a sports show host.
"I was all on board because that season that they're talking about in the film is like one of the first seasons I remember seeing as a kid, you know that early nineties era," Berens said. "And I've been a huge Packers fan since I was a kid obviously. It was pretty cool, and then I read the script, and the script was really good, so you know, kind of no brainer."
The film shot for 18 days between Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay, with 31 actors and approximately 30 crew members staying in Door County. Lindwall considered shooting outside Eau Claire, but couldn't find a location with enough housing.
"It's a dream. A dream come true," Lindwall said. "I think it's just been such a joy to share my affection for just the things that I grew up around, you know, like the film celebrates really humble, unfancy people. Bringing in big actors from LA, bringing in like these DPs, really sophisticated artists and being like look what I see – look how beautiful this is."
The film now moves to post-production, but Lindwall and crew will return to Northeast Wisconsin over the winter to get more seasonally appropriate shots necessary to the plot. Lindwall is looking for distribution partners to release the film in 2022.