“… it was born in the athletics department of JSerra Catholic High School. Cross country coach Martin Dugard penned the script with help from a lacrosse parent, John Yount. The film’s lacrosse expert, Kyle Harrison, would become the school’s lacrosse coach. Some team parents had even helped to create the preliminary trailer for the film…”
With some help from friends at the film school at Chapman University, Spizzirri, Dugard and their investors started a production company. They named it “Family Productions.”
Filming began in the spring of 2008 and by fall, almost every other investor besides Spizzirri had left the venture.
In October 2008, a muscular young actor auditioned for the lead role, fresh off the set of a movie called “Twilight.” Lutz got the part, and enlisted another “Twilight” alumnus, Greene, to be his love interest in the film.
Marc Spizzirri was in a hole. Financing for his film had just collapsed. He had spent almost a million dollars and he had just half of a movie. Any producer in Hollywood would have cut his losses and walked away, and many of them advised Spizzirri, 54, of San Juan Capistrano, to do just that.
But Spizzirri green-lit production anyway. “A Warrior’s Heart” premiers at 7 p.m. Thursday in San Juan Capistrano at the Regency at 26762 Verdugo Street at 7 p.m, and the film releases nationwide in ten markets on Friday.
In the end, said Spizzirri, who helped found the school and serves as a trustee, there were just too many people relying on him to get the film done.
“We were a family production, trying to make a family movie,” Spizzirri said.
“A Warrior’s Heart” is about a star lacrosse player named Conor who runs into trouble after his father’s death in the Iraq War. He’s sent to a training camp to learn about maturity and sportsmanship from one of his father’s old comrades in the Marines.
Dugard said he wrote it for his son who played lacrosse on the school’s team.