_DSC7347COLUMBUS (OH) ~ Former NHL journeyman and Columbus Blue Jacket Sean Pronger has joined the cast and crew of the feature-length film, The Third Period, as one of its NHL Alumni Advisory Board members.

The gritty hockey drama, written and directed by former Fox Sports Ohio reporter Steph Greegor, who covered the Blue Jackets, is tentatively set to film in Columbus, Ohio, the summer of 2019. Len Hartman of Ohio Film Group  is set to produce.

“I find myself drawn to anything hockey-related,” said Pronger, currently living in California and set to join the team in Columbus this weekend, Sept. 13-16, to advise on choreography and hockey culture. “After I read more about the movie, I found myself relating to the story.”

Pronger was an NHL journeyman and played on multiple teams throughout his career from 1995 through 2004, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and the Blue Jackets. Upon retirement, Pronger found himself asking questions similar to The Third Period‘s lead character, Mike Olsky, who must overcome multiple challenges to go out on top.

“I certainly had no idea what I was going to do [when I retired],” said Pronger. “It’s a terrifying feeling to be in your mid-thirties, with a family and have no idea what you’re going to do.”

Pronger said he got through the rough transition by trying new things and focusing on his strengths outside of hockey.

“I think the key is to have a solid network of people around you that care about you and can offer some guidance/direction,” said Pronger. “It is not an easy thing to go through for most athletes.”

Lucky for Pronger, his good friend and Canadian sportscaster Dan Murphy, was willing to help him explore his creative side. The two penned Pronger’s unique point of view of the NHL in a book titled Journeyman.

“I think it happened because there was an appetite for a story about a guy chasing his dream and running into a shitload of roadblocks along the way,” said Pronger of a book that started after he penned a blog on his brother’s, Chris Pronger‘s, website and signed off as “Journeyman.”

“What I learned from writing was I really enjoyed the process. Especially for someone who had a career like mine,” said Pronger. “I got to relieve the ups and downs from a safe place, that didn’t resemble the back of a bus.”

Pronger said the scary part for both himself and Murphy was “What will people think?”

“We had no idea how it would be received in the hockey community,” he said. “I had basically opened my kimono to the world. Thankfully, the feedback has been tremendous, especially from people in the hockey world.”

The Third Period has also taken pains to ensure authenticity in the film by bringing on former NHL-ers who can advise on skating and culture within the film.

Joining Pronger in an advisory role is former Columbus Blue Jacket and Philadelphia Flyer R.J. Umberger.

Former Ohio State University hockey players Chris Olsgard and Alex Lippincott will join the movie as skaters and be part of more than 100 hockey players who will hit the ice for the film, portraying up to eight pro hockey teams for the two-hour character drama set in the world of ice hockey.

Filming of the hockey scenes is tentatively set for Nationwide Arena, where Pronger played, and is set to put an eye on the hockey scene in Columbus.

“I think it’s about time C-town gets recognized for the passion the community brings to the game of hockey,” said Pronger, adding making hockey movies goes beyond any city, though ~ it’s making the movie that counts. “It’s important because it helps grow the best sport in the world. The more people we can expose to this great game, the better.”

That includes women. The Third Period will be the first feature-length hockey film in U.S. history to be written and directed by a woman. An historical bent that Pronger agrees is important to the sport and to film.

“I think it’s amazing that this film is written and directed by a woman. It brings to light the passion, knowledge and understanding of this great game that women have,” he said. “My hope is that more women will embrace the historical nature of this film and become fans of this movie and the game.”

So, is Pronger nervous about his advising role and his…acting role? Yep, Pronger will have a role in the movie.

“I wouldn’t say it’s my first time acting; I spent 11 years trying to act like a hockey player,” laughed Pronger of his journeyman career in the NHL. “I’m looking forward to seeing how it translates on film. I’m nervous about making sure it looks authentic.”

The three lead actors and Umberger will join Pronger in Columbus this weekend, Sept. 13-16, for rehearsals and volunteer work with the production’s charities.

To keep up with this weekend and for more information visit www.thirdperiodfilm.com.

Adetnuke AdetunjiCOLUMBUS (OH) ~ Actress Tinuke Adetunji joins THE THIRD PERIOD feature-length film cast as “Paige,” hockey player and best friend to “Ana Olsky,” daughter of lead “Mike Olsky,” in this gritty hockey drama set to film in Columbus, Ohio, the summer of 2019.

“Hockey is honestly what drew me to this film,” said Adetunji of the script. “I’ve always been a low key fan of hockey and I’ve always had the thought in my head of ‘How cool would it be if I was a hockey player in a movie?'”

Adetunji was one of 35 actors and actresses invited to audition for the film in May 2018 in Columbus. The audition encompassed both an in-person acting audition and then an on-ice audition.

Although Adetunji admits she’d never played “real” hockey before the auditions, she’s excited to accept the challenge of getting on the ice as a hockey player.

“I can truthfully say, this opportunity to play the character, Paige, is a dream come true,” she said.

The film follows aging hockey star Mike Olsky as he reaches the end of his career only to get injured. He faces multiple challenges before facing the ultimate challenge of bringing his team together and trying to win the championship.

“I think we need more hockey films,” said Adetunji. “So many other sports are in the limelight for major films and I think it would be nice to see more hockey movies.”

In the interim, Adetunji is looking forward to getting into character.

“I’m super excited to bring life to Paige and to build chemistry with Ana.”

For more information visit www.thirdperiodfilm.com.

 

Tyler Evans, l, as “Cots,” and Eric Toulouse as “Chary” in the feature-length film, THE THIRD PERIOD.

 

COLUMBUS (OH) ~ Actors, and hockey players, Tyler Evans and Eric Toulouse, join THE THIRD PERIOD feature-length film cast as “Cots” and “Chary,” respectively, teammates of lead Mike Olsky and the comedy relief in this gritty hockey drama set to film in Columbus, Ohio, the summer of 2019.

“I think this film will help bring positive attention, in my opinion to one of the best sports in the world,” said Toulouse, who grew up in Canada, where hockey was a way of life. “This is a sport that requires the players to have the hand eye coordination of a baseball player, the physicality of a football game, foot skills of a soccer player, the hands of a boxer, and who could forget the speed which is unmatched by any other sport. All this on ice.”

Plus, as a current Ohioan, it gives Toulouse one other opportunity: “I am proud to show how great of a hockey town Columbus really is.”

The film follows aging hockey star Mike Olsky as he reaches the end of his career only to get injured. He faces multiple challenges before facing the ultimate challenge of bringing his team together and trying to win the championship.

“This shows more off-the-ice problems, which get overlooked by the average fan or young athlete,” said Evans. “It shows how the athlete is still a human and has to deal with life in general.”

It also looks at the game of ice hockey itself, interspersing off-the-ice scenes with on-the-ice scenes and telling the story through game and competition ~ a huge draw for Toulouse.

“I immediately knew I had to try to be part of it,” he said. “Getting a chance to get on the ice with a great cast and some great former NHL players, was an opportunity that I could not let pass me by.”

Evans and Toulouse were just two of 35 actors and actresses invited to audition for the film in May 2018 in Columbus. The audition encompassed both an in-person acting audition and then an on-ice audition.

“I thought it was by far the best experience I have had thus far in my acting career,” said Evans. “Just being able to meet the actors, creators, and producers was great. To play with everyone on the ice and get to feel like a team helped with connections on and off the ice making it easier to become a character and feel the project versus just reading lines; it shows the true you and how you fit.”

It was also an opportunity for those who dreamt of playing in the NHL to get tips from the pros.

“Being able to not only talk with former NHL players but also get on the ice with them was an awesome experience,” said Toulouse. “Getting the opportunity to pick their brain and get a few much-needed tips, is an experience that I never dreamed could happen as a kid or an adult.”

Toulouse said he’s also excited to be part of something historic, as THE THIRD PERIOD will be the first feature-length film in U.S. history to be written and directed by a woman, former Columbus Blue Jackets reporter and award-winning writer Steph Greegor.

“I think it’s great for a couple reasons: One, I get to be part of something that’s never been done,” said Toulouse. “Second, I think that our director Steph Greegor has a great understanding of the game and its players. She also has done a great job surrounding herself with great hockey minds, and I can’t wait to see her vision on screen.”

But mostly, Toulouse is ready to get on the ice with his fellow “Bash Brother,” and sink into his role as Chary, as he and Evans provide some “comic relief” to the gritty drama. Evans couldn’t agree more.

“I love being the loud mouth! Trying to get people motivated and get people going. I always am trying to bring the energy to the highest point I can,” said Evans of his role. “The overall casting was exciting to see for me as I grew up a HUGE hockey fan. I always wanted to play in the NHL one day; as I grew older and my interests were more in acting and my hockey skills were not as advanced as most kids in the sport, I decided to play for the love of the game and focus on acting.”

For more information on the film, visit www.thirdperiodfilm.com.

EPM_0210COLUMBUS (OH) ~ Actress Paige Neuenschwander, 17, joins THE THIRD PERIOD feature-length film cast as “Piper Olsky,” one of the daughters of lead Mike Olsky, in this gritty hockey drama set to film in Columbus, Ohio, the summer of 2019.

“What attracted me to the script the most was that this was the first feature length hockey film [in the U.S.] to be directed by a woman,” said Neuenschwander. “I have never played hockey and I wanted to challenge myself by trying something I have never done before.”

Neuenschwander was one of 35 actors and actresses invited to audition for the film in May 2018 in Columbus. The audition encompassed both an in-person acting audition and then an on-ice audition.

“The skating assessment was quite difficult at times. This audition was the hardest for me by far and definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone, but it challenged me and I learned a lot from it,” said Neuenschwander. “I really enjoyed the entire process. I now have a greater appreciation for the game of hockey and how much time and dedication goes into the sport.”

The film follows aging hockey star Mike Olsky as he reaches the end of his career only to get injured. He faces multiple challenges before facing the ultimate challenge of bringing his team together and trying to win the championship.

“The thing I am looking forward to the most with this film is working with the super talented cast and being directed by Steph [Greegor],” said Neuenschwander. “The aspect of my character that I am most looking forward to playing is that she is a young brainiac. I have never taken on a role like this before, and I am eager to go through the process of creating this character. What fascinates me the most is her wit.”

For more information visit www.thirdperiodfilm.com.

The Third Period Exceeds Goal for First Round of Funding

GoFundMe development fund campaign raises more than $41,000 to help spearhead feature-length hockey film with support from key donors including LIVE! Technologies, Giant Eagle, and R Bar

 

COLUMBUS, OH (AUGUST 6, 2018) – Eleven One Productions today announced the development fundraising campaign for The Third Period film has raised $42,900 – exceeding its goal by more than $12,000.  Key corporate partners including LIVE! Technologies and Giant Eagle, provided significant support in addition to the dozens of corporate and individual donors.

The Third Period is a gritty, feature-length ice hockey drama, written, produced and directed by Steph Greegor, former Fox Sports Ohio reporter and on-air Blue Jackets Live commentator. Greegor’s short film “Olsky,” the short proof-of-concept for The Third Period was Emmy-nominated and festival-accepted. The Third Period is the first feature-length hockey film in U.S. history to be written, produced and directed by a woman.

The movie is set to film in Columbus beginning June 2019.

“It’s a tremendous milestone to exceed our first fundraising benchmark,” Greegor said. “Not only does it allow us to properly lay the foundation for this film, it shows the tremendous support this project is building from local businesses, hockey fans and the entire central Ohio community.  We have a lot of work to do before the first scene is shot, but we’re well on our way to bringing a little Hollywood to Columbus.”

To date, nine local businesses have signed on as film partners through a combination of monetary and in-kind donations. LIVE! Technologies is now the official live production partner and Platinum sponsor of the film; Giant Eagle is the official catering partner and Gold sponsor; and Michael Darr of RBar Arena and Three-Legged Mare is the official bar & restaurant partner. Other partners include CD102.5, Studio 35 Cinema & DrafthouseThe Chiller Ice Rinks, Pendulum PR and Creative Strategies and The Reel Law Firm.

The production has also gleaned local support from the Greater Columbus Film Commission, Experience Columbus, GCAC, and others.

“As the sales and marketing organization for the Columbus Region, we appreciate how the film will shine a positive light on our city, including its sports, restaurants and shopping,” said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus, in a letter of support for the film. “The film could serve as ‘advertising’ for our thriving community and build awareness of Columbus as an attractive destination for visitors, conventions and sporting events. Also, the economic impact to Columbus and Franklin County during six weeks of filming in 2019 will be significant.”

Economic impact for Columbus would be approximately $3.5 million with the creation of close to 170 jobs locally and regionally.

“This is a project that not only the Columbus hockey and arts communities can rally around, but area businesses need to understand the economic impact of a movie of this scale,” said Live! Technologies Executive Producer Michael Farrell. “It’s not everyday film projects of this scale are spearheaded in Columbus. We appreciate how Steph has built this film around the local community, engaged area businesses and cast local talent to be a part of the movie.”

The Third Period has also identified three charities for which the team will raise money throughout production. Charity partners include First Responder Faceoff Foundation, Columbus Ice Hockey Club and CD 102.5’s For the Kids.  The first official fundraiser event is happening now at RBar in the Arena District. Throughout the month of August, all purchases can be rounded up to the nearest dollar and 100 percent of those monies will be divided equally between the charities.

More information about this weekend visit will be posted on the film’s website in the coming weeks.

The Third Period will be produced by Len Hartman, an award-winning screenwriter and film producer who worked on projects including Free State of Jones, a Civil War era historical drama starring Matthew McConaughey. Ohio Film Group is set to provide post-production services.

For more information on the film, visit http://www.thirdperiodfilm.com.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Chris Herbert 614-448-8703  chrish@pendulumstrategygroup.com
Brock Schmaltz 614-209-8683 brock@highstakespr.com

 

 

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