Crew Coach Featured in New Film

Japanese Filmmaker Will Shoot Scenes on the Charles Next Weekend

Next week, Hollywood will hit Harvard--and the Charles--yet once again.

"The Amateurs," which is based on the book by David L. Halberstam '55, tells the true story of a group of Harvard rowers who made the 1980 Olympic Team but could not compete because of the United States's boycott of the Games.

Japanese filmmaker Masato Harada will be directing the movie, part of which will be filmed along the Charles River from October 11 to 13.

"I was skeptical [about the movie]," said varsity crew coach Harry Parker, who will be portrayed in the film. "I wasn't sure about it because it's difficult to make a good movie about rowing."

But the script, according to Parker, seems to offer "some hope" of success.

"The real message of this story originated in the book by David Halberstam," Parker said. Halberstam is a former Crimson editor.

Parker emphasized that the fact that crew offers few financial rewards distinguishes it from other sports.

Bill McGowan, a technical advisor to the producers of the movie, who was meeting yesterday with various Harvard rowers, said he is busy doing research to prepare for the filming.

"I provide all kinds of minutia about racing," said McGowan, who will also help out in casting extras. "We're looking for guys who can really crank out work. Remember, these are potential Olympic athletes, they have to look like they know what they're doing--for a few strokes at least."

In fact, a large sign at the entrance of the boathouse reads: "Movie Extras Needed for The Amateurs."

According to the sign, experienced scullers; sweeps and coxswains are welcome to try out today and tomorrow for a small part in the movie, a position which, will guarantee "good compensation."

More than 30 athletes with between two and 30 years of rowing experience have already signed up for the tryouts.

Current members of the Harvard crew will most likely not be allowed to participate in the filming because of rigorous schedules and stringent N.C.A.A. rules, which Parker called "oppressive, to say the least."

Alex H. Dunold '95, who was on the crew for three years, said he hopes to be chosen as an extra.

"Crew is one of the last amateur sports," said Dunlod. "I don't plan on starting a movie career or anything.