Locals win roles as movie extras

William Thompson

J.R. Montoya and his wife, Maxine, recently spent a day on a movie set in Floyd. The Tucumcari couple had to dress as an early 1960’s ranching couple and sit in a church all day in order to appear in the movie Believe in Me .

The movie is being filmed in and around Clovis and is based on a true story about a male basketball coach who takes an Oklahoma girls basketball team to the state championship in the early 1960’s. J.R. Montoya said it was an exciting experience even with all the down time on the set. “We sat in the church all day while the crew was filming outside,” said Montoya. “My wife and I appeared in a scene where everyone was exiting the church and we were in a scene inside the church. “We sat right behind the basketball players, so we should be visible in the church scenes.”
Montoya said he and his wife took their daughter to Clovis to try to get her a job as an extra. A member of the casting crew took a look at J.R. and Maxine, and the rest is history.
“The casting people took our picture and later they called us and told us to show up in Floyd for filming,” he said. “We had to go to secondhand stores to find our costumes. When we were in the church for filming it was kind of strange to see everybody dressed in clothes from the early 60’s. It brought back memories. We even saw a woman wearing the exact kind of dress my wife wore at our wedding.”
Maxine Montoya was excited when her husband called her to let her know they had been chosen as extras.

“He called me on my cell phone, and I was so excited that I started singing the song, Act Naturally , ‘They’re gonna put me in the movies, they’re gonna make a big star out of me.’”
Maxine said the most fun thing about the filming process was listening to the other extras talk about how they had to hunt down their costumes at secondhand stores.
“Some of the extras got up and told jokes, and one lady got up and did a comedy routine,” she said. J.R. Montoya said filming one scene can be tedious.

“It takes so long for them to move all that equipment around,” said Montoya. “They rehearse every little movement and measure the distances from the actors to the cameras. We were there all day and we were probably filmed for a total of about 60 seconds” Montoya got to see the stars of the film, Jeffrey Donovan and Samantha Mathis in action. He also saw veteran cowboy actor Bruce Dern. “We (the extras) were going to tell Bruce Dern that he was the man who shot John Wayne in the movie, The Cowboys, but the crew told us not to talk to the actors because the actors are in character before they go into their scenes,” said Montoya. “Still, Bruce Dern joined us for lunch at the Floyd Senior Citizens Center and he talked with the extras. All the actors were very polite to all of us and they thanked us for our time.”
Montoya said the producers envision the movie to be like the film Hoosiers