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Production notes, photos and promotional video © 2007 Lionsgate
production notes
aboutsynopsis, notes, interviews and articles
THE SETTING

THE SETTING

During pre-production, Gonera focused on creating as authentic a setting as possible for the film. He visited the Marcus Foster Recreational Center in Philadelphia with Ellis and producer Paul Hall, and conferred with director of photography Matthew F. Leonetti on establishing the right cinematic mood and overcoming the technical hurdles of shooting in water. “We decided to keep it real and moody, dramatic,” reports Leonetti. “The colors in the rec center are deep maroons and greens. And when we come to the pools in the more affluent neighborhoods, they are open, bright, and full of light.”

Since Philadelphia itself has changed so much in the past thirty years, the production looked to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans to serve as a double. Explains Hall, “We benefited by coming to New Orleans because there are a lot of things that really resembled Philly. We also wanted to help the community, and the city really embraced us.”

Adds Gonera, “It’s important that an underdog story was shot there because it's really a reflection of what New Orleans is going through right now.”

From the costumes to set design, every effort was made to accurately reflect the cultural vibrancy of 1970s Philadelphia. Since none of the younger actors was born before the 1980s, Gonera and Hall put them all on a 70s culture crash course, compiling music and articles for them to study in addition to enrolling them in history classes at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane. Ross says, “We learned a lot, but there were some things we wouldn’t want to say because they sound just crazy. Things like ‘Hey, jive turkey!’ and ‘Cool it, Puddin’.’ They sound just ridiculous. But that’s how people spoke back then.”

Adds Fobbs, “The hair styles and the clothes with all those plaids! People dressed so differently than they do now. Looking around on set was like being in a time warp.”

NEXT
MUSIC

PRIDE’s soundtrack is particularly appropriate to the era, as it features music by Philadelphia’s own legendary songwriting/producing duo, Gamble and Huff, the fathers of “Philly Soul.”

 
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