Former Page Pirate/Appalachian/Guilford College player Mark Ellis, leading film tryouts

Mark Ellis, who was a speedy return man and wide receiver for the Page Pirates back in the 80’s and later played at Appalachian State and Guilford College, is the older brother of Page QB great and former South Carolina Gamecock star, Todd Ellis, and many have told me many times over the years, that Mark Ellis was the fastest man to ever come out of Page HS, going back to Haywood Jeffries and all the way on up to Tuc Phan…..

Mark Ellis is now a film maker/director and he is currently leading tryouts in Richmond, Virginia…..I worked with Mark on a project back in the mid-80’s, but at that time, we were both driving a snow-cone truck for the summer and he was as fast a white-lightning…..

Richmond, Virginia-Just 40 yards separated about 200 local football players from a shot at fame.

Movie coordinator Mark Ellis was at Dorey Park in eastern Henrico County on Thursday, casting two teams’ worth of players for a Lifetime Television movie with a high school football undercurrent.

The movie, titled Unanswered Prayers, is based on a Garth Brooks song. Filming will begin Oct. 2. Ellis is a former Appalachian State University player whose company coordinates sports scenes in movies. Ellis played two seasons at ASU, in 1982 and 1983, before transferring to Guilford College.

He got into filmmaking when he was asked to be a technical adviser for the 1993 movie The Program. Since then, he has worked on dozens of films.

He said coming to Richmond was an easy choice.

“For our movie, it was a nice backdrop,” he said. “Not too small a town, not too big a city. And it’s a hotbed for sports, so I think we’ll get a lot of response and enthusiasm from the local community about the movie.”

Ellis gathered the assembled players for a Hollywood-style pep talk. He explained the cost of filming a movie and the demands that would be placed on the players.

“You drop a pass, you just cost me $5,000,” he said. “I’ve got to know that you can do it.”

He then asked the players to stretch, warning that he’d send half of them home after the 40-yard dash. But for those who made it, he promised “the time of your life,” though not necessarily riches — players take home up to $200 for two Saturdays of work.

CLICK HERE to read on about Mark and the movies from the Winston-Salem Journal…..

1 comment

  1. Mark has a ton of movie credits to his name. Pretty much any football movie made in the last 15 years he’s been a part of. He had some screen time in the Replacements as the opposing coach who was objecting to the stripper/cheerleaders dance.

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