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Pickleball Goes Hollywood: Film Shoot in Longview

Pickleball Goes Hollywood: The small town of Longview is abuzz with excitement as the production of the comedy film “Pickleball” gets underway. This unique movie, produced by East Texas-based Ichthys Films, combines humor with a heartfelt mission, telling the story of a Catholic priest who must team up with his deceased friend’s sons to save a community center by winning a pickleball game. With standup comedian Kevin Farley in the lead role, “Pickleball” is set to bring a touch of Hollywood to East Texas, showcasing local landmarks and engaging the community in the filmmaking process.

A Comedy with a Heartfelt Mission

The upcoming comedy film “Pickleball” has started filming in Longview, bringing a touch of Hollywood to East Texas. The movie tells the story of a Catholic priest whose morally questionable friend passes away, leaving behind a community center that is in danger of closing. To save the center, the priest and the late friend’s sons must win a crucial pickleball game. The film mixes humor with a powerful message about community and coming together for a common cause. Produced by Ichthys Films, the movie stars standup comedian Kevin Farley as Father Joseph. Farley’s brother, Chris, was a beloved figure on “Saturday Night Live” and in numerous movies.

Pickleball Goes Hollywood

Local Filming Locations Spotlighted

The production has chosen several Longview locations to shoot its scenes, showcasing the charm of the area. A new hangar at the East Texas Regional Airport, owned by Andrew Traylor Custom Homes, has been transformed into a pickleball court, complete with an airplane as part of the set. Jay Dee Walters, the film’s executive producer and one of its main characters, was seen donning a pickleball-themed T-shirt and yellow sweatband, engaging in impromptu games with the cast and crew between takes. Other filming locations include the Crossing Creeks Country Club, El Rey Mexican Restaurant and Grill, and NCIC Inmate Communications.

Capturing the Charm of Longview

The filmmakers are dedicated to capturing the essence of Longview, using various local landmarks to tell their story. Despite its comedic tone, “Pickleball” carries deeper messages of redemption, personal growth, and community solidarity. Jeff Hamm, the film’s director, aims to create a movie that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. The film is expected to run for approximately one hour and 45 minutes and is slated for a limited theatrical release in the summer of 2025.

Pickleball Goes Hollywood

A Colorful Cast and Crew

Aledo native Stephanie Parker, who plays the role of Daisy, a gold-digging girlfriend, was spotted on set in a bright paisley-covered dress with her hair dyed purple. Parker expressed her enthusiasm for working with the cast and crew, describing the experience as incredible and saying she would do it again in a heartbeat. The camaraderie among the cast members has been a highlight of the production process, contributing to a positive and collaborative atmosphere on set.

Ichthys Films: A Legacy of Independent Filmmaking

Ichthys Films, the production company behind “Pickleball,” was founded by Jay Dee Walters and Ray Monts, both East Texans who have been involved in independent filmmaking for over 20 years. Their journey began with Rated G Productions, which produced the 2012 film “Blind Turn.” In 2022, Walters established Ichthys Films, named after the Christian fish symbol, to create family- and faith-oriented movies. “Pickleball” is the latest addition to their lineup, following the comedy-drama “Grumpy Old Santa,” released in 2023, and the upcoming comedy “Porch Pirates,” set for release around Christmas this year.

The local community has embraced the filming, with many residents participating as extras and supporting the production. “Pickleball” promises to be a feel-good movie that highlights the importance of community, friendship, and perseverance, all wrapped in a humorous and entertaining package. The film’s release is highly anticipated, and it is expected to resonate with audiences looking for a story that combines laughter with heartfelt messages.

News in Brief : Pickleball Goes Hollywood

As Pickleball Goes Hollywood, the excitement and anticipation in the community are palpable. The film not only promises to deliver laughs but also aims to convey important messages about redemption, personal growth, and the power of community. With a talented cast and crew, and the backing of Ichthys Films, “Pickleball” is set to be a standout production that highlights the charm and spirit of Longview. The film’s release in the summer of 2025 is eagerly awaited, and it is expected to resonate with audiences who appreciate a good laugh intertwined with a meaningful story.

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