Hollywood comes to town: Extras get fitted for McFarland movie

McFARLAND, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Hundreds of residents in McFarland are being fitted with pants, shirts, dresses, blouses, bandannas and shoes dating to the 1980s. They will be used as extras in the movie, "McFarland."

Lisa Prieto said she was encouraged by a friend who urged her to support the city.

"I just decided to do it," said Prieto, who grew up in McFarland and now works as a psychologist.

She and others showed up at the fitting held at El Buen Pastor Church on Tuesday. Even the town's mayor is getting into the act. Mayor Manuel Cantu and his wife will also play extras in the film, though they're not sure what part or scene they will be cast in.

The Disney movie is based on the true story of the McFarland High School cross-country team. Kevin Costner plays the lead role of coach Jim White, who led a team made up of the sons of farm workers, defied the odds and went on to win nine state championships starting in 1987.

Over on Kern Street, a crew put up three facades replicating El Cha Cha Cha bar, a post office and a business, Western Automotive. Those will be used during the shooting in town.

Cantu is hoping the movie will bring in much needed revenue to local businesses during the time the film crew and added personnel is in town.

"We believe there will be people wanting to come and visit," said Cantu.

Every minute detail is looked over to make sure extras reflect the '80s era.

"We have a lot of people who actually go into research libraries in Los Angeles and they pull out primary resources which are basically photos from the time period," said Whitney Galitz, who works as a costumer with 5K Productions.

Shooting for the movie began about four weeks ago in Los Angeles. Filming in McFarland is expected to start next week.