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American Assassin (The Art of Lax & Hollywood)

I remember in 1999 when ‘American Pie’ came out and being in awe when the lacrosse scenes came on the big screen. Little did I know that one of the producers would eventually become my brother-in-law, Chris Moore (Harvard Lacrosse LSM), was in-charge of putting lacrosse in the movie. I also remember in 2010 when another movie with lacrosse called ‘Crooked Arrows’ was in production, prompted me to consistently cold-email one of their producers to try to get my lacrosse art involved somehow. That producer threatened me with some fancy, legal term, thus I stopped. But the interest, or possibility, of my lacrosse art being in Hollywood did not stop there.

Chris Moore. Producer of ‘American PIe’ series, ‘Good Will hunting’, ‘Adjustment Bureau’ and more.
Good old, Oz and Stifler in ‘American Pie’.

Back in 2016, a few emails came from a couple of executives and production staff from CBS Pictures who were interested in using a number of my pieces from ‘The Art of Lax’ portfolio, which made me concerned, at first. But when my brother-in-law confirmed it being a legitimate film, I was VERY excited and proceeded to work with the company.

Working with their art department based in the UK, I was told that the lacrosse art was to be used as set-decor in the main character’s bedroom. They gave me a brief on the film’s background and it was based on a series of novels by the writer Vince Flynn. The main character in the book, Mitch Rapp had a prep-school and collegiate lacrosse playing background, thus the decision to add the lacrosse art in the movie, somewhere. While I read snippets of the author’s work and the direction of the movie from the staff, I really kept thinking about myself, my artwork and this amazing surprise, overall. I asked the art department how they found my work, and they said that an internet search led to an image, which then led to my blog on LaxAllStars – this one! When I asked them why they chose my art, their reason was due to the “strong motion and energy” in the lacrosse art. You never know who’s eyes are on your work.

‘Drop the Hammer’
‘The Perfect Progression’

But once shooting was done, at least the shooting of those scenes, so was my job and it was back to a very busy routine with the work calendar. I didn’t know when the movie was to open in the U.S., all I knew was that I had another great client experience to add to the list, with hopefully, another great story to tell.

I remained mostly quiet about it, not telling any people except for my wife, my parents and a handful of friends – lacrosse teammates. When the movie ‘American Assassin’ finally opened in the U.S., I was excited each time I saw the previews on T.V. and passed theaters with the postings of it. But for some odd reason, I never went and saw it on the big screen. I guess I was just both nervous and scared that it might’ve not made the final edit, and that any high hopes were to be quickly quelled by the realities of the movie industry.

Once the movie was available digitally on OnDemand, I knew that I had a better shot of trying to find my art, if it made the film. Every movie scene that was in a room with walls, or a bedroom, I would hit the pause button to carefully look around. I realized that I wouldn’t be able to do that in a movie theater. I saw the female lacrosse stick in the corner of one scene and my eyes opened up. I didn’t know if the female lacrosse stick was a mistake, or it was supposed to be owned by the main character’s girlfriend? I just knew that they stuck true to the lacrosse part of the character. I searched like it was a “Where’s Waldo” book and suddenly there it was, one piece of lacrosse art, from the multiple pieces the production staff inquired from my business, The Art of Lax™. It hung above the desk of the main character, on top of his computer screen. I paused the movie and kept on looking at my piece of art, as if I were looking at the piece for the very first time. I tried to search for more art in the movie like it was a game, but didn’t find any more, at least I couldn’t.

See anything?
Spot something?
Look in the red circle.

I watched the rest of the movie and to be honest, my mind was drifting and mostly thinking of that scene with my art in it. And to be brutally honest, I fell asleep at one point. I didn’t pay full attention to the plot, the other characters, or what was really going on because I was distracted with a personal feeling of high accomplishment.

It’s been almost 20 years since I saw the sport of lacrosse first hit the Hollywood screen. Will there be anymore movies about, or with lacrosse in it? I’m going to leave that answer with Hollywood. What I can tell you from my end, is that there will be always more lacrosse art and products coming from The Art of Lax™. But how it will be used for other things like movies, well, that remains in the mostly unknown eyes of the audience watching.




Drop the Hammer click to purchase.

The owner of the original piece, framed and on his office wall.

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