The actors and crew for the film “Tiger” were impressed with Hamilton in a business sense and with the city in general, according to Film Hamilton Director Steve Colwell.
“They said that everything went smooth and outside of a few small hiccups, the crew said filming went quite well,” he said. “Those are good impressions to make on the industry and if the tax credit works out in Ohio, other productions could come as well — right now we are currently scouting for a movie that could be coming here early next year.”
Colwell said there isn’t a specific economic figure available to determine the exact financial impact “Tiger” has had on the local economy, but with a budget of more than $1 million, and about six weeks spent filming in Hamilton, it would be safe to say that restaurants and many other retailers got a boost in their income.
Colwell is happy to see that so much local scenery has been used for “Tiger.” Some of that scenery involved the Pleasant Avenue Gym in Fairfield, and owner Joe Hornsby was sad to see the production leave town. Two of his boxers, Lenny Stakauskas and Stacey Highley appear in the movie.
“They finished some filming here Saturday and I will be in a lot of the training scenes,” Hornsby said. “It was a lot of fun and I’m glad they used my gym to film in.”
Jenni Hubbard, one of the owners of the Almond Sisters Bakery in downtown Hamilton, said the bakery fulfilled a large catering request from the production crew and also sold a large amount of sweets to the cast and crew while they were shooting downtown.
“We had a lot of the production crew come in,” she said. Hubbard added jokingly, “maybe that will lead to some fame and fortune.”
Film crews shot several scenes in Hamilton High School’s gymnasium, weight room area, locker rooms and football stadium, as several residents showed up to pose as extras.
“Tiger” is a movie that tells the real life story of Pardeep Nagra, an Eastern Indian Sikh (Singh) who got banned from boxing, but was later discovered by boxing coach Frank Donovan (Rourke) who guided him becoming an U.S. Olympic boxing hopeful.
The script also delves into racial profiling issues and involves a dramatic courtroom battle that was also filmed in Hamilton.