College Sports

Why Disney filmed movie scenes during Clemson football game

The halftime portion of Saturday’s game between Charlotte and Clemson was a little different than most.

The movie “Safety” is being shot at Clemson, and filming continued to take place during halftime of the 7:30 p.m. matchup.

A team of actors dressed as Clemson football players ran down the hill just as halftime started and then simulated several plays for the cameras.

The movie, which is a Disney production, is about the life of former Clemson player Ray Ray McElrathbey. Most fans remained in their seats during halftime for the filming.

“Seven minutes of shooting, and they can show what I’ve seen in Death Valley the last couple of games that I’ve been at,” producer Mike Ciardi said. “I think the university will be really proud of this film when it comes out in about a year. If you’re an alum and watch this film, I think you’re going to be really happy how it’s portrayed.”

McElrathbey was playing for the Tigers in 2006 when his mom entered rehab for drug addiction. He sought and was granted custody of his younger brother Fahmarr, keeping the 11-year-old from entering foster care.

McElrathbey was able to raise and care for his younger brother, thanks in part to Clemson and the community.

Ciardi has been working on this movie for 12 years as far as coming up with ideas and developing the script. McElrathbey is serving as a consultant for the film.

“We wouldn’t be here without the support of the school, coach Swinney, Dan Radakovich, and Tim Bourret,” Ciardi said. “We realize we are guests at this university... Spent a lot of time here at the school over the last couple of months scouting the whole school and going to see a couple games. It’s pretty awesome.”

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Clemson cornerback Ray Ray McElrathbey and his 11-year-old brother, Falmarr, at the USC-Clemson volleybal match on Aug. 31 Mark Crammer/Clemson University MARK CRAMMER Clemson University file photo

Matt Connolly is the Clemson beat writer and covers recruiting and college sports for The State newspaper and The State.com
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