Post image for “The Sandlot’s” Director David Mickey Evans Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary of His Iconic Baseball Film:  Evans Spills On Baseball, Benny “The Jet” and Wendy Peffercorn

“The Sandlot’s” Director David Mickey Evans Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary of His Iconic Baseball Film: Evans Spills On Baseball, Benny “The Jet” and Wendy Peffercorn

by Maryann Pisano on April 15, 2013

Where did the idea for The Sandlot come from?  Is it autobiographical?

The idea came from an incident when I was a kid, when my little brother jumped a fence to get a baseball.  A vicious dog named Hercules lived in the backyard.  He got the ball and the dog got him.  Bit his leg very badly!  Lots of stitches.  So in that sense it’s autobiographical.  But everything else is fictional.

What scene has received the most positive feedback?  What’s your favorite scene?

Tough question, but if I had to chose the scene that most people have told me is their favorite, it would have to be the Wendy Peffercorn scene at the pool.  My personal favorite is the night game scene with all the fireworks.

How did you create the different personalities/ catch phrases of the characters?

Imagination.  Writing is a lot like alchemy– hard work, and a bunch of magic.  And just trying to make myself laugh as I wrote them– if I laughed, I figured an audience might find them funny, too.

Where are actors Mike Vitar (Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez) and Tom Guiry (Smalls) today?  Do you keep in touch?

Mike is a fireman, so he actually became a real life hero, as well.  Tom is still acting and doing well.  I just hung out with him all day and night at Arm and Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey for the screening of the 20th Anniversary Sandlot Tour I’m on for 6 months.  We screened the film for 6,000 people and signed autographs all night.  It was a Sandlot love fest!  I keep in touch with Chauncey (Squints) Leopardi on Facebook and a couple others.

What are your future acting endeavors?

I am very flattered, but I do not have any acting aspirations.

How have you been promoting and celebrating the anniversary of the film?

Facebook.  My blog.  And FOX has orchestrated local and national publicity in each city we’re going to.  I just did a day long publicity blast in Philly that included 20 different interviews on TV and radio.  It was great!  The 20th anniversary Blu-Ray DVD is available now.  Buy it!

One of the films most famous scenes was the kiss between Squints and Wendy.  Tell Emme about filming that scene!

Chauncey Leopardi was anxiety ridden for weeks before shooting that scene, and I did everything I could to keep him like that.  It was hysterical.  It took three days to complete that scene, and the first two days I told him we would get to the kissing scene with no intention of doing so.  The last day, when we finally did get to that moment, I took him aside and gave the single greatest piece of film direction I think has ever been given.  “Chauncey,” I said, “Keep your tongue in your mouth!”  We got it in one take.  And then he asked for another!

Who is your favorite baseball player?  Is it Babe Ruth?

Although The Babe is high on the list, it is actually Roberto Clemente.

What advice would you give a young adult who is interested in directing and writing for movies?

Watch movies and read screenplays.  Then get hired on as many indie productions as you can, even if you have to start as an unpaid intern or PA.  Watch, listen, and learn everything you can about the process.  As for writing, the only advice that is of any value is this:  Writer’s write.  Dream big  things, then write it all down.  And live a life.

What has been the most rewarding part about directing an iconic baseball movie?

The continuing love that everyone has for the movie.  And when people tell you how much it mean to them, and how much it continues to mean to them.  And the fact that it is now into almost its third generation of fans.  And that it will go on “Forr-Evv-Errr!”

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