Local volleyball coach serves up training for Miley movie

SPRINGFIELD — War movies have technical advisers.

So do biopics, legal thrillers and medical dramas.

But a Miley Cyrus movie?

It turns out her upcoming movie, “The Last Song,” might have the most accurate beach volleyball scene in movie history — if Hollywood doesn’t once again screw it all up.

“If they show someone giving signals on their back, then they need to show someone serving, and serving to that correct person," Brittany Schmidt said. “It’s out of my hands when they start cutting it and splicing it.”

Schmidt (formerly Baume), a star volleyball player in her high school days at Southeastern, spent a few days this summer teaching the cast of “The Last Song” how to play the game in Savannah, Ga.

She isn’t sure how she’ll be credited, but it doesn’t matter — it was a paying gig.

Schmidt, a 1999 Southeastern grad who most recently was the assistant volleyball coach at Wittenberg University, moved to Georgia earlier this year after getting married. She’s still without a job.

“It paid very well. Very, very well. More than I’ve ever made in my life,” she said. “I wish they made more volleyball movies.”

The volleyball coach at Armstrong Atlantic State in Savannah — where her husband is the head women’s basketball coach — recommended Schmidt for the movie job when he went on vacation.

“They hired me to keep practicing with the guys and help set up the scene,” she said.

It was her job to get actors Liam Hemsworth and Hallock Beals looking like a real beach volleyball duo.

“It was very different teaching volleyball for the screen, than playing volleyball in real life,” she said.

Basically, it came down to this — make the two guys look good.

“I was the one tossing to Liam so he could look like a true presence at the net,” Schmidt said.

Everybody had to make Liam look good.

“If he’d hit at you, you’d miss the pass,” Schmidt said.

The volleyball scene is a crucial one in the Disney movie, slated for a 2010 release. For one, it’s the opening scene. While playing volleyball, Liam collides with Miley, spilling her smoothie.

True love ensues.

“They did that for about eight hours one day,” Schmidt said. “I have a new appreciation for how long it takes a minute of a movie to be made.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0352 or amcginn@coxohio.com.

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