Mayor behind bars in movie

Largo's Pat Gerard is just one of the area big names in Scouts Honor.

Published April 10, 2007

LARGO - Mayor Pat Gerard spent three hours in jail Saturday guarded by two really big guys - Mike Alstott and Matt Geiger.

It was all in fun.

Gerard and several current and former professional athletes were acting in a film that is being shot at various Pinellas locations. On Saturday, the scene was the small lockup at Largo's police headquarters.

Gerard didn't have a speaking part, but she probably whispered something off camera to her fellow inmate, Nicole Alstott, wife of the Tampa Bay Bucs running back. Gerard's job was just to frown at a bad guy who approached the door.

Titled Scouts Honor, the film is being shot at Largo's Heritage Village, the Highland Recreation Complex and a home in St. Petersburg, among others.

It is being produced by PacAtlantic Pictures, in association with AJ Productions. Writer/director is Jim Fitzpatrick, 47, of Seminole, a former actor whose credits include TV's All My Children and Miami Vice and the movies Armageddon and Cocoon.

The stars are the athletes. Alstott and former NBA player Geiger play motorcycle gang members.

Their biker buddies include former Buc-turned-Denver Bronco John Lynch, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, Seattle Seahawk quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, St. Louis Rams running back Kay-Jay Harris, former Buc Chidi Ahanotu, former Buc and now Cleveland Browns receiver Joe Jurevicius, former Buc John Reaves and light heavyweight boxing champ Antonio Tarver.

Gerard was an unpaid extra, but the athletes are being paid $3,000 a week, said Liz McCallum, the assistant producer.

The plot is pretty simple.

A group of children - in the movie, they are "adventure scouts" - return from a camping trip to find that their small town is being held captive by a gang of motorcycle-riding thugs.

Using only their scouting skills, camping equipment and a bag of tricks, the kids take down the gang members one by one and save the city.

All the child actors are from the bay area.

"It's a fun, family movie that promotes friendship and accomplishing goals," McCallum said.

Filming is set to wrap up Monday. The filmmakers plan to shop it to Universal and Disney. They hope it will be released before the end of the year.

To all you would-be actors: No extras are needed, McCallum said.

As for Gerard, who was freed from jail at about 6 p.m., she said she enjoyed her day on the set, even though it was a little boring at times.

"The heck with this mayor thing," she said.

Eileen Schulte can be reached at 727 445-4153 or schulte@sptimes.com.