CROWN POINT | Local viewers watching an ESPN documentary about the inspiring story of injured former Rutgers’ football player Eric LeGrand today may recognize some familiar surroundings.
Medical scenes for the documentary, which airs at 9 a.m. today on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” were filmed at Pinnacle Hospital in Crown Point.
Kristi Motyka, of Crown Point, who works as a freelance line producer and unit production manager for Evolve Digital Media, said film crews spent one day at Pinnacle shooting the scenes with an Eric LeGrand lookalike.
“The rest of the documentary was shot mainly in New Jersey,” Motyka said.
“Pinnacle was chosen for its spacious rooms. The larger rooms were able to accommodate crew lighting and camera gear. They were very helpful to the crew in recreating what it would've been like for Eric in surgery and his hospital room with little details and accurate machines.”
LeGrand, a former defensive tackle, became paralyzed from the neck down after being injured during an Oct. 10, 2010, game. Since then, LeGrand has worked to rebuild his life and further his education, becoming a sports broadcaster. For his efforts, LeGrand has earned the Unsung Hero Award from the New Jersey Hall of Fame, the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and was named the most influential person in New Jersey sports by the Star-Ledger newspaper. His battle to fully recover is chronicled in his memoir “Believe.”
Motyka’s career in production is rooted in early childhood experiences under the guidance of her parents Dr. Daniel and Ruth Motyka.
“My parents got us into acting as children, and we were extras in movies including 'Sixteen Candles,' 'Uncle Buck' and 'My Best Friend’s Wedding,' " Motyka said. “But I was more interested in what was going on behind the scenes and asking the cameramen questions.”