After mostly working on action movies throughout his career, Davis had been eager to try his hand at a family movie. When producer and collaborator Teresa Tucker Davies suggested he adapt Holes, he fell in love with the story, believing he could make a grounded version of Sachar’s 1998 novel. Upon hearing the pair’s pitch, Sachar felt the same way—eventually, Davis asked the author to help with the script andcasting. “I just felt they were his characters and I didnt want him fighting with anybody,” Davis says. “It worked out great.”
In addition to the usual casting calls, the filmmakers combed through Los Angeles high school theater departments, finding the right mix of raw talent and personalities to orbit around LeBeouf, the Even Stevens star who auditioned and immediately became Davis’s choice for Stanley. “They were kids who had a lot of life and had a lot of culture, and everyone was into music or rap of some sort,” Davis remembers. A month after solidifying the cast, the D-Tent crew began training for their long and grueling desert shoots. Led by stunt coordinator Alex Reynolds, the group engaged in team-building activities: long hikes, light weight lifting, rope climbing, and nature walks. “We did some digging just to get a lot of the form and function down,” Kasch says. “He whipped us up for a couple weeks and bonded us together.”
The preparation was vital: During filming, the boys shoveled inside of 120-degree holes and battled raging dust storms swirling around the Cuddeback dry lake bed north of Los Angeles. Upon returning to their Ridgecrest hotel each evening, they played video games, hung poolside, and developed friendships in the blistering heat. “Thomas says they, “found ways to keep the energy alive.”
Specifically, they turned to music. Over the first few weeks of production, during hour-long bus rides to set, Kasch began messing around with his guitar to kill time. Influenced by some Appalachian folk tunes he’d been listening to at the time, he wondered: “What’s a song these people might sing out here while they’re doing this grueling labor?” Soon, his cast members were spitting made-up raps about their characters. “There would be somebody beat boxing, and then Shia would say something and then I would say something,” Thomas says. “We would just roll like that for 10 to 15 minutes until someone would start it up again. ‘Oh you know what you could say? The yellow-spotted lizard, it’s cooler than a blizzard…’”
Eventually, their raps made it to the front of the bus, where Davies quickly realized the D-Tent crew could be the answer that her director was looking for. “They were doing some Holes-related stuff, but they were just doing anything that came into their heads,” Davies says. “I remember meeting with each of them in the trailer with their little notebooks and they would tell me their verse.” Inspired by the multi-talented cast, Rachtman, who had previously helped put together the soundtrack for Pulp Fiction, hired music producer Mickey Petralia in the middle of shooting and began laying out the basics of an end-credits song. “I do remember going to the set with Mickey and pitching Andrew a ‘No Diggity’-type song but called ‘Dig It,’” Rachtman says.
Copyright : https://www.gq.com/story/holes-2003-movie-shia-labeouf-dig-it-song