Motion Pix Ent., LLC recently teamed up with the local Espanola YMCA to develop a short film titled, “Shady Hoops: Ballin It 4 Tha Green”. Shady Hoops is a sports comedy about making the right daily choices to become a champion in life. What’s so cool about Shady Hoops is the story line was developed by the teens of the YMCA with story structure guidance by Directors Francisco V. Gonzalez III & Deaver Smith (Asst. Director of YMCA). Deaver, the heavy-set guy as seen on the movie poster, also starred in the movie as Coach “Double-D”. The movie was an unplanned event. One day about 12 teens, Francisco and Deaver, sat around a conference table talking about movie-making. Francisco got a pen & paper and simply said, “Let’s create a story right now”. And with that, the creative synergy of 12 teens started developing unique characters and comedic plot points.
After about 2 hours of writing the major beats of the story the group was energized and naturally started a discussion to produce the story. A schedule was set and approved with Ben Sandoval, Director of YMCA, to shoot the story the same week. After the first day of shooting, the understaffed crew realized shooting 12 scenes would be impossible due to the time constraints and because actors would be leaving for summer vacation. Therefore, the script was reduced by 50% and shot over 4 days.
The first day saw a few speed bumps as the actors, who had zero training beforehand, got used to working together in front of 3 cameras. Yet, by the 2nd day our crew & cast were gelling and focused on crafting each scene. In one particular scene, the parking lot drug deal scene, we experienced movie-making “magic” which occurs with true collaboration. We were the most pleased with this scene because every cast & crew member worked fluidly with each other on set. And each person contributed impromptu creative ideas to make the scene better.
At this time, you could see the artistic & technical growth of the crew & actors. The camera operators quickly secured their camera positions and worked together to discuss their coverage assignments. The actors became the characters and felt comfortable in their roles to make creative modifications in delivery. It was a beautiful & generative moment to see so many teens working in togetherness to create something fun n’ memorable.
Typically, teens have a short attention span and get moody when out in the heat for a good time. However, everyone was so “inside” the experience of creatively crafting a scene they forgot about time. When the “drug deal” scene was completed after 3 hours in the baking heat, everyone was exhausted and drained. The next day everyone was achy and showing off their red sun burns but with no complaints. They loved every moment of it and saw the sun burn as a right of passage into the wonderful art & grueling process of movie-making.
Our hope is that is story will be a completed project that will provide positive memories for the Espanola YMCA youth. We wanted them to experience the benefits & rewards of teamwork, collaboration, and staying focused to see things through to the end. (There were many times the project almost lost it’s legs and momentum. But each time somebody stepped up to get us over the obstacle, keep everyone motivated, and keep the project in play.) We also hope the Espanola YMCA youth experience something meaningful. They should because they each took an active role in crafting the characters & scenes. And if they are ever feeling downcast in life they have a fun, positive, experience they can remember to get re-inspired.
For these reasons and more, the making of Shady Hoops was a sacrifice in time & money, but seeing the self-esteem skyrocket with Espanola YMCA youths made it all worthwhile. Motion Pix Ent. LLC was very proud to work with Espanola YMCA youth and look forward to working with them on our upcoming feature film titled, “The Adventures of Jubeez: Kid Boss” shooting Spring 2017.
This movie project was so much fun. It was really a comedy show with camera crews thrown in to record the hilarity. Motion Pix Ent. would like to thank all the teens for some of the funniest moments of our lives.