Monday, August 03, 2009
I'm not saying that Bill Simmons didn't have a lot to do at the "Leader", but....well yeah....he didn't really have a lot to do. He was in charge of a column, and a weekly podcast, but never really had any other responsibilities besides that and a cameo or two on E:60. Well that's all changing as Simmons is now embarking on a producer role for ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series. Via The Hartford Courant....
"It really bothered me that HBO had cornered the sports documentary in the minds of the average sports fan," said Bill Simmons, ESPN's Page 2 columnist and executive producer for the "30 for 30" project.Well that's certainly a good start to a very large undertaking. Having someone that's passionate in charge of the documentaries, is also a very good idea as well. I think Simmons knows what fans want, and you can expect for the majority of the docus to be very entertaining. Overtaking HBO will be hard, but not impossible.
"Why is it so special when HBO releases one, but yet we're putting out documentaries all the time? Some of them were really good, I thought, and they just kind of fell through the cracks and just didn't make sense to me," Simons said.
In "trying to come up with different ways that maybe we could beat the system" he concentrated on the title, "30 for 30."
"I knew we loved celebrating anniversaries, and I knew we had a lot of money," Simmons said. "And it's like, yeah, we could go get filmmakers."
And so they did, amassing a roster that includes Barbara Kopple, Barry Levinson, Morgan Freeman, Albet Maysles and John Singleton.
The 30 films won't be structured to represent each of the 30 years ESPN has been around, nor will it be all encompassing to cover every event.
"This is meant to be a filmmaker-driven series. It's meant to let creative people be really creative," said Connor Schell, executive producer of the event. "We've picked topics that will collectively create a mosaic of the period. So if you were to watch all 30, you'd get a really good variety of the different types of things that have happened over the last three decades in sports, but by no means is it a countdown."
Here are the dates where you can start checking out the first seven films, this Fall....
* Tuesday, Oct. 6, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 20, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 3, 8 p.m.
* Tuesday, Nov. 10, 8 p.m.
* Saturday, Dec. 12, 9 p.m.
Making ESPN a Documentary Force (Hartford Courant)