Sometimes it’s amazing what a man with just a camera and his bare convictions and a sense for the timing of history can do. The LA Times has an article about Kristopher Belman, whose documentary “More Than a Game” is the culmination of seven years that started with a Loyola Marymount’s student desire to film a sports team that not even “60 Minutes” had access to – the documentary was originally meant to be a 10-minute short chronicling a basketball practice with LeBron James and his St. Vincent-St. Mary teammates – but blossomed into a full length feature film that is premiering in New York and Los Angeles this week. LA Times quotes Belman as saying:
“I felt like [the Cameron Crowe character] in ‘Almost Famous,’ except I was traveling with a high school basketball team instead of Stillwater. It was exactly like a rock ‘n’ roll tour, with bodyguards clearing the way for the team to get in and out of the building. I wasn’t around for the Beatles, but it sure looked a lot like the footage of the girls screaming and chasing after the Beatles wherever they went, except that with us, it was all about a 17-year-old high school basketball player.”
The film has been receiving positive reviews for its portrayal of the team as a unit (not just of LeBron, with his teammates along for the ride) and the mentoring aspect of the coach, Dru Joyce. And just think: Belman only got a B on the assignment.