Written by David Morgan
Spike Lee, Richard Linklater, and Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) will be among the major film directors making sports documentaries for ESPN's new 30/30 program. The plan for the series is to pair "a filmmaker with a sports topic close to his or her heart. Each director will make an hourlong documentary that will be broadcast, likely on Tuesdays, beginning in fall 2009 and continuing during the course of the next year."
Michael Tollin is one of the producers behind this. He was the director of Radio and Summer Catch and has produced a couple dozen feature films and TV shows with his partner Brian Robbins.
The stories will generally stick to the past thirty years, presumably because those will be the decades that most current filmmakers identify with, and also because it will be easier to find surviving figures from those stories to interview.
All three of these directors have prior documentary experience. Guggenheim put himself on the map with An Inconvenient Truth, while Lee made the Katrina doc When the Levees Broke, and Linklater created Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach, a profile on Augie Garrido, the winningest coach in NCAA baseball history.
According to THR, "Linklater will likely will examine aspects of the Rose Bowl." Meanwhile, Guggenheim will "explore a childhood sports hero of his" that he declined to name. The only thing he said was "that the hero was 'misunderstood,' and like Truth, the movie would be an "extremely intimate portrait of a person we thought we knew." Pete Rose, maybe?
Spike Lee has not announced his topic yet, but this could shape up to be quite a DVD box set. Or rather, by 2010, a Blu Ray box set.