Making the local news… and writing, writing, writing in the mean while

Posted on February 28, 2013

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After a week off from shooting, the documentary I’m working on made local news headlines in Portland. It feels great. I suppose nothing quite reminds you of your community’s significance like a handful of strangers suddenly coming along and pointing video cameras at you. From the Portland Tribune:

This year Nike’s Jordan Brand has been quietly filming a documentary at Jefferson, about the role of basketball in the community during the past 30 to 40 years.

“The kids are eating it up,” says Vice Principal Ricky Allen. “It’s brought a level of energy to the building — we’ll try to build on that momentum.”

Nike came calling in October, and started filming once the legal hurdles were cleared. School leaders hoped it wouldn’t be too intrusive, and it hasn’t been, Allen says.

A couple of videographers began shadowing the team in practices, on the road, at games and in their classrooms. They’ve interviewed players, former players, coaches, staff and people in the community to try and capture the essence of Jefferson basketball.

One of the interviewees was Tony Hopson, executive director of the North Portland nonprofit Self Enhancement Inc. and senior star on the legendary 1972 state championship Jefferson basketball team.

The impact of Jefferson basketball has changed dramatically because the community has changed so dramatically, he says.

“There was a time Jefferson basketball was the community,” says Hopson, who also coached briefly and was a councilor at Jefferson for five or six years. “Jefferson was always viewed as the heart and soul of the Albina community … there was a lot of pride attached to what Jeff was doing. it was the lifeblood.”

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT -  A film crew follows Jamartae Brown during a pep rally before the Benson game.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT – A film crew follows Jamartae Brown during a pep rally before the Benson game.

Not many posts here lately because I’m still slugging it out with the first draft of my novel when I’m not working on the doc. I’m currently at 33,000 words out of my projected goal of 50,000. I’m in the homestretch!

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