About the Filmmakers
Given the choice of ways to spend my day, playing pickup basketball and making a movie would probably be one and two on my list.
I've been playing pickup ball non-stop since I was seven years old. And like a lot of other ballers I know, I'm addicted. Throughout the years, I've played on hundreds of courts, from New York to Florida to California. None come close to my home court in Albany's Washington Park, AKA the Graveyard. I've been playing in the summer weekend game there since 1993. At this court, there's a pulse, an energy that draws you in and won't let go. A day in the Graveyard is raucous, chaotic, thrilling, frustrating – and always memorable. Here, it's about much more than basketball.
Several years ago, Paul and I set out to chronicle the stories of the court. Our goal was to give viewers an inside look at the Graveyard's unique brand of pickup basketball, and the wild cast of characters that give it life.
The more we filmed, the deeper it got. In the end, let's just say we got much more than we bargained for.
Ballin at the Graveyard, my first feature film, came out of nowhere and knocked me completely off course. I had written a short film script with Basil and was preparing to shoot it. The shot list was done and actors were being researched. Then one Saturday morning I got a call from Basil inviting me down to the Park to take a look around.
Truth be told, I'm 5'-7" and have a body that's built for squatting behind the plate, so basketball was never really my thing. But when I arrived at the Washington Park courts that morning, my whole idea of the game was transformed. The intensity and energy on the court was like an electrical storm arcing through the fencing that surrounds the place. These guys, their personalities, the culture and community they've built over the years on this square patch of asphalt and paint is something much more than just basketball. It's life. When that thought dawned on me, I came to a realization: This is the story I want to tell. These people. This place. I picked up my camera and mic, walked on to the court, and started filming.