Earlier this month I was given a copy of the basketball documentary Flint Star by it’s director Marcus Davenport to view and then write about on Hoops Addict. When Marcus first approached me about writing about his documentary I was hesitant at because aside from Hoop Dreams there haven’t been any basketball documentaries that have impressed me.
I sat down this week to view the documentary with minimal expectations but I was so impressed by the documentary that it’s been playing every day on my DVD player since I popped it in.
The idea behind Flint Star was to introduce basketball fans to the “real” aspect of growing up in a ghetto in a way that ESPN or NBA Inside Stuff will never be able to accomplish. Davenport was able to earn the trust and respect of citizens of Flint and the result is a documentary that provides basketball fans a true glimpse into the struggles that this community faces.
It’s not just the people of Flint that know hardship. During the taping of this documentary Marcus maxed out countless credit cards, slept in his car and traveled from Atlanta where he teaches to Flint to record interviews and games.
While chatting with Marcus this past weekend he told me that, “The best part of making the film was also the worst part – the hustle. I spent everything I had and more, maxed out more credit cards than you could imagine, and devoted hours and hours to bring my vision to reality. I love the fact that I made something out of nothing. I hate the fact that this movie is such a strong part of my existence and daily decision making process. I would encourage everyone to follow their dreams, but I wouldn’t encourage people to sacrifice everything and face being bankrupt and stressed out in the process.”
Davenport spent countless hours taping, editing and then promoting this movie. He told me that, “every weekend, break, and holiday was spent editing. I did not make time for anything but Flint Star for a long period. Once the film was completed, I had to promote the film. I would be out at every niteclub, game, concert, etc. throughout the city of Flint. I passed out expensive flyers and when my money ran out I made paper flyers. I created my own commercials and paid for them to air throughout the state of Michigan through Comcast Cable. That didn’t last too long because the money was too high and I took the hustle to the internet and became the champion of emails (email is free promotion). I really enjoyed my entire independent filmmaker experience. I learned a lot about friends, family, and independence. When you are broke and chasing a dream, even your closest friends and family members will not always support your efforts. This experience has been a great learning tool that will help me to one day be a great success in this industry. I get the most joy out of hearing someone say that they enjoyed my work. In my mind, the enjoyment of the viewing public is priceless. I feel that there is nothing that I cannot accomplish because of the obstacles that I had to overcome in order to fund, shoot, edit, complete, and promote this film. In life, what doesn’t kill you only makes you crazy, broke, angry, self-dependent, knowledgeable, and eventually stronger!”
Because of the importance of this documentary on the life of Davenport and the people of Flint I didn’t want to try to condense my thoughts into one article so I’m going to be posting a couple of article this week that deal with Flint “celebs,” the economic hardships of living in Flint and my general thoughts on the documentary. Most writers and bloggers try to condense articles and quotes to fit inside a certain amount of space and to maintain readers attention but I feel that there are a lot of important things in the documentary worth talking about with readers of Hoops Addict so I’m going to be posting four more articles this week for you to read.