Spike Lee’s a big Knicks fan. And he also wanted to make a basketball movie. Unfortunately, the Knicks are terrible and have no real talent to speak of, so Spike was forced to use Kobe Bryant as the subject of his upcoming documentary, “Kobe Doin’ Work.”
And he spoke to ESPN Los Angeles recently to talk about some of the aspects of shooting that film, from having access to the players and Phil Jackson, to the excessive use of cameras, and the surprising things he learned about Kobe while filming.
Why were 30 cameras used:
“Well, we could’ve used more! I just wanted to be how you see a game regularly televised. The networks do a great job, but I wanted to do something different, more how it looks like from the players perspective, their point of view. Also, not just how it looks but how it sounds. Kobe was wearing a mic. How it sounds when these guys are playing, when guys run into picks, when they hit the hardwood, all that stuff we really wanted to bring to the forefront.”
On the most surprising thing he learned about Kobe during filming:
“It wasn’t surprising, just reaffirmation of his total dedication to the game, how he involves his teammates, doing whatever he can to make his team better for the common goal of a “W”.
Did anyone in the Lakers front office or coaching staff deny him access or anything he needed?
“We told them what we wanted and they gave us what we needed, and I like to say that that’s one of the things that we had to have. I wanted to be in the locker room when Coach Jackson addressed the team before the game, I wanted to be in the locker room at halftime when they made adjustments. That half, Tony Parker was killing them, he had 18 points at the half. They made adjustments. I wanted to be in the locker room after the game. So we were like flys on the wall with two cameras or something, and Coach Jackson rarely ever allows a camera in the locker room, but for some reason he let me do it and I appreciate it that Coach Jackson would let me have access.”
Listen to Spike Lee on ESPN Radio Los Angeles with Mason and Ireland (20 minutes into podcast)