Jimmy Smith comes up with an idea for a Steph Curry spot for JBL. JBL is trying to have impact of its own against the BEATS onslaught. The idea has to do with color and at the time uses the song BLACK AND WHITE by THREE DOG NIGHT that changes to a new rap song when Curry shows up. The film also changes from black and white to color. Jimmy and I disagree when and how this color shift should happen, but since it’s a post problem, I just move on.
At some point, Jimmy says he wants cops in the scene.
‘I’m not sure, I just want a couple of cops that play basketball.’
It turns out that Jimmy wants to add the cops at the end as a little flourish of misdirection. After a lot of thought I suggest that we have the cops following Steph, dressed in a hoodie and carrying a gym bag, before they join the game.
Jimmy says we only have Steph for a short time. I say we can use a double and shoot the cop stuff on a prep day. g a mysterious guy in a hoodie. It has echoes of Trayvon Martin, a ‘black male wearing a dark colored hoodie’ (from the police report), the young man killed by a security guard in Florida. The spot has echoes of some of the socially conscious stuff done by NIKE in the beginnings, like Barkley’s, I AM NOT A ROLE MODEL. It’s about time someone did something like this.
The ideas are presented to the client and he’s excited. Steph and his people don’t know about this ‘change’ yet.
We shoot the cop stuff on the prep day and it goes well. The double looks shockingly like Steph. On the shoot day, Jimmy presents the idea to Steph and his rep, a shy young woman. She looks bewildered, but agrees to have Steph wear the hoodie since his entrance is to be mysterious anyway.
The shoot goes well.
The first edit is overlong but breathtaking with rhythms that haven’t been seen before. The cops idea works incredibly well. I didn’t think work like this was possible any more. Thank you, Jimmy Smith!!! Bravo!!!!
Not so fast Kowalski.
After screenings, the BLACK AND WHITE track is gone and the police are gone. Steph and his people don’t want to be involved in any controversy. Steph, the greatest player on the planet turns out not to be an ALI, the real GREATEST, and the thrill is gone.
Like with Michael Jordan and Tiger, it’s all about the money.