Now airing is a Chicago Bulls’ 10-minute documentary, “Week One,” a first-ever, behind-the-scenes look at the team at Training Camp practice sessions as it gears up for the Oct. 27 start of its 2016-17 season.
The doc is notable in several ways, says its director Josh Kahn, the senior creative producer of the team’s BullsTV in-house production department.
For one, it’s the first time a production crew was allowed to bring cameras into the team’s practice at Training Camp, in the $25 million Advocate Center, built in 2014, in the West Loop a few steps from the United Center.
The Advocate Center replaced the Bulls’ 24-year old Deerfield Berto Center training facilities and gave Chicago-based players easy commutes to practice and home games.
“This was also the first time we showcased new team members coming together for the first time with the established players,” says Kahn, “and it’s the longest video produced by BullsTV.”
Interspersed among the court practice action are interviews with 13 members of the 2016-17 team talking about themselves, life with the team, their impressions of new teammates and what it’s like to play professional basketball.
The BullsTV crew shot for over four days, starting Sept. 26, on one of the two full NBA basketball courts in the Training Center. BullsTV’s editor Katian Sandoval cut the footage progressively as it was being captured.
Brad Siegel, BullsTV’s director and executive producer, was the doc DP; Kahn directed; DPs were staffers Chris Ramirez and Cody Madson shooting with Sony FS7 cameras. Crew permalancers were audio engineer Alan Chow, gaffer Nick Ridgell and production assistant Manny Ramierez, Chris’ young brother.
“This production was a true team effort,” says Kahn “We have to thank John Paxson, VP/basketball operations, Gar Forman, the Bulls’ general manager, head coach Fred Hoiberg head coach, and the Basketball Operations department for giving us the access to capture these never-before-seen moments. They trusted us with the results.”
See the “First Week” doc here.
BullsTV was formed in 2009 by Chicago’s Siegel, an 18-year TV sports pro and New York native Kahn, then a 22 year-old NYU Film School grad, who was named in the list of 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30.
Its year-round production of commercials and broadcast features have aired on multiple national and local networks. Its Chicago Bulls’ digital and social channels collectively have more than 24 million followers globally.
In addition to producing commercials and player features for upcoming new season opening night, BullsTV is also working on videos for the Oct. 21 “Evening with the Bulls,” in the Advocate Center, with proceeds benefiting Chicago Bulls charities, which it also will cover.