Premiering today at the Sundance Film Festival is TFI/ESPN Prize winner The Battered Bastards of Baseball. The film chronicles the independent baseball team the Portland Mavericks which had everything from a soon-to-be movie star in the front office to the creator of a chewing gum sitting in the bullpen. We asked the film's directors Chapman and Maclain Way to give us their five major influences behind their filmmaking and here they are.
And be sure to listen to our interview with Chapman about the film from episode #3 of TFI LIVE (37:28).
The Last Waltz (1978)
Our father first screened this Martin Scorsese documentary for us when we were in middle school and has since become a Way family tradition to watch it every summer. Lensed by an array of talented cameramen (Michael Chapman, Laszlo Kovacs, and Vilmos Zsigmond), Scorsese and his team capture the end of Rock's golden era with stunning concert photography and simple, yet revealing interviews.—Chapman Way & Maclain Way
Man on Wire (2008)
Watching this doc really opened my eyes to the possibility of narrative/character driven documentaries. James Marsh's seamless blending of archival media, poetic recreations, and talking heads creates a unique and rich cinematic experience.—C.W.
On Any Sunday (1971)
During pre-production, we screened a handful of period sports docs. This one, directed by Bruce Brown, was one of my favorites. Brown's accessible narration gives an everyman look into the world of motorcycles and the slightly crazy individuals who inhabit it.—C.W.
When I first saw this documentary I had just begun pre-production on the Battered Bastards of Baseball. I did not know much about F1 racing and wasn't familiar with Ayrton Senna, but was looking forward to seeing it since it was an archival based sports documentary. Despite not knowing much about the subject, I was immediately captivated by the narrative that Asif Kapadia crafted using only archival footage. I felt the story transcended its genre and connected to a larger audience than just sport fans.—M.W.
The Thin Blue Line (1988)
I saw The Thin Blue Line when I was a freshman in college and was taking a class on the history of documentary film. I had always enjoyed documentaries, but this was the first time I realized that documentary film could do more than just document—but could tell our society's most engaging non-fiction stories.—M.W.
[Photo (Left-Right): Chapman and Maclain Way]