LAist Interview: Hunter Weeks, Independent Filmmaker
Much like the way the boom in Fantasy Football has changed the way millions watch football, filmmaker Hunter Weeks is changing the way independent movies are being funded and distributed. The director and producer who made his debut in 2007 with 10 MPH, a documentary about two twenty-somethings hoping on their Segways for a Seattle to Boston road trip, has turned to big brands like CBS Sports, Quiznos, YouTube and Chipotle to help fund and promote his films.
Hunter's latest film, 10 Yards is an entertaining documentary that examines every aspect of the game of fantasy football, while focusing on the long-time friendship between Hunter and fellow members of his league - The Intergalactic Championship league.
As fantasy football heads into its playoffs today, we thought what better time than to check in with Hunter. The filmmaker who has earned critical acclaim took some time out from his busy schedule to exchange emails with LAist to discuss his film, fantasy football and more.
What made you decide to do a movie about fantasy football?
I got into Fantasy Football with some buddies from college after graduating. It's how we've kept in touch and I knew from playing with all of them that there was a really important aspect to the game. Between this and the fact that fantasy football was growing exponentially, I knew a legit film had to be made.
What surprised you the most when you were doing your research on the origin of the game? Did you feel like you were on sacred ground when you went to the Kings X Sports Bar in Oakland?
Talking with the founders of fantasy football was truly one of the highlights in making this film. I was blown away at how different football was when they were starting this all up in 1963. But the camaraderie behind fantasy football and the rush you get on draft day are still the same. Seeing the original Kings X bar from the outside was really cool, but so sad that it's turned into some Tiki bar now. At least Andy Mousalimas's Kings X leagues still live on nearby.