“THE PISTOL SHRIMPS” is the fun new documentary following the 2015 season of the popular all female basketball team called The Pistol Shrimps – made up of actors, comedians and models in LA. Comic actress Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), model Melissa Stern and actress/writer Maria Blasucci (Ghost Ghirls) are part of the ragtag team of trash-talking, hard fouling, wisecracking women who bring a much-needed edge to the game. Off the court, these women are also making it happen as writers, musicians, actors, comedians, moms and wives, who always have time on Tuesday nights for their games. We sat down with director Brent Hodge for a quick Q&A about the film…
How did this film come about?
I met Aubrey Plaza in a coffee shop in New York and found out she played on this incredible women’s rec league basketball team. The next time I was in LA, I went and saw a game and was hooked, we had to film this team and these hilarious women.
How long did it take to make the film?
From concept to finish. The film took about 6 months from concept to finish. It was quick!
Why did you make this film?
I just loved what these women are doing. In film/comedy but also in their community starting a rec league. We wanted to make a film that didn’t just state this but rather showed it happening in the real world.
Share a story about filming.
While we were filming we followed all of the different girls on the team away from the basketball court. When we filmed with Molly Hawkey, and found out that she has been starting a new brand of comedy where she photoshops and edits herself into The Bachelor…we knew we were on to something special here.
Did the film change from your original idea for the film as you were filming or in edit or in post?
Well it became a classic sports underdog story as we were filming. The team that could never win was all a sudden winning every game, so the impact of the games became really important to see if they would have an undefeated season.
What were the challenges in making this film?
I think the biggest obstacle was just scheduling and timing with an entire team of subjects for a film. Getting one or two subjects together is easy, but the girls were really organized and cooperative to come as a team and be ready to film.
What were the successes that you had in making this film? We had a lot of success in finding a team and a league full of phenomenal women and players. The nature of how The Pistol Shrimps season went was also a major factor in the success of filming the games.
What do you want audiences to take away from this film?
I think it’s a film about community, and power, and being on a team. It’s also a comedy, and I want people to just enjoy themselves and not take it too seriously.
Talk about something with the filming process – editing; score; cinematography; – if you used a new technology that had an impact on your film.
It was more the opposite! We were trying to get a 90s basketball/Space Jam nostalgia feel. Toning it down on the technology is harder then I thought. We spent the most time with the graphics and music getting it right.
Anything else you want to add about the making of the film and its importance?
It was a lot of fun making a sports documentary, not following the best team in the greatest league but finding that league we can all relate to and want to be a part of.