- Patrick Dorsey, ESPN Editor
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Before Steve Nash landed on Los Angeles' big basketball team, the two-time MVP was already going Hollywood.
No, this is not a reference to the fact that he's an occasional filmmaker in his free time -- a man who directed or co-directed the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Into the Wind" and numerous humorous short films and ads.
Fact is, Nash was tackling some of the film industry's biggest blockbusters past and future -- such as "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Bourne Legacy" and "Star Wars" -- in a series of quick parody videos for the YouTube channel NOC.
The execution was simple: The folks at NOC approached Nash and Ezra Holland, who run Meathawk, the production company behind "Into the Wind" and most of those funny clips. They suggested some films. Nash and Holland suggested some films. But once decided, they gave Nash and Holland virtually free reign, and in the latter half of the 2011-12 NBA season the duo took to shooting.
"He's a natural when it comes to self-deprecating humor," said Holland, Nash's cousin who lives in the U.K., and did all the post-production on the films. "We've been doing that kind of thing for a while now, since kind of the early days."
Holland said more in an interview with Playbook, talking about the movie parody project and what Meathawk's filming future might look like -- especially now that Nash is a Laker.
Once you said yes, what was the writing process like?
"We started with [ideas] like 'Taxi Driver,' but their kind of demographic we thought might not know who Travis Bickle was. So we sort of played around with it. And then really the idea for us was to just have a bit of fun and just try and take the movie somewhere slightly different.
"We went back and forth for a bit. What generally happens is Steve and I will discuss stuff and maybe send little links and various movie references, and then we'll write something out. I'll write up something. And then we'll come shoot it and basically kind of turn it all on its head."
And the filming ... ?
"It gets pretty good once you've got Steve on a roll. He's very good at improvising and coming up with funny references and things.
"It's nice shooting in that way, because we just have the freedom to play around with it. That is why the project was quite exciting, particularly. To a great degree [it was] complete creative freedom to kind of mess around, really."
How long did the whole thing take?
"We were always grabbing 15 or 20 minutes here and there. We really ended up shooting it in about five different cities. But it was probably all done within a day's shoot.
"It's been an enjoyable process. But it's been a little run-and-gun and have a good laugh. Really just trying to focus on the humor, really, more than anything."
What's next for you guys, then, on the film front?
"We want to make feature films. And to be honest with you, we've been kind of inundated with lots of these small projects -- which is quite good, in a sense, because you can try things out without too much pressure.
"But really we just now are starting to look at ideas that we can develop for TV drama ideas and feature film ideas. Which is quite exciting. But we're kind of very early days with it, still. But Steve's still got a bit of juice left in his legs, so I think he'll still be out on the court for a while."
Do you think his being in Los Angeles might help?
"I think there's probably quite a lot of opportunity for us in L.A. A lot of it depends on what Steve can actually physically manage to do. And now, we are really looking to try and up our game a bit.
"I think we want to get our teeth into something a bit more meaty, really. And that might be documentaries, but really I think we'd quite like to [do] more dramatic work."