Chat with Jonathan Hock
The 30 for 30 short focuses on writer Alfred Slote and his novels like "Hang Tough, Paul Mather," "Stranger on the Ball Club," and "Tony and Me," which provided a generation of young sports fans inspiration and elevated the children's sports book genre. While his books were "baseball books" on the surface, Slote's real interest was not the game, but the people.
Hock previously directed 30 for 30 films "The Best That Never Was" and "Unguarded" in addition to working with ESPN on other projects. He is an eight-time Emmy Award winning director, writer and editor.
Send your questions now and join Hock Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:07 PM)
Jonathan is running a little bit late but he'll be here shortly to take about his film "Jake."
Jonathan Hock (1:10 PM)
Hey, happy to be here. I'm really excited that the world is going to learn about this amazing writer and his amazing book. Let's chat!
Were you able to sit with Alfred for the film?
Jonathan Hock (1:11 PM)
Yes, the entire film as built around the one day that I spent with Alfred at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I've shot Super Bowls and World Series but I've never had a better time than shooting with Alfred in his apartment.
Ryan (San Diego)
What's harder making a long film or trying to make sure you tell the full story that you want in a short film format?
Jonathan Hock (1:13 PM)
The important thing is to understand from the beginning that you can't tell the same full story in a short film format than you can in a long story format. What I try to do is find the spark in the story and try to build the short around that. It's the difference in a short story and a novel.
Where does this film rank with some of the others you've done?
Jonathan Hock (1:15 PM)
For me personally, even though it is a modest and humble film, I put it right up at the top of my list. The subject of this film is so very important to me in so many ways, even though it's a much smaller production than other films I've done. This project has given me much satisfaction.
Sarah (Lansing, MI)
Are you a sportsfan? Who are your fav teams?
Jonathan Hock (1:17 PM)
I am a sportsfan and I'm a New Yorker. I know New Yorkers don't have much to talk about with what just went on in the ALCS but Alfred's wife Hetys is a big Tigers fans so I know she's happy about them making it to the World Series.
So, which of Alfred's books are your favorite?
Jonathan Hock (1:19 PM)
Jake is my all-time favorite. Hang Tough,Paul Mather, Stranger on the Ball Club and one that I've only recently read Tony and Me are good reads as well.
If there's one actor you'd love to work with who would it be?
Jonathan Hock (1:21 PM)
Anthony Mackie narrated the Marcus Dupree 30 for 30 and I would love to work with him on a major film. I would love for him to play Uncle Lenny in the film adaptation of Jake.
What is next for you?
Jonathan Hock (1:23 PM)
What's next for me is the continuing a series of documentaries for Grantland.com and we expect those to be monthly. Right now, I'm producing a TV series called All Access: Kentucky. The next episode airs tonight on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. My next 30 for 30 comes out in March ... its bout Jim Valvano and his North Carolina State team.
What was your favorite part of the movie?
Jonathan Hock (1:24 PM)
The end, I love the ending. My mentor Steve Sabol always told me that the most important thing is the ending. The second most important thing is the beginning and you should put them as close together as you possibly can.
Jonathan Hock (1:28 PM)
This book has been something that I've carried around with me for 40 years. The film is very quiet, modest and humble and the beautiful thing about doing shorts for the digital world is you don't have to be loud. It's an intimate personal experience that you don't get while watching television. Thanks for all the great questions. Be sure to check out All Access: Kentucky a 7 pm ET and "Jake" on Grantland.com.