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1080 The Fan>Audio & Video on Demand>>Brett Morgen -- Documentary Filmmaker

Brett Morgen -- Documentary Filmmaker

Jun 17, 2014|

Brett joins DDS to talk about his OJ Simpson 30 for 30.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

What are TD and fort dirt in -- here on ESPN Sports Radio T eighty defend the three of us are really excited for our next guest we talked about it for a couple days now. Brett -- is an Oscar nominated producer and director. He is first film was on the ropes the reason we're talking to him today was the director of the thirty for thirty film. June 17 1990 -- a twenty year anniversary. -- BC of that OJ chase Bret thank you for joining us I think we'll start with obviously this is an appealing story to a lot of people. What what in particular. Attracted you to this and making a documentary about this particular date. Well you know most people know. June 17 1994 is -- the bronco chase but there're an incredible amount of sporting events happening not stand stories and narrative the world are coming to a head -- mainly Arnold Palmer at the US open and the person in the World Cup in the United States. And much other -- armed and your niche market here and Stanley Cup parade and it was an incredible thing in sports and you that. You know everything that I'd love about sport we love about sports and we despise about sports in the personality in the culture were all on the coming to a head on up. That the arms so what we wanted to do these analysts find the most sort of action packed day in sports in the last thirty years in the coming anything could top -- Seventeenth 1994. What way is what's your perspective from that team most people have you know that all I remember Laura was when this happened and that seems to be one of those moments. What was your perspective from that -- you remember. Well I would uninteresting because I had two grown up with Don Nelson synergies daughter we went to dinner the other night lived. 22 blocks away from OJ had been in the house and down. So it would if it wasn't just OJ the icon that -- -- my friend's father. And so is very you know. Obviously a lot of conflicting feelings I think from days I think the thirteenth when the murders were first announced. To this seventeen it was stress you know the captain chaos and I think one of the things that don't. Does hopefully pretty well is captures the chaos of that day because it. You know not only -- we -- inflicted emotional -- seeing are you know someone who has. -- I mean he talking about living in new -- close -- that's an unbelievable night did you more you win the neighborhood when that went down I mean we all remember the famous police -- him pulling into the driveway were you around in the neighborhood when that happened. I was at published on New York but at least I really could restart my editor from Chicago when we were cutting the film together he would. Take shots -- The bronco going sultan and heading north and do you know this is so propaganda Udonis did discuss principles -- got to get off here like what nobody's held. Everyone knows that. Didn't I put it. Brett Morgan is our guest he's the director of the thirty for thirty's -- June 17 1994. To -- of the unique approach to this particular documentary in that nobody talked. It was just raw footage a why why did you decide to do that for the documentary. Because you know other than somebody books written about the OJ case and -- -- -- and and magazine articles and such for the new in Talking Heads on these shows are really one of the audience Q. Immerse them wanted to immerse the audience the events of that day as -- were unfolding before the rise. Com and the best way to do that would be to pull back from talking had an expert -- the audience to experience the event that they weren't all the. You know Sports Radio -- there's always sports moments where where every year ages you always wish you could talk about maybe certain event that happened in the past. Or maybe you're you're around long enough to see something great in the future. When this unfolded whether. With that story in your kind of connection to the family itself where you said. Geez you know it's it should it be tough but that's something I would be interested in doing in the future making -- document -- doing something about it. It was at the moment it was easy it was and it's held the impact would've. When he is interest our military in -- Obama's reluctance to do it because of the connections to the panel -- Bomb but you know ultimately beat beat these stories -- to transcend. You know my relationship with -- Howland. Is itself a public the right thing to do. Did you feel like you had to kind of I don't know. Ask for permission did you talk to her at all. You know because it's it's sort of like we were just taking existing footage and it's pretty nonjudgmental. Armed it is sort of presenting. Presenting. You know -- put it inside and and there are a felony to tell. -- it's unbelievable when you look at the number of people that actually watch this event go downing and something in the range in 95 million which was five million more than that year's Super Bowl. And one of the story lines that we always hear about this was this kind of led to a cultural shift in our society in terms of entertainment and end -- new reality TV society that we live in now. Do you believe that this was really a launching point for that new television culture. Do you I think he'd be -- -- -- could chase it was just the tip the iceberg really was the trial that started it because if you remember. You know prevent and let's remember court TV. Court TV came out of the trial. CNN ratings went through the roof it was sort of established. That these tunnels. All these celebrities civilians -- to -- to Palin and Chris Carter and all these people sort of emerge probably cast of characters and I think that down. I remember very vividly -- if we remember recommend and his trousers -- it was happening around the time. I remember sitting there watching OJ trial for hours and hours on and thinking this is kind of amazing. Courier as filmmakers we spent years trying to make. Our -- in congress saying. And I'm riveted watching our house office single shot and I think I think that's sort of was -- big turning point in our and our culture. We're talking with director Brett -- he directed the thirty for 30 June 17. In 1994. Embrace what kind of reaction did you get once this originally aired -- and they've been re playing it. I tonne on ESP into an ESP and what kind of reactions do you get after people watch you do people reach out to you in. And and say how good of a job was to people reflect on where they were and what their lives were like during that time. Yeah up for the most part Tom I think I think that you know people -- anti competitive people and -- quite. The relate to -- these thirty for thirty's. Tom and I think the thing about our film that people really respond to what the afterwards talking head and as unique and individual that thirty for thirty's are there is. A bit of a cookie cutter mentality to them. Bomb Kennedy is really stands out in the sense that it it's a very different sort of approach to that and medium and so yet we can't we sort of at the film to get regular satellite. Jerk but we we we did that it was quite that -- just turn around a predominately. Pull it together about two or three months. On down must what comes to about two years and I don't think I've ever done in response first meeting of darkness is as good as the doctor that -- and even. It's kind of amazing today twenty years -- four years after the but no merit and you know it's an anniversary but just been flooded with but he -- -- call. -- No it's a little different but I'm always interested in -- -- film making it because a movie comes out in a and I guess that there's maybe a little different but. I think did that common personal say how do you not know that's gonna be a that's not gonna be -- bad movie year that's not gonna be a bad documentary during the process. As a director do you have some sort of inkling when you're making it. That this is going to be something special or or not going to be good at all how do you do that as it is a director of a documentary knowing whether or not it's going to be good or not. Either you do when you're making a film you have to watch it hundreds and hundreds of times. And so on you know ultimately you're making you make of -- you wanna see and you get to a point where you're like why -- don't look like that's. It's like hearing and seeing you know that you work. That the if you can make your own suit and you tailored it for yourself -- -- be beautiful -- it and you would think it is the greatest in the world and I think that's kind of they're taking a film -- its hand. Made it's popular made select beat. Have been the Talking Heads songs on my all time favorite songs -- put that in the end of the film and everything you're doing is is sort of to make you know satisfy your -- And hopefully they'll translate to an audience I think in this case it was really a choice to make this film because we in many ways. I felt like that would be remote control for the audience birdied and that day. And down you know it literally would sit -- and say okay let's turn back to the game and let's turn back to the properties that we were that. You know broadcast imply that -- We're gonna Brett Morgen was a director at June 17 199430. To thirty about the OJ Simpson speed chase and you know one of the most fascinating parts about this whole how this whole thing unfold it was a situation and NBC where they were -- playing the NBA finals game and you. And guys like Bob Costas and MMR robber who were friends of OJ in Ahmad Rashad was on the call and he was one of the 24 people. That OJ -- in his suicide note what did you find out this process just kind of about the internal struggle at NBC had didn't. You know they may eventually went to a split screen but what was the internal struggle like Mayer -- to try and decide what what to broadcast a finals -- this high speed chase. Well I think I think Bob costs is trying to counters. Arm. That it. Chaos. There aren't. Emotional reflections and you don't need. Space. Better than any line when he's he's in the -- leaders put it to pop trying to figure out. How to. -- make that drove him to come bark about doing during the game and at one point eight. He just has meant everything and he just comes to power and and I think -- that that's what I've found most interest in taking a step out. Are still bomb. -- just from Republican template is really shocked at the amount of oft aired footage that was recorded and survive it I mean the amount of us. If you don't throughout the pill meter these commentators what they're doing at Kansas City Royals game or the US open and can't all of their remarks -- -- case. There were down -- pair were some work imported. And preserved all of these years until we found them -- and that I can. The crisis was like I was hitting a record as. And had a -- tell one of the royals game blew me away. I couldn't believe that he said that in somebody's temper that somewhere is like holy crap. Yeah it was really like hey uniting with I mean. The president and the first thing is said to the editor when we need to dominate solicit. We're gonna make a film with other people's garbage -- 52 clip back to Power One global -- Borg he's everything else we're gonna make a -- with the people's you know. Rejection -- pieces and appropriated and make a movie out of it so I was as a real blessing to last that. That I'll let that survived. Brett Morgan is our guest he is the director of the thirty for 30 June 17 1994 did for parents break here on ESPN Sports Radio -- and got to the more things when asked Brett. Well do it next on 1080 different. I welcome back to dig for dirt -- -- part two of our conversation with Brett mortgage music director of the thirty for thirty. That -- June 17 1994. He's also. Directed on the ropes seizing an award winning director and Oscar nominated producer. -- we are talking about the -- just kind of in general. And and what some are your memories were from that. Where does this documentary ranked Rihanna has had -- -- their own work but. After you're done how does this fit into some of the other works that you've done. Army you know every -- -- done. Pretty different the should it last traded among the growing towns across our hurt him for HBO and com and developers Robert Evans -- decision to turn them currently work on the Kurt Cobain. Official Kirk Cobain docket I think they're all sort of unique and -- special -- down you know he does god and then you know immerse yourself and hope for the best. When you finish making this -- media thought this symbol for an. Jeremy has their favorites and Jack Nicklaus and Michael Jordan every athlete there's a -- polarizing athlete for everybody. But I got kind of the feel walking away watching that again as I remember being around here in that time in and just thinking man how crazy the coverage was. You walk away from that documentary in pink. OJ Simpson might have been the most beloved athlete of all time because of the movies the commercials and his athletic career. And the public does ours is the most beloved of -- -- and indeed -- population Obama always. -- people like that. But I do you think that he was eighties armed the it was a real exception error exception I mean he was so for asthmatic. He really broke down a lot of that sort of racial barriers that at the time I think. That for people brought up to date when they jurisdictions in vain because immediately think murder corporate express regret up in the Tums seventy. I mean he was he was a large and quite icon he could run with the ball he could. You know smile like no one else and he is show us. You know it's it's it's it's it's like it a trying to think about a comparable. Person that wouldn't -- be like Will Ferrell committing you know a double homicide did it just. The last guy you would universe is back and I think. That was why we were all sort of been -- speed of disbelief. -- that we but I think. In that film. Arm in terms of engaging people you know OJ and censored kill as if that's even an issue anymore. Listening to the phone calls that he doesn't back to the bronco to meet work just you know which were not for some reason admissible on the trial. Only it went to listen to that and not think the guy is can -- It's as close of compassionate ones ever gonna yet. One and there's somebody to see things that came out in his documentary in so many things that that happened in -- unfolded on that evening was there -- -- throughout the process when you're making this or doing investigation -- research into this was or any nuggets that you found out they just -- your mind that you didn't know originally about that that evening. I know really would have more to do with the other sporting events happening. Then this visit except the bronco -- is putting the bronco chase is pretty you know report but. Mom you know -- I remember there is a moment in the editing process we discovered the Arnold Palmer rotations and Hertz commercials. And I and that was it. I think little ironic thing for the. The other erratic. You know OJ is -- reckoning Arnold with his hands around his practices. And the movie. But down yet it was. I don't I'll I'll be honest I -- more law about Arnold Palmer report sort of disarmed. And I'm not a golf and on and what I found really interest incremental making standpoint is that I don't think about golf I don't know about all -- compromised but I think. When you see Arnold Palmer in the movie. -- you know bring tears -- your eyes because what. Recognize is that accurate the guys who was once at the top of this form. -- you know time has passed the body and he's gonna either retire gracefully and on this day and obviously the -- debacle. Was that kind of your your overall goal I mean I know it was about the Dayton that's the title the documentary -- the main focus is OJ Simpson for a lot of people. But I I did think he did an exceptional job of of tying in the Arnold Palmer thing -- you had the NBA finals game as well was next on your point for for audience members. Out there that just remember that date for OJ to say. You know -- there were other great sports moments there watching Arnold Palmer crying his press conference I mean. I started theme and I wish this thing would kind of go towards more all of Palmer and his wife and his career was a kind of your overall goal. Yeah I mean like -- can have blood and I didn't know much I've never watched the open and so I'm not the gulf sounds so it but it's something. And this is what's great about sports is -- Palmer story transcends golf. In transcends sports as -- most of those stories that happened that day and I was watching the movie. I've recently for the first time in years with in turn smile because com. And the person she is we're -- has -- you know I don't like sports and I was like new Altima which they have towards and I think -- You know that would you like sports and I sort of post people listen to yourself -- works for the -- this is a great. This is the 130 for thirty you can watch with your wife don't like sports and will hopefully get into just that the drama of today. Brett Morgan is our guest here are ESPN's were three units in eighty the -- That kind of put you on the spot a little bit but I don't know that gets much bigger than this particular story did you have a Belmont but is there a sports story out terror or an event. In sports that you would like to tackle in the future for documentary. Ball to die hard Los Angeles Kings can't keep trying to grab some. Themes like. You know I think most of the obvious stories -- been taken -- certainly with the third for producers which now should be called lake at the onset the because I think -- well. Well -- thirty. Lou most agree. Stories have been taken I. I personally think that down the best sports stories -- -- tend to be with anonymous subjects and you know sort of that high school stories and collegiate stories you know which people are. And I didn't look that up had been trying to develop. Television series for the past few months about Minor League Hockey. You know I loved the idea people sort of putting it all on the line. -- Steve not for. -- but because they're driven to either sort of -- and eccentricities so. I think they get any Little League game and there's a great story Eric. There was one member there just a moment when we were researching. June 17. And I have to researchers that we could find critical story out of the -- -- something that was his way outside the radar because I think it would you know wanted to make this sort of the campus of -- sporting. Events in America and and and I would guess about a -- that we weren't able to find one then sprinkle that in. You know what is it -- -- -- documentaries for you particularly that entice you so much that I imagine somebody with your resume. You would be able to have the ability if you wanted to to jump on a kind of big budget movie -- And rake in a bunch of money like every other director down there in Hollywood but what is it particularly that kind of draws you to documentaries and trying to tell a story that people don't know about. Well wolf -- probably protocol for. I -- -- -- with documentaries. You know for me personally and there -- kind of an all access costs. Two com. To a world that you're -- tangential interest to banner bearing interest it and and suddenly become. A sort of authority -- -- from all the different world which is why I was I was top. Joking somewhat concerned about -- partnering with the kings because I love the kings and I would like nothing more in the -- a year sort of pretending to be taking. And and -- you know like great communicator -- to be so. I have. -- have my hands on -- -- single item expert has never. Tops 250 hours on her audio and 4000 pages of journal and armed you know it's an amazing all blacks is out to be well into these subjects whether -- -- so loans are. Our com or listen to New York it's whatever it may beat and so it's an amazing it really is. -- they got to get the ball like -- -- -- -- feels like a hobby which I imagine yours. I would like nothing more than to get paid to talk about sports day. But I. I think that would got a particular particular you know computers certainly you know -- -- huge interest in Bill Walton that -- -- -- that you -- story arc until the amazing. You know career that I don't think there's there's you know we eat -- journalists to cover story -- An hour they're so but it really spent a year -- Serb. Immersing yourself in these sort of iconic. Moments is is really -- an amazing meaning vacation. That Kurt Cobain that -- that -- working on win now when do you plan on finishing it and what do you know where it's gonna hear. That I -- we're gonna make an announcement shortly it some people most likely prepared and not 2015. And will be. Pretty much being released over the world and so on it's it's pretty big deal and it's. It's it's you know we -- to break from music and everything it's it's it's the first and only sort of authorized -- now. With all the had a documentaries that you've made all the memories that you are making with Kurt Cobain other ones. What's your favorite moment is there one moment that stands out where you -- trying like holy crap McKinley was happening. -- meet personally. Yeah there's a moment I mean it's funny is I don't have to hesitate when you hit that I didn't really preached PO last year called prosper urgent about hurling stones. And. Which is an unbelievable film by the way -- Thank you had there is a moment that we went to the premiere in London there about 101000 screaming and I understand that I was watching have a red carpet with a -- -- -- cued up let's spend the night together. And I would like like did did this in my. This is haven't been -- at at at a hand in hand with. -- yeah. Brett Morgan is our guess is an Oscar nominated producer and director of course is the thirty for thirty. Documentary June 17 1994 you can stream that on Netflix ESPN's going to be airing it. As well Brett on the Odyssey one of the better conversations we've ever had and our show -- and hundreds and hundreds of people. And one of the better conversations we ever had fascinating stuff we really enjoyed it. And but then again thank you for the time to people -- you on Twitter. Morgan okay -- we'd -- to -- you need to hit up a -- we blood type deal on the road at media couple months before that Kurt -- documentary comes out in that looked into the in the future -- much.

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