Director: Shane Belcourt
Producers: Nicholas Tabarrok, Leah Jaunzems, Rosalie Chilelli, Jennifer Pun, Daris Films/Quiver
98min contemporary sports drama
Production Designing WARRIOR STRONG:
When I frst read the engaging WARRIOR STRONG script about a sad-sack high school basketball team's path to regional championship glory, I had in hand Director Shane Belcourt’s fulsome preparatory notes, which contained generous and thoughtful visuals and comments; this went a long way to helping me build the world of our story. The story follows ex-small town basketball champ, now almost big- league basketball star, Bilal Irving, when he is asked to be the assistant coach for his former high school team, the Dumont Warriors, and learns that true coaching involves more than simply teaching the game.
This world needed to be rooted in the verisimilitude and textures of a small, isolated, working class, rusting and worn Great Lakes town, yet supported with enough deliberate visual poetry to elevate what is essentially the story about clashing and contrasting opposites, challenged hopes, and ultimately, underdog heroes. To help accentuate our characters’ emotional and physical transitions, they were framed within doorways and windows, and refected in surrounding surfaces. The palette of industrial, watery and sky-scape blues contrasted with rusty ochres and beautiful sunset hues, and though rooted in and driven by environmental and natural realities, was also deliberately metaphoric; this helped to chart the push-pull inherent within the narrative that leads to the uplifting, championship conclusion.