Basketball Diary: Trick Shots on the Lower East Side
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Not long ago, we stumbled upon a highly entertaining video produced by a duo called TWiN – brothers Josh and Jonathan Baker – and their friend Jason Boehmig. In it, the threesome showcase their prowess on the basketball court with some sweet trick shots. The piece was filmed in April 2008 on the courts of the Lower East Side.
Impressed and inspired, we contacted TWiN to find out more information about their work. They were kind enough to answer some questions about the project.
Bowery Boogie: You mentioned that you’re both from Australia. What brought you to the LES and when?
TWiN: The video was made by my brother Josh and I, and a buddy of ours Jason, who also used to live in the Lower East Side. We moved over from Sydney to New York in 2007 for work as commercial directors, and were immediately drawn to the LES. The neighborhood, the culture, the food, the people. Just walking the streets was a source of constant inspiration for us.
BB: The basketball video is pretty incredible. How many takes were required before you captured each of those baskets?
TW: The video was made as an ode to LES streetball. We used to play ball on a lot of those courts (Jason and I actually met for the first time on one of them, and became close friends after that), and so a bored weekend suddenly led to us going out to make a video of as many trick shots as we could think of. Nothing serious, just purely mucking around. It started simple and went from there. Obviously it escalated to harder and harder shots, and the competitive side of us kicked in. There’s a few shots in the video that suck after a handful of attempts, and the last couple probably took over 100 attempts. I almost put my shoulder out on that last shot off two walls on Spring St. The shot Jason does over his head (at 0:40 sec) actually went in on the first try, which was meant to be just a camera test. Shots like my blind through the legs (at 0:38 sec) and Josh’s over the back blind from half court (at 1:12 sec) looked like they had spontaneous reactions to the ball going in, but in reality we did that on every attempt. There’s a lot of hard shots in there, but they’re all 100% real, regardless of what almost every person thinks when they first see it. As directors, I understand why people would assume it’s fake, but trust me, we don’t have the time or the money to fake it THAT well. It’s easier to just go out and do it!
BB: The video has that viral element, and is similar to that old Jordan vs Bird McDonald’s commercial. What is your goal with it?
TW: Ha. I wouldn’t say it’s inspired by the classic Jordan/Bird ad, and to be honest, we didn’t really have any goal with it. It was purely for the three of us, and in 20 years to look back on a fun period in our lives living in Manhattan. If it was inspired by anything, it was the ‘one-shot youtube video’ craze that was going around the last few years, which has recently been blown out of the water by the Dude Perfect team. Hats off to those patient guys.
BB: What is your favorite LES court to play on?
TW: We had some fun times on a bunch of LES courts during that time. The courts on Chrystie and Houston had some good game. So did the Chinatown courts.
BB: Any other ambitious projects in the works?
TW: We’re always playing with projects of different scales, but mostly our time is consumed by professional directing work. Look out for a potential football catching video in the same vein coming soon!