Steve James Quotes
From a young age, I wanted to play in the NBA. Oh well... It was when I was a senior in college that I fell for film, but even then, it wasn't documentaries. It wasn't until I ended up in graduate school at Southern Illinois University that I really discovered documentaries and thought that maybe that would be my calling.
One of the differences between real documentaries and reality television, besides the artificial construct of reality television, is that the people who are recruited to be on those shows, and the people who are interested in going on those shows, basically want to be famous. Or maybe they can win a million dollars or something.
Generally, I don't like publicity on docs in progress, much less ones that are only in development; I've always tried to stay under the radar in terms of any press, especially with regard to the subjects of the film. I don't want them to be thinking about the film or funding or what the public reaction is going to be.
For most of my films, I've had to go out and start shooting before I could get the rest of the funding. That was the case with 'Hoop Dreams,' 'Stevie' and 'The Interrupters:' We started them quietly out of Kartemquin Films, only really going to funders once we had something to show and a firm idea of what the film might be.