As the basketball world descends on Utah this weekend for the NBA All-Star game, basketball enthusiasts will have a chance to watch a short film created and produced by BYU AdLab students and the Utah Jazz organization.
The film debuts today as part of the “NBA Films for Fans” initiative that involves filmmakers from around the world who were commissioned by the NBA to create films that explore the league’s influence across the globe. Following today’s premier event, fans can watch the short film at NBA Crossover at the Salt Palace Convention Center.
To be selected to produce the film with the Jazz, BYU AdLab students competed against other professional film directors by submitting a script and a storyline that told the history of the Utah Jazz in a unique way. Their film is the only student-led production that will be featured during All-Star festivities.
“We could have done a documentary-type film, but we wanted to do something different. The AdLab helped prepare us to work under tight deadlines, writing scripts, and pitching our ideas,” said BYU advertising student John Starkweather, who wrote the film’s script. “We had one week from when we got the brief from the NBA to then putting together a script and submitting it.”
The film tells the story of a lifelong Jazz fan who cherishes his vintage, food-stained Jazz t-shirt because of the memories it evokes in him.
“I’ve spent a lot of time collecting vintage clothing, so when it came to this project, we thought it would be interesting to tell the history of the Jazz through a shirt. We decided to do something with this vintage t-shirt that is relevant and would resonate with viewers,” said Starkweather.
Starkweather, who will graduate from BYU this April, credits his experience in the AdLab and many BYU professors for preparing him to meet real-world opportunities.
“Working with the Jazz was such a great experience,” he said. “We worked with the Jazz creative director, Chris George, who is also a BYU alum. He helped refine the script and make everything smooth.”
The BYU team of students who helped create and produce the film include: Taylor Ballard (director), John Starkweather (writer), Tanner Jackson (photography director), and Morgan Capener (art director).
After All-Star weekend concludes, the film will be available to view in the NBA app.