AIR Writer on the True Story of Discovering Michael Jordan’s (and Sonny Vaccaro’s) Brilliance

Jun 1, 2023

The way that Sonny Vaccaro discovers Michael Jordan’s potential for greatness in Ben Affleck’s AIR is a little bit different from how it happened in real life, according to screenwriter Alex Convery. But the way Convery changed the story provides a great example of how to compress and dramatize a moment for the big screen.
AIR tells the story of the once-in-a-lifetime deal struck between Nike and Michael Jordan in 1984, with Matt Damon playing Sonny Vaccaro, the man who convinced Jordan, and especially Jordan’s mother, Deloris, to sign up for a sneaker line with Nike instead of Adidas or Converse. Affleck directs the movie and plays Nike co-founder Philip K. Knight.
In a memorable scene in the movie, Vaccaro plays and replays a VHS tape of Jordan’s game-winning shot at the 1982 NCAA Championship game. As he rewinds the tape again and again, he realizes how special it was that Jordan, then a freshman at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, got the ball instead of an upperclassman. And he notices Jordan’s total lack of fear.
It’s in that moment that Vaccaro gets the brilliant idea to devote the entire $250,000 budget for Nike’s basketball shoe division to Jordan alone, instead of spreading it out between multiple, less promising players.
But that’s not exactly how it happened in real life, AIR screenwriter Alex Convery tells us on the MovieMaker Podcast, which you can listen to on Apple or below on Spotify.
How Sonny Vaccaro Actually Watched Michael Jordan’s Game-Winning 1982 Shot
“Sonny was actually at that game. He was at the championship game and saw Jordan hit the shot,” Convery says. “Cut to two years later when they’re having to pick a player [at Nike] — Sonny always says, ‘It’s just something about that shot that stuck in my mind, the fact that he got the ball as a freshman.’”
But Convery didn’t want to potentially take audiences out of his propulsive 1984-set narrative by flashing back to 1982. So he ended up showing Damon watching the winning shot over and over on VHS tape.
“Obviously, you’re not going to flash back to him at the game and try to explain, ‘I was there, but now I’m here.’ You want to try to be a little more creative than that,” he says. “So let’s just take everything that he’s talked about in that shot and kind of instill it into that moment.”
Also Read: Ben Affleck Reveals Michael Jordan Told Him to Cast Viola Davis as His Mom
Convery also says it was actually Matt Damon’s idea to mention Linwood Robinson, the player at UNC Chapel Hill who announced he would be playing for North Carolina on the same day as Michael Jordan. Linwood made more headlines that day than Jordan did, but Linwood ended up transferring out two years later and is far less remembered than Jordan.
It’s a small moment that underscores for the audience that Vaccaro was really a visionary and that few people actually recognized Jordan’s greatness at the time.
“Matt [Damon] found that, which I really love. Because it is like, ‘Who’s Lynwood Robinson?’ You know, I just love that that’s the way they start that scene,” Convery says.
“All of the rest of it was just talking to Sonny and taking all his thoughts on that moment and kind of mashing them together. Because it’s funny — he says the movie, ‘I have this feeling.’ And when you ask Sonny, how did you know about Michael Jordan? Why Michael Jordan? He’s like, ‘It was that shot. I don’t know, I can’t explain it to you other than I watched that shot, and I just knew.’ So it was finding the way to best capture the truth of that sentiment, while also making it make sense in the linear structure of the movie.”
AIR is now playing on Prime Video, and this story, previously published at the time of its theatrical release, has been updated accordingly.
Main Image: Matt Damon as Sonny Vaccaro in AIR Photo: ANA CARBALLOSA © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC. Courtesy of Amazon Studios.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
Publisher: Source link

Drew Barrymore Pauses Talk Show Premiere Amid Strike

The @DrewBarrymoreTV Show is a WGA covered, struck show that is planning to return without its writers. The Guild has, and will continue to, picket struck shows that are in production during the strike. Any writing on “The Drew Barrymore…

Sep 25, 2023

Brian Austin Green and Sharna Burgess Are Engaged

Sharna added that she had no idea that Brian was going to propose on his milestone birthday. "I knew one day, like at some point," she said of marrying the Anger Management alum. "We talked about it all the time, but there…

Sep 25, 2023

Selena Gomez's Fashion Game Is So Chic And Not Talked About Enough, So Let's Take A Poll Down Memory Lane

Slay, Sel! Her daytime looks are actually a fave.View Entire Post › Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.Publisher: Source link

Sep 24, 2023

Kendall Jenner and Bad Bunny Give Front Row Seat to Their Romance

Kendall Jenner is facing the runway from a different point of view. The Kardashians star attended the Gucci Ancora show with Bad Bunny during Milan Fashion Week in Italy Sept. 22. And not only did the pair arrive together, but…

Sep 24, 2023