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A documentary film about the quixotic life of NYC playground legend and basketball savant Lloyd "Swee' Pea" Daniels. Read more

New York, NY Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 22, 2014.

A documentary film about the quixotic life of NYC playground legend and basketball savant Lloyd "Swee' Pea" Daniels.

New York, NY Documentary
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About this project

THE STORY: 

Lloyd Daniels’s unlikely rise to the NBA is the stuff that myths are made of: the most sought-after college basketball recruit of his generation, he got busted buying cocaine in a police sting operation, and two years later was almost killed after getting shot three times in the chest while negotiating an $8 drug deal.  Yet, in spite of this, he somehow managed to make it to the NBA-- without having played a single college game, with remnants of bullets still in his body, and with years of crack addiction behind him. 

This film delivers a complex portrait not only of a rare talent and his against-the-odds triumph, but also of the unique street culture that made Lloyd Daniels a “playground legend” in New York City. Along with interviews, archival footage, and current verité, we will use animated sequences to recreate that mythic talent that the young Swee’ Pea displayed in the playgrounds, to reenact the anecdotes about him narrated to us by interviewees, to express not only his charisma and charm, but also the darker side of Swee’ Pea, the unrepentant lone wolf, a hustler who, in the words of a friend, is “a rogue…he walks the face of this earth endlessly.” 

Moving from the concrete to the dream and back to the concrete, we will depict a story that is completely human but also fairytale-like in its utter unlikelihood, and thereby implicitly unsettle the question that was raised about Lloyd Daniels throughout his career: is he legend or myth?

FROM THE DIRECTOR: 

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PROJECT STATUS: 

Production of The Legend of Swee' Pea is 50% complete and was a finalist for the TriBeCa Documentary Fund in 2014. We've shot on location in New York, New Jersey and Nevada, where we captured the emotional climax of the film on the streets of North Las Vegas.  We've interviewed key figures from Swee' Pea's life including the Hall of Fame coach Jerry Tarkanian. In addition to archival footage of his high school basketball games, we've found several minutes of footage of Lloyd on the playgrounds.

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP:

So far, the film has been self-funded and independent- we need your help to move to the next stage.  We need support to finish all of our shooting and editing.  We'll then have a completed film to send to festivals, distributors and networks.  To summarize, the funds from this campaign will be used to 

1. Finish principle production (complete remaining interviews/vérité)

2. Complete a fine-rough cut of the film that can be submitted to festivals, distributors and networks who have already expressed interest in the film.

WHO WE ARE: 

Our crew of dedicated, experienced filmmakers know how to bring the streets of New York City to life.  The Swee' Pea production team has delivered films for HBO, CNN and Sundance in the last two years. Please see the bio section for details about our crew.    

SPECIAL THANKS TO: 

Ben Osborne and SLAM magazine. 

Mr. Projectile (http://projectile.bandcamp.com/) and Moby for providing music for the trailer.  

Risks and challenges

There are inherent risks and many obstacles that must be overcome to complete a high-profile, innovative documentary film. The primary risk/challenge for this project is securing finishing funds after principal production is completed. This includes funds for licensing NBA and news archival footage, music, color correction, final editing, etc. The film will not be finished until we obtain additional investors for this final step. Given the interest in the film thus far, we are confident our fine rough cut- funded by this campaign- will attract additional investment. All backers will be updated as to the film progress as we move through the process.

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    THE FILM: Above, plus a digital download of the finished film.

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    EXTRAS!: All of the above, plus digital download of extra footage and extended vérité scenes.

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    ART!: A digital download of a graphic e-book of the film's artwork and animated stills and a signed DVD or Blu-Ray of the film in addition to the above.

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    FOR THE WALL!: All of the above, plus the official film poster OR a poster of an animated image from the film of your choice (we'll send a bunch of stills to pick from!)

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    IMPACT THE FINAL EDIT: All of the above, plus the opportunity to be creatively involved with the film! You can provide feedback on the rough cut to the director. If your suggestions are incorporated into the final film, you will get a SPECIAL THANKS in the film credits.

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    PREMIERE: All of the above, plus 2 tickets to the NYC premiere of the film! (flight and hotel not included)

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Funding period

- (35 days)