Pre-Production Process: Going to Tournaments

A major part of the film is going into competitive tournaments and capturing footage. Here’s glimpse into the process of getting permission to do this.

1st, I reach out to the tournament director a month or so before the tournament. I introduce myself, if they don’t know me. I explain the project and ask to come. I explain the measures I take to not cause a distraction, and protect the privacy of those at the tournament.

I send PDFs of the 2 kinds of release forms I need signed. One is permission to use the tournament’s name and be at the event. Another is for the location, asking permission to use the name of the church and be on the property.
The tournament director normally has to go get permission from various people, but they get back to me within a few weeks.

Then, when I arrive at the tournament I get the physical signed copies of the releases, and get personal appearance releases for anyone appearing on the platform during the award ceremony.

During the tournament itself, I wait like the students for “postings” of the room assignments for the rounds. Then I make a plan of which rooms and when I need to be there. And we’re off.

As the round ends, we do it all over again for the next round. And so on, until the finals and award ceremony. It’s crazy busy, but loads of fun.

That’s just a glimpse into that process.


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