May 4, 2023
Locked On Women’s Basketball: ‘Unfinished Business’ of New York Liberty is Alison Klayman’s business
Howard and director Alison Klayman discuss her film about the WNBA's New York Liberty
It’s time for another episode of the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. Host Howard Megdal is joined by Alison Klayman, director of the film ‘Unfinished Business,’ which traces the New York Liberty franchise from its start in 1997 to today. After a successful premiere at Tribeca Film Festival last summer, it is set to run at BAM Rose Cinemas May 12-18, along with an ESPN2 broadcast May 14 and Amazon Prime starting May 13.
Klayman discusses all she learned in making the film about the Liberty and the WNBA itself, along with the newsy period New York has enjoyed since. The two then peer into the future and even discuss WNBA Philly.
The two started their conversation with the premiere and the Liberty’s deep connection to its fanbase throughout the years.
“I have goosebumps just thinking about it,” Klayman said. “That’s why there was, in my mind, no way to tell this story without having that dual timeline and taking you back, because it was just pure magic. I think it meant everything to the players, it meant everything to the fans. And it was celebrated. And it was also felt obvious. You know what I mean? Like, it didn’t have to feel like oh, this like niche thing or that, like, it was like it was of the moment, it was a culmination of a lifetime of players dying to play at a professional level at home. And for fans to see that. And for fans, maybe who wish they were players to know that, you know, younger people coming up, we’re gonna have this chance.”
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Klayman also talked about her approach to the film in the context of her favorite sports movies from childhood.
“I didn’t really have a template and that’s often how I am with films,” Klayman said. “But I would say, I have just always loved great sports storytelling, especially in the fiction sphere. I just feel like I grew up on you know, everything from like, The Sandlot and The Mighty Ducks, you know, I always wished there was a basketball version of one of those movies. So I just felt like, this has to feel like it’s rooted in the present and looking towards the future, which is funny to be like, we’re going to be, you know, heavily dancing with the story of the past and be really rooted in the characters of the past, but the point was always to be, like, rooted in the present and looking to the future. And I think that was the sort of North Star and how we figured out how much time to spend on various things and what the tone should be.”
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