Steph Curry, one of the league’s best players, has shown us this season that he is magic on the court, putting up record-breaking numbers and leading the Golden State Warriors to the NBA playoffs. It should come as no surprise then, that when Disney and ESPN were teaming up for their Aladdin-themed NBA crossover promotions, that Curry would be the man to bring the magic.
We sat down with filmmaker Christopher Alender of Soapbox Films as he described why Curry was a perfect choice and how his team pulled off somewhat of a miracle themselves- shooting all of Curry’s footage in a matter of hours in the days of the early playoff games.
“We wanted to create something that was impactful in as short of a time as possible,” says Alender. “Disney had been wanting to do something with Steph for a long time. He’s just a really great ambassador for the brand- a family guy, got a great charity background, great with kids, and very supportive of female athletes, which are the same things that the Aladdin franchise is all about as well.”
“He’s super into Aladdin and wanted to show his kids the movies.”
Alender describes his biggest challenge as shooting three episodes with one of the world’s biggest stars with very limited time.
“Somebody as successful as Steph is pretty busy and it finally worked out and we were able to get him in between games in the early round of the playoffs. In the beginning, we were pretty ambitious with what we wanted to do. We wanted to shoot all over town and go to this place and to that place, but then we realized that we had four and a half hours with him.”
Alender also described how in addition to time, the weather ended up being a significant challenge that required some improvisation. “We ended up shooting everything at the Oracle arena and then, of course, it started raining, so we shot outside under the loading dock,” he said, detailing how he and his team had to continually revise their storyboard to “maximize the amount of time with our superstar without wearing him out.”
While Alender and his team may have relied on CGI for many of the effects, he does note that the one thing that was very real was the lamp. The lamp was the same one used in the actual Aladdin film, which opened this weekend.
Here’s hoping that Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors have a genie on their side as they face down the Toronto Raptors in this year’s playoff series.