I recently had the pleasure of interviewing with The Shelby Star about my upcoming documentary, The Dancin' Bulldogs. You can read a copy of the article below.
Runnin’ Bulldogs March Madness trip subject of documentary
By Dustin George
Staff Writer, The Shelby Star
What started as a short tribute to the 2018-19 Gardner-Webb Men’s Basketball team and its journey to the first NCAA March Madness tournament in school history has grown into a feature-length documentary due out later this year.
The project started earlier this year when GWU alumni Christian Jessup was looking for a project for which to compose music.
“I write music and love writing music for films and videos. So I had been looking for a project I could spend some time on and I’d seen a couple of videos pop up about our trip to the tournament in 2019. The original idea was I’d put together a five or six minute tribute just going through the key moments,” said Jessup.
As he started going through footage and photos from games to find moments he wanted to include in the project, Jessup said the video quickly grew to be about 20 minutes long, then 30.
“And before I knew it we were interviewing people. I’d brought in some of my friends and fellow alumni and students and all of the sudden we had enough to make a full-length documentary,” he said.
The documentary, titled “The Dancin’ Bulldogs: A 16 Seed’s Journey to the NCAA Tournament,” follows the 2018-19 men’s basketball team’s historic season. The film features interviews with players and coaches from the team as they talk about going from a sixth-ranked preseason player to winning the Big South Championship and nearly toppling a top-seeded Virginia squad in the March Madness tournament.
“Looking back on it it was cool to see the peaks and valleys of the season and what an underdog story it was,” he said. “It follows that early struggle of a team no one expected anything of ending up leading to the team really bonding and us going to the Big South Championship, winning and going to the NCAA tournament.”
Jessup worked with GWU alumni Eli Hardin and current student Thomas Manning to coordinate interviews and compile game footage. Another alumni, Brendon Boylan, took some of the old radio broadcasts of the games and re-dubbed some of the biggest play calls of the year.
Shooting for the documentary wrapped earlier this month and the project is currently in the editing process. Jessup said he plans to have the film ready for release on YouTube and other free streaming platforms on Friday, Oct 16. A trailer for the movie is already online.
Updates on the film and its release can be found on the movie’s official Facebook page.