Roughly one year ago, Field Humphrey and Patrick Newman—two filmmakers that help to comprise Readily Apparent Media—were putting the finishing touches on their short documentary, Let ‘Em Know You’re There. The film was in the post-production phase and nearly ready to be screened when Patrick took a call from his panicked partner. 

“I thought (he) had been in a car accident or something,” Newman told me.

Not quite.

The film is centered around former NBA player, Jim Tucker, who, with his teammate Earl Lloyd, became the first African Americans to win an NBA title when the Syracuse Nationals did so in the 1954-55 season. In February of ‘55, Tucker, who was coming off of the bench at the time, recorded what was the fastest triple-double in NBA history—roughly 17 minutes of playing time—a record that would stand until 2018 when Nikola Jokic broke it in Milwaukee—the real reason for Humphrey’s phone call. 

I called Newman and Humphrey to discuss their creative process from the inspiration stage, to the original post-production stage, to the post-Jokic panic and their ultimate decision to include him in the film.

Let ‘Em Know You’re There is a story that’s structured around the accomplishments of one man on the basketball court, but is ultimately about the importance of everything that happened in his life outside of the lines. As Tucker has grown older, he’s entered a battle with Alzheimer’s and his memories have been stripped down to the essentials. Those essentials have little to do with his accomplishments on the hardwood, but rather, the things that truly matter to him–family, friends, and trying to leave a positive impact on every life he enters.

The film will air on Rocky Mountain PBS on Monday, February 11, at 10:30 pm. I strongly recommend checking it out.

You can listen to the full conversation by clicking on the link below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the Denver Stiffs Podcast Channel on iTunes or however else you get your podcasts: