Anja: If you love
sports documentaries stay tuned because today on Athlete Story we’ll take a closer look at one
of the upcoming sports movies. It’s called After The
Game and we’ll have a chat with the filmmaker
herself, April Abeyta. This is Athlete Story your show if
you want to keep a connection to your athletic identity and other athletes while pursuing your
new mission in life. I’m your host Anja
Bolbjerg, former world top 10 skier in mobile skiing
and free ride skiing. Now, pretty far into
life after sports. Join me and other former athletes
here and Athlete Story for resources to help you put your former sports
career to work for you today. Here at Athlete Story we
know that some people have an MBA to lean on you,
you have your sports career. Subscribe now and get notified
for every new episode. All right, then let’s get started. After The Game is
a basketball documentary, where we follow a few
real life female athletes who played basketball
on the same team in college, back when the WNBA had
only just launched. Now, the filmmaker, April Abeyta
actually played on that team herself. She had access to capture not only the game action,
but also all the behind the scenes, the atmosphere,
the emotions, and the whole life around the game. Women’s basketball was not
really media type back then. For sure, nobody walked around with cameras like we do
today, so we can look forward to some
pretty exceptional footage in the movie, I think. I guess she must have carried around
big camera and caught it on tapes. Anyways, the theme of the movie
is very core to the Athlete Story community because
it revolves around that after the game part of sports
and how the lessons from sports can be used and repurposed
in life after sports. In the movie,
we will actually catch up with the women today,
in situations where they each discover how their background
in sports is actually helping them tackle
life’s new challenges. Let’s move on to the interview. I’ll make sure to ask April to
give some personal examples as well about how playing sports has
influenced her own personality and lifestyle and career and why
it was important to make a movie about female student athletes from
the ‘90s and then follow up today. All right,
I’m so excited for you to meet this real filmmaker
in the sports industry. Let’s welcome April Abeyta for chat
about her movie After The Game. Hi April.
Welcome to the show, Athlete Story. April: How’s it going? Anja: Good. Thanks for coming on.
I really appreciate it. April: No, my pleasure. I’m happy to be chatting with you,
so thank you for having me. Anja: I’m curious about this
project that you’ve been working on for quite a while
I can say I think the movie called After The Game. Can you tell us a little
about what that’s all about? April: Yes, of course. After The Game is a new documentary
that is really about the long-term impact of competitive athletics
specifically on young women. We follow three women,
[?] the span of 20 years. We see them as student
athletes for a small college in Southern California back in 1999 and their
challenges, their successes, and then we correlate
that flash class forward to certainly
in 2017 and the third 2019, how they really
translate things they learned as athletes into their professional challenges
today off the court. Anja: More specifically,
they’re basketball players, right? April: Yes. They’re on the same team,
so our three characters, we follow. We actually follow the head
coach of that program at the time who was
also a former athlete. She played for UCLA. Actually, Mary [?] and she is–
Has has been honored as one of the 15 greatest women basketball
players in UCLA of all time. She was quite successful
student athlete herself. Then the athletes on the team
in 1999 are a woman named Michelle [?]
who was a senior going into that season and then
another woman named Holly Neves,
she was a junior transfer student. She was coming from a new
school and trying to make her mark, find her place on a brand
new team at that time. It’s like her figuring that out. You’ll see the correlation
in the film how that challenge actually comes up for her in a very
similar way almost 20 years later. Anja: Is that the main theme
of the movie, the lessons you learn from sports, how you can
use them in life after sports? April: Yes, exactly.
Definitely. There’s a I think
tied with that about what you commit and what
sports can give to you,
it doesn’t necessarily always pay off in the way that
you think it will. There’s a great line by one of the characters
in the movie where she talks about, “If you put in the work,
you will be rewarded.” That reward may not
translate into playing time,
so you’re not necessarily going to– There’s no guarantee that you’re
going to get more minutes, right? There’s no guarantee that you’re
going to get that championship, but you will be rewarded and how
that pays off and I think that’s just a great theme for the movie
because you see, for some of these women, not that they haven’t
had successes in that 20 year span, but they continue to have
different successes, that they put it in the work back in 1999,
and they’re continuing to see those rewards pay off in different
ways in their lives, that they didn’t expect necessarily back
when they were 21, 22 years old. Anja: I love that
theme because success is such a relative term, right? April: Yes. Anja: It develops over the span
of your life like, what you think is success when you’re 20 years old is
not the same maybe as later in life. April: Totally. Anja: What was the most important
reason for you to make this movie? April: Well, I think there
were a couple of things. When I actually
started shooting these women back in 1999, it really started with just my love
of sports and my respect for just women in sports
and athletes. At that time, there really
was no attention was paid. I wouldn’t say that we’ve
made– We’ve made some strides since then, we have made
huge strides in terms of just recognition and attention
and quality and air time in sports broadcasting and everything
like that to women in sports. It was even worse back then, and so I really wanted to do
something about it. I wanted to showcase these
women, I played with these women myself,
as a student athlete myself, and I knew how hard
these women had worked, and how hard it was,
and how talented they were. I wanted to showcase
that and it just morphed over time [?] relationship with these women and seeing what they’ve gone through in their
lives, like, well into adulthood and how they translate what they learned as
student athletes either directly or indirectly
because sometimes it’s a little– You
don’t even realize it. It’s the little subconscious,
those learnings that you have, that you only
get really from sports. That narrative, [?].
I felt that was really compelling and the more I started
talking to other folks about it,
it convinced me that this was a good time to tell that story now. As well with what was
going on with these characters, in their personal
lives, at this point. Sort of all of those [?]
I guess it came together at the right time of them
facing these unique challenges. I feel there really
was, I don’t know, there something special about
timing right now even with the success of the USA
women’s world cup and [?] also being such a big deal
and now more attention and it’s just a really good
time I think to continue this message of women’s
athletics and the importance of it long term and just
capitalize on this movement that’s been
happening over the summer. Anja: Yes, that’s really nice. You’ve been really
ahead of your time, because nowadays
everybody will be filming and having footage
of practice and everything but you did this back in the ’90s,
right? [chuckles] April: I got permission
from the team, from the school at the time,
and it may have helped because I was a student athlete myself and I
was a film student. I wrapped it up into this like
my studies and I– At the time when cameras weren’t so
ubiquitous with everything, it took some getting used to, I think
with the players and the coaches of just sticking a camera
in their face constantly. [laughs] They really got used to it
and so just hours and hours of locker room talk and the training
room and road trips. I think one particularly special
thing about smaller universities, like Chapman University, which is
where all these women were members of the Chapman University Women’s
Basketball program, was that because it’s so small, you just spend even
more– Think of all the traveling. You go to all the other
games where maybe bigger programs can get on airplanes. No, when you’re small,
you drive everywhere. You sit in a van or a bus
with your teammates for hours and hours, and hours and just
you really get to know them and so capturing all those
little moments of what it’s really like to be on a team,
and share those moments, and learn from each other,
I think was just something that also I’d made special and yes,
I just knew that I wanted to see– I think when you
grow up as an athlete, as you know, as a woman you just don’t
get the respect sometimes. You talk to people about what you
do, or your sport, and then they would–
They’re still not sure. Today for young women,
but it gets downplayed. It’s like, “It’s not that hard.
You’re a woman.” Or, “You guys aren’t as good.”
Or, “You aren’t as tough.” That always really bothered me and so I thought the best way to
combat that misconception was to film the team,
and put it together so, “Well, no. Look, how hard they’re working.” They’re doing sprints up and down
the court until they puke. They’re pushing themselves to
their max potential, to try to be successful at their
sport and that’s admirable. Anja: There’s nothing like
video to to tell that story. I know personally,
maybe I’ve told this before, and sorry podcast listeners
[laughs] if I’ve told this before, but I didn’t really
feel that people understood what sport I was doing until
very, very late in my career when I did have videos
and could post on YouTube and stuff because yes,
people just don’t relate just from words and when they see
me as a person, maybe they don’t think that I will
go do something like that. I totally understand
what you’re talking about and then from the respect
point of view, I think that’s a very good point
because we don’t see all that many women,
especially in team sports. Well, in Europe maybe it’s
different but in the US, where do you have
for team sports where you show women only lately
is the basketball coming on and soccer with the success
of the team, right? April: Yes. Anja: Yes, so I think that
it’d be cool to watch too. It would be cool to get
that atmosphere of the camps and the team and the traveling
and all that. April: Yes, it definitely will feel
aged just because of technology in terms of video production
has changed so much so it’s all four by three, so a smaller
frame and, and the quality is not quite as good as this opportunity
today but I actually really embraced that, because I want
the viewers to have the sense of nostalgia also when they’re
looking at this older stuff and if anything it’s like yes, these
women weren’t playing because they thought they were going to go
play professional basketball. I mean especially
at that time I remember the WNBA was like two years old. It just wasn’t– I mean,
it’s very rare today obviously for any
athlete, male or woman to go play at the professional
level or play like even as high level
as you did in your sport but even more so
back then it was really for a love of the game
that they were playing and then just wanting
to compete and try to be the best that
they could be and yes. It’s just like that nostalgic
like hopefully, that feel really comes across
in the footage as well from 1999. Anja: Right now, you’re in post-production,
the end of it, right? April: Yes, we’re getting there. We still have a lot of work but
we are making really good progress and yes, we are making excellent
progress on our edit, working with a music composer, currently
for some original score and original music in it so yes, early 2020,
we should be premiering it. Anja: Okay. This is obviously
a passion project for you since it’s been in the back of your mind
having all that footage and stuff. How do you finance this project? April: How do I finance this project? It’s a great question because
financing is different for every film, whether a short film,
picture film what have you. This is a combination
of just personal investments, as well,
as we’ve made [?] on our personal
investment piece and then we will be running
a crowdfunding campaign in about another month
for the remaining finishing funds, but we’re just like, full steam ahead until we totally run
out of the cash that we have on hand. Anja: Okay.
Well, if you have a link to the crowdfunding we
will share it here. April: Thank you.
Yes, when we set that up we’d love to get
the word out on that. Anja: If someone else
thinks, “This is really cool. I would love to make a movie about something from their
sport or whatever.” What has been the hardest part or the biggest hurdle
in doing all this. April: That’s a great question. I mean, in any film making or video
production endeavor, financing seems to be one of those things
that people are always stressed about and there’s a lot of questions
around but it’s not really talked about a lot in terms
of how they go about financing. I find that’s always a hurdle like
where will you get the money from and things like that, and how you
talk to people about getting money. That’s always a challenge. I think another thing
is depending on if you’re making a documentary,
the other challenge is just
having the patience to see where the story leads you, right? Working with characters again, I’ve mentioned it sort of just
like it was this great timing that all
three of them were– This convergence of these different professional challenges for them,
and seeing where that goes and like they don’t necessarily unfold
the way that you expect them to and you can’t control that. You can’t really influence that. It’s not like you can be like,
“It’d be great if you did this.” There’s no directing them like you might a fiction movie or writing a script
in advance so to speak. There’s none of that and so
that’s I think, at least for me personally, is definitely I
think a challenge given my own background has mostly
been in scripted up-front work and just trying to let that
unfold and see where that goes. Again, picking up the filming
again in 2017 and then just wrapping filming in 2019,
that’s a span of two years just to
catch up with where we’re at in their current lives
today and that’s patience. That’s actually pretty
short for a documentary. I’ve heard that the average time
for a documentary is five years. That’s a lot of patience
to let that story [?]. Anja: A lot of courage
too because you’re putting yourself out there, right? You’re putting yourself out
there for judgement and– April: Yes, especially for– I mean,
my characters and I’m so grateful to all three women to really opening
themselves up and sharing not only just where they’re
at in the mundane day-to-day stuff but just emotionally how they’re feeling
about things and they’re very open. I think it’s really helpful that as a filmmaker,
if you go and really have relationships with them ahead of time and sometimes you don’t
really have that luxury. In this case, I did. I’ve known them for 20 years
plus but I think that really helped just have with them
being feeling comfortable and they know that I’m not
here to trick them into something, I’m not here
to get this gotcha moment. I’m here to really hear their story and communicate it
in the best way possible. I feel honored that
they trust me with their lives on camera and I’m
excited for them. They haven’t seen any
of edits yet so I’m excited to be able to screen it
for them when we’re ready. Anja: Yes, that would be exciting. We talked about success before. I’d like to know to you what
would be a success for this movie? April: We get people
showing up to screenings. I guess because the goal with this
film is I really want to get it obviously in front of as many
people as possible, but I know there’s a very specific audience
for this film and that is athletes, former athletes, also I
think parents of young athletes. I would love for people to
see this film and really think about rewards
of participation in whatever sports, not just basketball,
it could be skiing, it could be soccer,
it could be whatever. Maybe if we could start to think
about what those other long-term methods are and encourage if
they have a young daughter who’s playing sports and thinking
about quitting or if they know somebody else who’s [?]
and thinking about quitting just thinking about changing
that mindset about why they participate, because there’s
a good chance they’re so hung up on, “I have to go pro,
I have to go get a scholarship.” Or, “I have to try to
make the Olympics.” Or whatever. These really which are
awesome really lofty goals,
but I think what this film shows is that it’s just not about
that, it’s about the relationship you form, it’s about those things
that you learn in terms of how to work with people that you may not be best friends
with, but you got to find how to reach
that common goal. It’s all the other things
that you get forced into when you’re playing sports
and I really want to get the film in front of those
people so they can help encourage their daughters
or their friends, or whatever. Just to keep it up and it’s okay if
you’re not the division one athlete. You can go play at a junior–
[?] junior colleges but it’s like two year
college to go and they have program and some of them are
really, really competitive, and also get a lot out of that,
and that’s great. Success to me is we are
able to set up the community strings that we want to set up across the United States and we
get people attending, and we get people
just loving the film. It will not be any
scientific I guess. [chuckles] There’s no hard data
that we’ll collect on it but it’ll be talking with people
and hearing their thoughts on it and just seeing how
their thinking about it, and if they’re thinking about
the anticipation in different ways. It’s really fuzzy, sorry,
it’s not like a concrete like, “We will make
a gazillion dollars.” That’s not going to
happen, it’s a documentary. Financially,
I would like to recoup our investment in it for our
investors in film. It’s really about I
get to change people’s mindset about what
women’s athletics can do. Long winded answer, sorry. [chuckles]. Anja: All right. I’d love to hear just a little
bit about your own story in sports because I’m sure
that has a great influence on how you decided to do this
movie, so can you just tell us briefly how
is your own athlete story? April: I love sports. I love playing basketball
specifically from a young age. Growing up,
we did a lot of little random things but probably
the most competitive early on was basketball
but even now it sounds like I started
playing in 8th grade. Nowadays that sounds so late, they’re starting with five-year
olds, it’s crazy. Did pretty well and got a chance
to play at the college level. I was playing at Chapman University
with these women and I loved it. Again,
I mentioned playing pro at that age I would love to have played in WNBA that was like, “Oh my God.” I knew that I wasn’t level. I’m six feet but I
play center so that’s small for pro level
but I try my darndest. I still had a pretty good career
in college and I think that was one of the earliest lessons that
I learned just thinking about. As I moved on and really
focusing on my career in video production
and film making and media. I put in all the work, it didn’t
exactly pay off the way I wanted to in terms of being able to take
it to the next level but I still had a great career, I had these
amazing relationships with really incredible fun and wonderful
people connected to the sport. I started to realize,
“Okay maybe it’s not this is the way it’s
going to pay off.” And build like random things
like going into professional. I started my career with Fox Sports
which is a sports broadcast company in the US, and like little things
that would pay off I guess in terms of playing the sport
would just be like connecting with the men in the office and be able to talk sports with maybe
other women at that time anyways. Sounds like a stereotype and it
was sort or real back then where a lot of women weren’t really– I
was around in a work environment but I would be able connect with them
on a different level and develop a different relationship because
we could talk about sports. Even after work go play
a pick up game of basketball and because I could
play, I got more respect. Weirdly I probably wouldn’t have
gotten in the work environment without that because I was some
young woman and just totally green in a [?] who she didn’t
care about because I could play pick up ball with a bunch
of the bosses it worked in my favor. That was small and I started
to pick up these little small things that I found
just helping me in my career and I take that
coupled with the work ethic that I learned
through playing basketball. I just put in the work, put
in the extra time, try do your best at everything that you can do
because when you don’t and you start to skate by and think you
can be able lazy in a moment and you see that didn’t actually
really help you in the long term. Somebody noticed that you
were lazy and they’re going to remember that and then you’re
like, “They’re not going to think of me to do this
project, they’re not going to think of me
for this promotion.” It’s always like those
type of things [?]. Sometimes is not
being conscious about that for years even
just you just go about your life and then
move to a different company and different
relationships but then everyone always
comeback like what– The things that I loved about being competitive and things I loved about even like conditioning
which now at that time was like,
“Oh my God I hate [?].” Sprint workouts
or with the crazy things that our coach used to do but as you
get older I guess you’re starting to appreciate that
conditioning aspect of it and again the path and you
put in the work– The more you practice in anything in life the better
you’re going to get. I just really like realizing
that and appreciating that and then being more proactive about doing that and all
the non-sports things in our life you can
like creative work. Anja: And patience like
you mentioned that pay off doesn’t come the following
day necessarily. April: Like creative work,
sometimes people think that if you’re an artist you just have it or you’re
a great writer you just have it. I’m sure that’s true
for some people just like there are some
athletes who are just amazing athletes they
are just born that way and they buffer a lot
of creative endeavors. If you keep practicing,
if you want to become a good writer,
write every day. That’s practice. If you want to be a great director
of photography, you go out and you shoot stuff you film
things and you’ll get better. You may never get to the level that
you think that you should be or want to be but you’ll definitely get
better and so just applying that– They are not after all they just
trying things and just and practicing and putting it in and also
stretching your limits a little bit. I’ve taken on projects
or taken on roles where at the time I was like,
“I don’t know if I can do it. I think I can.
Sure I’ll give it a try.” And then you do it
and you do a great job. The reason if not everything
goes the way you wanted to you learned a lot,
you still did really good work but you push yourself
for the things that you can control and do
the best that you can do. Anja: I think that’s maybe one
of the differences between men and women if we are talking
general, that we seem to have this default I don’t know if I can do
it attitude and I think that’s where sports really helps us to
just well, I’ll give it a try. I remember organizing the Danish
national championships for many years in skiing because I was the only
skier in my country doing this. Just to try to get the girls to
compete was really, really hard. Unless there was enough
of them feeling that they weren’t so competitive,
then it was okay. I think that’s the thing we have. Instead of just going out
and trying to give it our best, we have this default,
“I’m not really going to go there because I don’t
think I can do it.” Instead of just– Sports has a great
power and lesson like that. April: I totally agree.
Spot on, it absolutely does. Like you said, sports I think
helps you overcome that. You second guess that
lack of confidence that you have initially, because you remember, like,
“I didn’t know if I could do those things
on the basketball court. I didn’t know if I
could win that game or I didn’t know if I could hit that
shot, and I did. Let’s try this.” Or sometimes you didn’t but you
try, you felt good about trying. It’s that crazy
thing, you’re going to miss 100% of the shots
you never take. Having that approach and I
feel like I’ve seen it. Most of my professional career
in video production has been in my life on the corporate side, but
always done also film making and also presenting or other video
production, but I regularly work with corporations and either building
or managing in-house creative teams. Now I’ve had an opportunity
to work with a lot of different folks,
and a lot of young women. I think that where that
really sets in back when you’re talking about the lack
of confidence and in it, “I’m not sure.” Really comes to when they’re talking about if they want
a raise or a promotion. Where I had my own experience,
I’ve had a lot of young men come to me and they
have no reservation about asking
for promotion or a raise whether deserved or not,
that’s a different strategy, that idea of asking. I probably only have one
or two women who had that same attitude and most will not
ever really ask, and wait until the designated time of the annual
performance review or they would ask, and you could just
tell they were so scared. I would congratulate. In those instances,
I would stop them and do like, “I know what you’re going to
ask, I can tell. I think it’s great
that you’re asking. I may not give you
what you want because there’s a lot
of actors involved.” But I really wanted to
encourage them to conquer that fear, and have that confidence
of like, “It’s okay to ask, and it may fail, you may not get what
you’re asking for, but that’s okay.” I don’t disrespect somebody
because they’re asking. I saw that time and time again,
that difference, first-hand, of business and corporate
environment between men and women. I think the ones
actually that actually didn’t have the hesitation, they might have been a former athletes,
now that I think about it, actually. I’m not 100% sure if they
were but they could have. I could see if they were [?]. Anja: That might be the link
between– What’s that stat? About 90% of women who are in the,
in the C suite have a background in sports,
maybe it’s because they asked for the promotion or asked for it. April: Yes.
I think that’s a good point. It wouldn’t surprise me at all. If you want it,
you got to ask for it. That’s been my approach in my
own professional career too. I’m the person who will
go– It took a while to get there but I’d
be the person to go in and talk to my boss or somebody,
figure out who’s the decision-maker,
that’s the key thing. I would just figure out who
the key decision-makers are. Same with film making too,
if you’re trying to find some money, you want to talk to
people who are the decision makers, and that may be
the person with money and it may be somebody else that they
pass that decision off to. Find out who it is
and to just go ask. Don’t be a jerk about it,
be nice and be ready to present why it’s whatever
you’re asking for is either earned or deserved,
because you do this or the other or you bring
this value because at the end the day, when it comes
to money specifically, it’s not about the money
per se necessarily, it’s about the value and [?]
that value to whatever that dollar amount is
and what they see added. Same with financing I
think, it’s like, “What’s that value they think
they’re going to get out of it for the amount that
they might be investing in it.” For part of it anyways. Anja: It seems like you knew
pretty much already when you were still playing that you wanted
to be in the film industry. How was that transition? Did you find it easy
and natural that now it was time to do something different
or did you have any– April: No.
It was [?] at all. It was terrible, actually. I will say today,
I think is a really incredible time for film making
because it’s just so much accessible now and that’s
why I keep doing my own projects because it’s like,
“Wait, I can’t control. I can’t make more of it.” Whereas especially when I finished film school in 2000,
the tools weren’t as available. It wasn’t financially accessible. It was pretty much controlled
by a small group of people. The big studios control
a lot when it comes to theatrical releases
and things like that. There are so many other
avenues and so many other [?] points today that
didn’t exist back then. Trying at that time was
really about trying to get into the big places
that already existed. I think this attitude still
persists a little bit today from my own experience but certainly
back then it was very closed up. You just had a relationship
with some extra to get you in the door,
so to speak, to do work. The reason why I got to
get into Fox Sports at that time was because I got
some sort of internship and then I worked my butt
off on this internship which was a free
internship [?] paid for it at all but that was okay
with me because I just really wanted– I thought
I really wanted to work there and I was super
excited so I was going to do the best that I
could do at that time. I met some cool people
there too so to the value of what I could bring which
I was fortunate of that. It was very closed off but
same time like this, I’m sure it is still just today but
there was just a ton of ego. I’ve never been a person
who just wants to, I guess kiss other people’s
butts and play those games and especially
the fact that I didn’t have the confidence to really
put up with the ego. It was tough. It was dealing with some nice
people but a lot of jerks too and a lot of people who maybe
got their sense of identity from what they were doing and were
very defensive about anybody new coming and working at their
business or their studio. Anja: They weren’t necessarily there
to make you be the best you could be. [laughs] April: No, there was no that. I would share stories about
just work cultures and attitudes and it’s changed a lot
which I think it’s great. There’s much more
of a tendency to actually want to enrich and develop
employees not then. It was like you show up, you don’t
ask questions, you do your job and I don’t care if you want to grow and learn and do
more work [chuckles]. It wasn’t their attitude. I’m sure that was not the case
for everywhere at that time but it was just my
experience coming in. Then other people having
tried to break into different studios in terms of picking
a job and stuff. They just really had a hard time. I ended up detouring and taking
a very different route. I was working in media and film
production and video but working in– After that
experience, I started to be on the outskirts of that
which has now become their own huge industry but working
in like I mentioned them. Working in in-flight entertainment. Working with studios but a different
way of sourcing material began. Airplanes, I worked in retail media. The content that might
go into a store like you see in a checkout line
[?] working in that. Also working in digital
media most recently in my last role with a full-time
corporate entity was digital channels
that are distributing on Facebook, YouTube,
Instagram so on and so forth. I’ve learned something
from all of them. I feel like I’ve applied
my experiences as an athlete to all of them
in different ways. It’s been a varied career for me. I’m excited to be focused on this
film full-time right now. Anja: You decided to do
this movie about taking lessons from sports
into life after sports? Do you have an example of how
you’ve done this yourself? April: Certainly.
I feel like there’s a ton of ways. I feel like a really common
aspect, I think I– I don’t know if I mentioned this but is
specifically for team sports. You are thrown together
with a group of people. You have a common goal. You’re put through a lot
together in terms of physically just pushing yourselves and so
you really have a shared experience around that but
outside of that, you may not have ever been friends
with these people [laughs]. You just have a common love
for that sport and working hard and wanting to be
competitive and the best, but that idea of trying to figure
out how you work together, I mean, I was really lucky I
think in some of my teams, like most people,
we really I think became come close, we became friends and we
maintained relationships but there are also, throughout
my own athletic career, some times there are people
that you just didn’t click. Not that you were enemies
or anything that traumatic but you just didn’t click but again have
to find a way to work together. I think when you move off
of sports and into your whatever your non-athletic related career
is, you’re going to find the same thing, you can’t
control everybody that you work with even if you become the CEO,
you have a board of directors. [chukles] You don’t necessarily
pick who you work with, but you have a common goal and you’re
trying to work towards that. You have to figure out,
how you work with that person. Even if you just don’t get along, you don’t see eye to eye on things,
you don’t even maybe even– You
know what the goal is, the how to reach that goal, you have two different ideas about how to do that,
and how to compromise and work together,
and just make it happen because if you can’t do that,
everybody suffers. It’s the same thing on a sports team. If you couldn’t figure out, how to
run a play together, you’re going to– For basketball anyway,
you’re going to cause a turnover. If you’re not on the same
page, somebody is trying to pass me
the ball and I think that they’re going to shoot
and pass it over here, and I’m over here,
you’re never going to score. If you can’t figure out–
I can think of a specific example with particular team members. This one guy, in particular,
I think of working with an engineer. He was super smart, really great. It’s like he had
a chip on his shoulder and I think at that
time, for myself– I probably wasn’t as
empathetic to whatever was causing that chip
on the shoulder for him. We just sometimes
didn’t see eye to eye. We never were compatible or anything,
but it started to like starting to figure out like, “I think I need to
be more empathetic with this guy. I think that’s how I’m
going to connect with him so we work together and solve
this problem that we’re faced with trying to get
this video to the technology side of the delivering some
video to some clients.” Using that, I was
like, that’s a direct example of I think
a specific individual where definitely,
I had to stop and try to think like, “How am I even going
to work with this guy?” You have to figure it out,
even if I don’t want to, but I have to figure it out, I can’t
not deliver the video to the client. Anja: Okay, well, cool. I think we’ve got it all covered. If people have any questions they can just write in and we’ll
get it all done. April: I’d love to encourage
anybody who’s interested in following the film,
to not only follow us on Instagram but also they can check out our
website at and they can sign up
for our newsletter. We send regular updates
up to you just to see. They’ll learn about when it’s
premiering in their area. Their screening the area,
all those good things. Anja: That’s April: Yes. Anja: Well, I’m going to
wish you all the best of luck for this and I’ll make
sure to post the links for your crowdfunding
because I’m sure some people here who want to support
a movie like that. I will for sure. April: Thank you. Yes.
I think people will love it. I think that they’ll be really–
Yes, I hope they do. It’s a movie for the audiences,
at the end of the day. Anja: You’ve been great.
You shared a lot of cool stuff and good wisdom from
the sports world. It’s been fun. Thank you for doing this and all
the best of luck to you. [music plays] April: Yes, thank you. Anja: Take care, bye-bye. April: All right, bye. [music plays]

AFTER THE GAME: Sports documentaries filmmaker April Abeyta on Athlete Story Podcast

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