POV: Tell us about your decision to break up the film into chapters, like a book. How did you decide to format the film in that way?
Chapter 1: Love
Hubert Davis: In creating the structure of Hardwood I was really inspired by the idea of drawing from other disciplines, such as literature. When I was writing the treatment for “Hardwood” I thought the chapter titles would be a great way to include my three themes of love, recollections and redemption. Every element of my family’s story was encompassed in those themes.
Chapter 2: Recollections
As for the overall structure of the film, I felt it was important to reveal a little bit of information at a time — the viewer is piecing together the story as it progresses. With the film running under 30 minutes, not all of the details of what happened would be revealed, but instead I wanted to get across the emotional core of each scene. So, it’s a little more impressionistic, like our memories of childhood.
Chapter 3: Redemption
POV: Tell us about the poetic style you chose for Hardwood.
Davis: I really wanted the film to stand out. I wanted to tell the story in as dramatic a way as possible. Working with my director of photography, David Tennant, really helped me shape the story.
The idea we worked with was that basketball was really just an escape for my dad. It was always his place of salvation, where he could go and get away from everything. I didn’t have any home movies growing up, so it was almost as if we were recreating them. I was reclaiming my past in a way.
In general, I wanted the framing to feel stylistic but not to distract from the actual film. We shot the basketball scenes as if it were a kind of art. For my dad, basketball was an art.