The pitch was audacious to say the least.
A videographer and a camera operator wanted to spend six weeks inside the WNBL bubble as the Canberra Capitals chased the first three-peat in club history as COVID-19 concerns swirled.
Inside the locker room as Paul Goriss coached. There on game day as rookie Jade Melbourne emerged as a star. Courtside for every training session as veterans managed an unprecedented workload. On every flight and bus trip as the team shifted from Mackay to Cairns to Townsville. There when Kelsey Griffin gave her shoes to a little boy who had none during a camp in the outskirts of Cairns.
"A crazy idea" is how director Lachlan Ross described the concept he had come up with when he messaged would-be producer Dylan Simpson long before the season began. Capitals coaching great and University of Canberra director of sport Carrie Graf loved the concept.
The Capitals had won two consecutive titles. Their hunt for a third, and a league record extending 10th, would come in a season like no other as WNBL officials looked to ward off the threat of a global pandemic.
"Then the hub got announced," Ross said.
"While that was a real logistical challenge for teams, players and Basketball Australia, for us it was like this perfect storm.
"Instead of having a 28-week season where we've got to pick and choose which away games we go to or which trainings we go to, we thought 'it's logistically challenging to get us up to Queensland for six weeks, but if we can manage that, we can just be there for everything from the first training to the final game'."
So they were there for every stirring speech and every blow-up. Now Ross and Simpson are behind Go Big, the 90-minute feature film they hope can create a lasting legacy which "changes the way we view women's sport".
The documentary toggles between two timelines: the Capitals' 2020 WNBL season in a north Queensland hub brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the major moments in years leading to it.
It mirrors The Last Dance, the highly-acclaimed Netflix series which chronicled Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls with unprecedented levels of access.
That 10-episode series jumped between that final season of basketball's most famous dynasty and key moments in the years throughout.
Already they are sifting through 30 hours' worth of footage from six weeks in north Queensland, a season that saw Canberra fall in the semi-final.
But the work is far from over. The pair have launched a fundraising push as they look to conduct interviews with about 30 past and present players, coaches, staff, media and sponsors.
"One of the big drivers for us is, it's quite hard to find a women's sport documentary as it is on major streaming platforms," Ross said.
"When you do, it's quite often 30 minutes in length or it's low budget. We really don't want to take any shortcuts, we want to tell this story the way it deserves to be told, which we feel is a feature film, high production, showcasing the amazing journey of the Canberra Capitals.
"We grew up at a time when the Cannons were on the decline and then moved away, right when we were at that age when you start looking for role models.
"Especially as an aspiring athlete, you want to see the closest touchable role model that does what I want to do. For us, even though we were boys, that was Caps.
"You want to see a professional basketballer in Canberra? You watch the Caps. We had that goal and aspiration and love of the Caps as kids."
The documentary has been split into three key themes: legacy, city and diversity/equality.
But to bring it to life and onto a streaming platform, Ross and Simpson are calling for support with an $80,000 funding goal.
The project has been accepted by the Documentary Australia Foundation, which allows filmmakers to create a social impact campaign for their work and partner with philanthropic investors and provide tax deductible funding.
"What's really incredible about it is when you think about the standing of Australian women's basketball globally, being the No. 2 country in the world," Simpson said.
"Then you think about the Caps being the No. 1 franchise within Australia and some of the talent they've had through there, we've now been able to lift the hood on some of the biggest names and how they prepare, what they think about, more or less how you build the most successful franchise in the country.
"Graffy has given us access to her thinking from moving from Sydney to Canberra, why she wanted to build a dynasty and how she did that.
"You've got Paul Goriss who is a national coach with the Opals, his insights into how to motivate a team and how to create leaders.
"You've got two of the biggest names in the game being Marianna Tolo and Kelsey Griffin giving us full access to their leadership roles and what they do to inspire and motivate a team.
"We do want this to be bigger than just a feature film, we want it to have a lasting legacy, which is to change the way we view women's sport."
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