The guys behind Picture Planet Studios, Dan Bowers & Van Troung, have been Celtics fans and Red’s Army readers for quite some time. With their first feature film set to release next month, it was a perfect time to feature them on Fan Friday:
How long have you guys been Celtics fans, and who or what got you interested in them?
Van: It started with Larry Bird. I was a chubby Asian kid with asthma and zero friends. I watched a lot of television. The Celtics game would come on and it started as a means to pass the time before Hulk Hogan. But I became fascinated by this white guy who wasn’t overly athletic yet dominated every game. He said he just practiced a lot by himself. So that’s what I did. I would wait when all the basketball games at the playground were finished and then I shot on the hoop alone. It wasn’t to someday play in the NBA. I was awful and I knew it. But it didn’t matter. I was just happy out there pretending I was playing on the Celtics.
Dan: I have been a Celtics fan since birth. This sounds ridiculous, but it is the truth. My father was watching the ’84 playoffs when I was a few months old. Some of my earliest memories are watching games with my grandparents. My grandfather was a mason and he would bring me to work whenever he was working on a current or former Celtics home. I met ML Carr, Ed Pickney and I still have a basketball signed by John Havlicek.
Who is your all-time favorite Celtic and why?
Van: Kevin McHale. I wrote him a fan letter and he sent me back a bunch of autographed basketball cards. I saw him sneak a pizza on the bench and I thought, “wow, that’s what I would do too!”. I would say Larry Bird but Larry transcends the Celtics, maybe even the game of basketball. Cue up John Mellencamp’s “Small Town”…
Dan: I always want to say Larry Bird, I probably should say Paul Pierce, but deep down its Brian Scalabrine. Remember this? Scalabrine postgame Game 7 2008 Finals Yeah, he should be your favorite Celtic too.
Van: 2005 @ The Garden. The Celtics were taking on the lowly Nets. I remember thinking that the roster of newbies Tony Allen and Al Jefferson might be pretty good in the NBA (they turned out to be outstanding, just not on the Celtics). We vanquished our opponent, everybody was drunkenly happy, and best of all I got to witness what may be one of the greatest moments of my adult life– Antoine Walker’s Shimmy dance.
Dan: In 2008, I had just moved to New York City for work and the Celtics were dominating. After spending my whole life in Massachusetts, I was now forced to watch games surrounded by people trashing Boston. The Celts played the Knicks on Martin Luther King day in a Matinee game. I had never been to Madison Square Garden, but I was expecting to be heckled ruthlessly. However, I was shocked by the amount of Green in the crowd. It was crazy to see so many Boston fans in New York. It is really a telling example of the loyalty of Celtics fans. We are a very dedicated group of basketball junkies and I am proud to be a part of that. Perhaps this is needless to say, but the Celtics won and Spike Lee probably wept all the way back to the Upper East Side
Van: Being a fan for so long, when they lose, any loss, it really just crushes my soul. I’m sick just thinking about the idea of a loss. But when the Celtics win, I win too. I’m on top of the world.Dan: At the end of the day, would my life be different if the Celtics lose? Probably not, but my mood sure would be. The Celtics are part greatness, part lore, part whatever the team is facing right now and I have always enjoyed rooting for that.
Chicken is the story of Poh Phuk (Troung) who spends his days working as a Thai food delivery guy and just watching life pass him by. But Poh has a hidden passion– to be a New York City street baller. Directed by Bowhers and starring Troung, the film provides a considerable amount of material that any Celtics fan can get behind. From KG chest pounds, to digs at Rasheed Wallace being talentless to several jokes about Kobe Bryant being a rapist. Chicken was shot in Brooklyn and Manhattan. As an independent production company, they had a small, but dedicated crew that included several other Celtics fans including Michael Gilhooly (TV’s OZ). However, Production Manager Jeff Butler promptly fired our first sound guy when he claimed to be a Cavaliers fan.
I want to extend sincere thanks to Dan & Van for participating in Fan Friday. “Chicken” opens in select theaters on 4/20/13. Follow the guys on Twitter and peep their website for the latest on Picture Planet Studios. Thank you all for reading-UBUNTU.