An American filmmaker Dan Egan, a close friend and the nephew Jerry Best of Bermudian international football pioneer Clyde Best, first approached him with the idea of making a movie about his uncle a few years ago. Mr. Egan was no stranger to Bermuda or Mr. Best and had been coming here for many years and even sailed here in his younger years.
“ We were staying at the Pompano Hotel and beach club and we used to talk with Clyde out on the deck, and I sat on the idea [about making a film about him and his legendary career] for a few years,” Mr. Egan said. “ I even mentioned it to [ current Speaker of the House] Dennis Lister, who happened to attend the same school as Jerry and I and we all even had the exact same soccer coach at Bridgton Academy [in Maine].”
Last year, Mr. Egan decided to make the movie about Mr. Best his number one project for the year. As a result, filmmakers registered with the International Documentary Association (IDA), built a pitch kit and teamed up with Academy Award-winning producer Julie Anderson, who is currently working on a documentary about Louis Amrstrong, another giant in his chosen field. Thus, the writing and production of “ Transforming the Beautiful Game: the Clyde Best Story” began.
According to Mr. Egan, the film has garnered quite a bit of attraction from investors, they received a grant from the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports, some Bermudian underwriters have expressed interest in the project and fruitful conversations are being held with West Ham, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Portland Timbers, just to name a few teams.
“ We’ve started shooting on this trip, so we could be in full production by July and could have the film fully edited and produced by early 2024,” Mr. Egan explained. The finished film should be around 90 to 120 minutes.
Despite the team trying to keep the costs for the documentary as low as possible, receiving older archival footage from the BBC would cost quite a bit.
“ Typically, I produce run-and-gun productions with a small crew and we’re not based in New York City, so we’re a little less expensive,” Mr. Egan said. “ One of the streaming platforms will pick up the documentary and I feel very confident in it.”
“ Transforming the Game,” in essence, will be about a young man who overcomes racism by following his parents’ advice and through the generosity and compassion of the Bermudian people and culture.
“ As soon as you arrive on the island, people greet you,” Mr. Egan expressed. “ That resonates throughout the island and I believe that Clyde is a representation of that culture.”
Mr. Best started playing for West Ham at age 16 in 1968, becoming one of the first black footballers to ever play in the English Premier League.
Anyone who may have old footage of Mr. Best playing in either Bermuda or England or who wishes to donate to the project can do so directly at clydebest.com, the documentary’s website.
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