On the corner of 155th and Frederick Douglas Boulevard in Harlem lies Rucker Park. By appearances, the concrete pavement, anchored on one side by its run down slab bleachers, is no different than any other basketball court in the city, but this is the place where nicknames are indelibly branded, and legends are born.
On September 1, 2006, the top 24 high school basketball players in the nation stepped out on this court, that once saw the likes of Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Dr. J to compete in the first annual “Elite 24” all-star game. GUNNIN’ FOR THAT #1 SPOT follows eight of these players as they prepare to showcase their skills at the most legendary playground in the world.
Directed by Adam Yauch (MCA of the Beastie Boys and director of “Awesome; I F***ing Shot That!"), the documentary trails these players on the fast track to the NBA, as they are being groomed to be in the spotlight of a multi-million dollar game. Combining Yauch’s unique directing style with raw hip hop music, GUNNIN’ highlights these soon to be NBA All Stars.
Yauch’s interest in film and photography began while growing up in Brooklyn, NY. He started out with photography in elementary school by setting up a black and white dark room in his home, with some old dark room equipment his cousin was throwing away. By high school he was experimenting with shooting and editing super 8. He made his first film at age 16, which was projected during shows behind his fledgling band, “Beastie Boys.”
Yauch has directed the majority of the band’s videos including “Shadrach” (1989, one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Videos of All Time), “So What’cha Want” (1992), “Intergalactic” (1998, winner of The Billboard Music Award’s best clip in 1998, The European Music Awards Best Video in 1998 and MTV’s Best Hip Hop Video in 1999) and “Ch-Ch-Check it Out” (2004). The Beastie Boys were honored with 1998’s Video Vanguard award, MTV’s highest honor.
He put together the “Beastie Boys Video Anthology” DVD, released by the Criterion Collection, the first of its kind to ever really take advantage of the breadth of the DVD format.
Yauch directed “AWESOME; I FUCKIN’ SHOT THAT!” a documentary feature film of a concert shot by audience members which premiered at Sundance 2006 and was distributed by THINKFilm.