Here's how the 'First Match' team turned a modest budget into a polished Netflix Original feature film.
Netflix Original First Match is an engrossing drama, shot in Brooklyn’s notoriously tough Brownsville neighborhood, about a teenage girl called Monique who joins the boys’ wrestling team at her school as a way to try to reconnect with her dad—a former champion wrestler who has recently gotten out of jail. Mo is expertly portrayed by Elvire Emanuelle, who is one of those new actors you see and immediately know that they are going to have a big future.
On this episode, I'm joined by First Match writer and director Olivia Newman, DP Ashley Connor, Editor Tamara Meem, and producers Chanelle Elaine and Bryan Unkeless, who came onto the project with such impressive credits as producer on I, Tonya and co-producer on the three Hunger Games films.
We discuss how the team took their film from a short to a Netflix Original, how they crafted a sports movie inside a personal narrative instead of the other way around, and the strategies they used from pre- to post-production to stretch a limited budget into creating a very polished final product.