Taylor Sharp of Blue Cup Productions sat down with Aarian Forman of The General to discuss directing and producing the G League docuseries and how The General continues to evolve through unique partnerships.

What’s it like filming for the NBA, you ask? We’re here to give you the answers with this exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with Taylor Sharp, founder of Blue Cup Productions and director and producer of “The Break, presented by The General,” to discuss all things G League — from filming the docuseries, sharing unique stories of working with up-and-coming basketball players and stars of the past, such as Norris Cole and Shaquille O’Neal, and more. Check out the conversation below and be sure to give all of the previous episodes of “The Break presented by The General” a watch here.

Taylor Sharp of Blue Cup Productions interviewing Norris Cole, Point Guard of the Grand Rapids Gold

Aarian Forman: Let’s talk a little bit about how this partnership came to be. Tell us, how was it presented to you? How did you get connected with the G League and The General?

Taylor Sharp: Well, of course, I’m just on the filmmaking side of things, so the credit for the partnership with The General goes to the partnership teams at the NBA G League, for establishing the relationship and working the docuseries in a central way. I think it was a really cool path that we were on because we had a relationship with the G League, and had some ideas about this type of series; but it wasn’t until The General came on board that “The Break” was born. For us, I think it was just realizing that there’s an abundance of stories in the G League that we wanted to tell, and we had some creative ideas about how to do it that the G League shared. So there was kind of a good synergy there, and fortunately, a great partner like The General who came on to help make it possible.

Aarian Forman: To be honest, I was really excited when you first pitched it to us, the idea of “The Break,” and I think what was so exciting about it for me was the opportunity to uncover so many hidden stories. At The General, I think that’s at the heart of who we are. We have so many people who are so amazing that just need the chance to get the exposure and the resources that they need to take off, and so, with “The Break”, what’s been the moment so far that you’ve been like, “yo, we’re really doing this?”

Taylor Sharp: There have been a lot of them honestly. I mean from the beginning, when we were waiting to see who might be the central characters and players who we follow, you know there’s so many exciting players in the G League. Then three of the most exciting in our eyes were the players we ended up working with. So that was great even before we started rolling cameras. I was like “Wow! We’ve got some great stories that we get to follow.”

Aarian Forman: Now, you know I work at The General, so everybody always asks me, “have you got to meet Shaq?” A lot of the team doesn’t get to, but I’m fortunate enough to have worked with Shaquille from time to time. How was the experience when you got to work with Shaq on this project?

Taylor Sharp: Well, you know, Shaq is Shaq… everyone loves him. And he’s a pro, for good reason, he’s so good at this. So, I knew he was gonna be good at narrating, right? This is nothing new to him. But I was really curious to see how he reacted to the story, how involved he kind of got creatively and emotionally, and what we had for him. He’s been a fan of Mac for a long time. When we were doing the reads for the Mac episode, he was talking about, “Oh, man, I can’t wait until this kid gets a shot.” So it was fun, Shaq is rooting on Mac just like we are. He’s seeing these exact games just like we are.

Aarian Forman: While filming, how does the possibility of Mac or Scoot getting called up influence the entire production? Like, you may be filming a G League player one day, and the next day you’re filming an NBA player. Talk to us about how that influences things, and if you are excited about it?

Taylor Sharp: Yeah, I mean, that’s what I love about documentary filmmaking and this style of storytelling. You can have an idea about where the story is going, but it’s still unfolding right there in front of you. So you have to be there to capture it the best way possible, and to stay malleable to what happened. So I think, on the story side, to answer your question, the fact that we’re tracking real time narratives of top G League players who could achieve their goals on camera in front of us for all to see is tremendous. What a gift it is to be able to be embedded into their seasons with realistic possibilities of them catching their break during the series.

Taylor Sharp (continued):  Scoot, of course, is proving himself each night to solidify himself as one of the top picks in the NBA draft this June. And then, Norris, you know, fighting to get back to the NBA, where he started and where he was a champion, and Mac is trying to get another opportunity on an NBA team to show that he belongs. So that’s what the G League is all about – making it to the NBA and developing your entire professional skill set at any age. So it’s great that all 3 players share these goals. You have such different paths of arriving there. And then on the production side of things, yeah, it might make it tricky. But that would be a good problem to have, right? You never know when Mac or Norris could get a 10-day contract and get called up to an NBA team, and that would just be on the, you know, on a flip of a switch. We’d have to, maybe get there, but that would be a great thing to do.

Aarian Forman: Taylor, to be honest, I think that the G League is the NBA’s not-so-hidden treasure. You know, it’s the league where they’re actually doing the development, not just on the court, but off the court. I think it just shows that there is a well-rounded approach to making some really great contributions to the clubs and the teams at the highest level. So, I’ve gotta ask you, what has been your favorite moment, or your craziest moment filming “The Break presented by The General?”

Taylor Sharp: You know, you mentioned something about how everyone involved in this series is kind of doing their scribe work to document these moments of history and in the basketball world, and in the NBA, and in the G League. We really kicked it off in such a huge way, watching Scoot and Victor. There is like this huge David and Goliath storyline, due to their size, but they are truly going to be two greats for so many years to come, and could both be in the NBA. I think the fact that it ties back to the G League and episode one of this docuseries, what we’re doing really felt massive even in the moment, and I just felt like, wow!

Aarian Forman: It was great talking to you today, we got some more work to do. Make sure you visit the G League’s Youtube Channel to check out all the episodes of “The Break presented by The General” which were produced and directed by this man right here, Taylor, from Blue Cup Productions.

Episode 4 of “The Break, presented by The General,” drops Tuesday, January 31 at 11 AM ET. Past and future episodes of the eight-part docuseries can be found on the G League’s YouTube channel.

The full conversation can be viewed below: