How did you find out about the story in Resolved?
I was a high school debater, and I thought the topic was fodder for an interesting documentary. When making a movie, I think you want to find drama and you want to find interesting characters and then hope they are articulate because you're going to be interviewing a lot of them. Debaters fit that bill. What I wasn't really counting on was the drama of Richard and Lewis. And what had never occurred to me was how few people of color participate in the highest levels of debate. It hadn't dawned on me that that might be an issue or might be a story.
How did you find Richard and Lewis?
When I was first researching the idea, we happened to see them debating at the Berkeley tournament. Being the only two African-Americans that I could see at the whole tournament they stuck out. I pinned them down afterwards and asked them a couple of questions and they were just really cool and really engaging. But when we met them they were not great debaters. I think they had a very mediocre record, four and four at the tournament. And I thought, for this film to be successful I've got to find a team that's got a chance at winning the Tournament of Champions. But I liked them, so I kept in touch from LA and made a couple of trips out to their school in Long Beach. And as we kept in touch they began to catch fire. They started to win, and we were just lucky enough to be there and to be filming. It really changed the nature of our story.