SO WHAT'S UP? by chad walker

Hey, everyone.  How’s your summer?  Good?  Great. We’ve been busy here at Copper Pot and we figured this was as good a time as any to give you an update on all of our projects.


I AM BIG BIRD is chugging along at a breakneck pace.  It’s crazy to think that at some point in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be done.  By the end of the month (wait, that’s in 6 days?), we should have a whole first pass of the movie done.  Then, we’ll spend a few weeks tweaking it and making it extra pretty, then we’ll take it up to show Caroll and Debra Spinney to see what they think of it.  Poor Chad has been editing into the wee hours of the night to get this bad boy up on reels (that’s what we say in the biz) and he’s been killing it.  We’re really excited to get to a point where we can stop telling you about it and start showing it to you!  The final movie will probably be about 85-90 minutes long and we’ve got about 60 minutes or so up.  40 of those 60 minutes have already been sent to Josh Johnson, our LA-based composer who is writing us a beautiful score.  Josh did the music for the trailer, so you have an idea what he can do!

In our last visit, Carroll Spinney reviewed YouTube fan tributes

In our last visit, Carroll Spinney reviewed YouTube fan tributes


WE MUST GO, our doc about the Egyptian national team, has been a fascinating project.  As you may know, we traveled to Zimbabwe and Mozambique with the team in June for two and a half weeks of intense shooting.  Just yesterday, we were able to catch up with head coach Bob Bradley in New York City, where he was preparing for his appearance tonight on THE DAILY SHOW.  Per usual, it was an epic interview.  Bob has been very open and honest about everything going on in Egypt and with the team.  To hear his take on the most recent events in the country was compelling to say the least.  We are now planning our return to Egypt in September to capture the last qualifier in this round.  While we’re there, we’ll catch up with Bob, the coaching staff and the rest of our Cairo-based subjects.

Director Chad Walker on the streets of NYC with Egyptian soccer coach Bob Bradley

Director Chad Walker on the streets of NYC with Egyptian soccer coach Bob Bradley


We have to keep the lights on, right?  To do that, we’ve been taking on a number of freelance clients.  One of the more fun jobs we had was shooting a “Making of” a Special K commercial.  Created by ad agency Leo Burnett and the stop-motion animation wizards at Hornet Inc., this commercial was a blast to film.  Check out our contribution below:

Special K – The Box (Making Of) from Hornet Inc on Vimeo.

And finally, in the last few months, we’ve updated our reel with some of our favorite shots from our work.  Check it out below.  If you’ve got a project that you think we’re right for, we’d love to hear from you.


We’ve been embedded with the Egyptian national team for the last week and a half as we continue to shoot WE MUST GO, our documentary about the team’s efforts to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.  We already have tons of great moments from the match in Zimbabwe, but traveling with the team has given us some unique perspective on the team and Bob Bradley, its American manager.  We thought it’d be a good time to share our top five non-football Bob Bradley moments.

  1. Walking Off the Pitch in Zimbabwe: After Egypt thumped Zimbabwe 4-2 in Harare, the victorious Pharaohs left the pitch to a very respectful ovation.  Bradley hung back and was instantly clung to by one of the young ball boys.  Bradley threw his arm around the kid and walked with him the whole way into the tunnel.  Despite fans calling for him, Bradley never took his attention off the kid, who, apparently, was asking Bradley to get him Mohamed Aboutreika’s shinguard (which Bradley did).
  2. A Treika Embrace: A lot has been written about the relationship of Bob Bradley and Mohamed Aboutreika (the best of which is THIS PIECE by Wayne Drehs).  We’ve witnessed this first hand during trainings, but when Bradley finally made his way into the tunnel after the Zimbabwe win, he was greeted by Aboutreika, who had waited to embrace his manager.  “Treika” gave Bradley a huge hug that perfectly encapsulated the joy the two felt after taking another giant step towards achieving their shared dream.
  3. A Chivalrous Display: The direct flight from Harare, Zimbabwe to Maputo, Mozambique uses a plane worthy of an Indiana Jones montage.  Between the team and their support staff, there weren’t a lot of seats available for the general public.  As the Pharaohs descended towards the plane and rushed up the stairs, Bob not only stopped them to allow a woman to board first, he offered to help her with her bags.  When she politely declined, he offered again, then watched to make sure she didn’t need a hand.  All class.
  4. Bob Bradley, the Polish Coach: Upon landing in Maputo, one of the passengers on the plane saw Bob and started talking with him, saying that he knew his story.  He then said, “You are from Poland, yes?” Bob chuckled and said, “No, not Poland, the US.”  We’re not sure if it’s a sign of respect that an American coach was mistaken for a European one, but it was awesome either way.
  5. Treadmill Motivation: Staying in the team hotel has it perks; one of those is that the often small gyms are populated by the national team and regular guests, including ourselves.  When I fired up the treadmill on the first full day we were here, the gym was empty.  Then the team started filtering in, including Bob who shouted some motivation to me.  It was the closest I’ll ever get to playing for him (unless, of course, his next stint is as coach of aMetrosoccer NY co-ed team–we could use some direction).

More to come from Mozambique!


If you followed us throughout the month of June, you no doubt know that we were traveling through Zimbabwe and Mozambique with the Egyptian national soccer team as part of WE MUST GO, our documentary chronicling the squad’s efforts to reach the 2014 World Cup.  If you’re a football fan, you were psyched.  If you’re a Sesame Street fan or one of our Kickstarter backers, you were probably thinking, “What the hell is happening with I AM BIG BIRD whilst you traipse around southern Africa?!”  Fair question—and one we’re glad to answer in this post!

Knowing full well that WE MUST GO would take us away from Big Bird for a few weeks in June, we planned ahead.  We worked with Josh Johnson, our LA-based composer who has scored every Copper Pot project to date, to make a schedule that would allow him to get working on the music while we were shooting.  Before we left, we sent Josh Act I of I AM BIG BIRD, which is roughly the first 20 minutes of the film (which we think will come in around 85 minutes).

While we were away, Josh sent us clips to review.  During a very long day in which we sat in customs in Harare, Zimbabwe for 6 hours, we were able to go through a bunch of material he sent and send him notes back.  In other words, I AM BIG BIRD didn’t miss a beat.  Not only has Josh scored the entire first act, but we’ve been able to share our thoughts with him AND he’s already gotten us revisions.  It’s sounding GREAT!

Upon returning to the States, we jumped right back into Big Bird—this week alone we cut four scenes (and this is a holiday week!).  Though these scenes aren’t locked, they give a good indication of what the movie is going to be.  When we feel a scene is close, we send it off to Josh, who is writing music as we go.  It’s an exciting process that is moving along nicely (I literally just knocked on the wood desk I’m working at—superstitious much?)  Once we finish a first rough pass of the movie, we’ll go back in and fine tune things and we plan to be ready to start submitting to festivals by late summer/early fall.

All of this is meant to say that I AM BIG BIRD is on track and, with any luck, you’ll be able to see it in a theater near you in the not-to-distant future!