During the editing of Way of the Puck I felt a nagging responsibility to be respectful of these players and their personal lives. My friends and associates felt no such compunction. At all. “Who cares what you said?” seemed to be the prevailing opinion. “Now you’re in post and you must make the best film possible. You have a responsibility to your audience to tell an open, engaging story.”
Was that right? Was I not getting to the guts of the story because I was pussyfooting around? Was I in danger of making a subjective, adoring “love letter” that just pitched softballs and probed nothing? Or was I doing all of the cheap things I promised not to do? Was I manipulating footage for easy laughs? Was I artificially pumping up conflict to create drama? Was I focusing on a disproportionate amount of “foolish” and “socially inept” players, or was I focusing on “unique” and “interesting” players and including them because boring, well-adjusted people make for unengaging cinema?
“Way of the Puck lovingly captures the rituals, lore and joy of this nebbishy, throwback American subculture. And it does so because director Eric Anderson resists the temptation to condescend to air hockey’s band of quirky devotees. As a subculture geek myself, respect matters. Praise the table!”
~ Stefan Fatsis, author of Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players; NPR commentator; panelist on Slate.com’s sports podcast “Hang Up and Listen.” Listen to review at 40-minute mark HERE!
Thanks for this gem, Mark!