The long road that brought the world "Believeland," ESPN's 30 for 30 on Cleveland sports, started with director Kris Belman. He was the fella behind "More Than a Game," the movie that chronicled LeBron's squad at St. Vincent St. Mary. For one reason or another, Belman was moved off the project and Andy Billman, a Cleveland native, was brought on. Billman's version premiered at the Cleveland International Film Festival and was received with mainly positive but also mixed reviews.
What happened to the version Belman was working on? Well, the video below looks to be some of it. Dropped on Vimeo yesterday, "We Are Cleveland" looks like it includes many interviews for what would have been the original incarnation of "Believeland." Along with Tony Rizzo, who's also in the final Billman version, there are interviews with Austin Carr, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, the Black Keys and others. Episodically, it covers much of the same ground as the doc that made air on ESPN. Tonally, it's a little different. It's hard to judge based on a five-minute snippet, but it's at the very least an interesting look into what Belman's version would have looked and sounded like. Plus, it's Cavs game day and you probably can't get enough Cleveland sports videos.
(It does, strangely, end with a fake radio call of a fake Cavs championship. Which is weird, but whatever.)
We Are Cleveland from Snoot Entertainment on Vimeo.