Dishin & Swishin 7/18/13 Podcast: Directors Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters on their ESPN “30 for 30” film, “Pat XO”

Pat Summitt and Tyler Summitt with "Pat XO" directors Lisa Lax, left, and Nancy Stern Winters, right. Photo: espnW.
Pat Summitt and Tyler Summitt with “Pat XO” directors Lisa Lax, left, and Nancy Stern Winters, right. Photo: espnW.

Simply put, without Title IX, there would be no Dishin & Swishin.

The legislation that changed the sports landscape enabled the growth of women’s basketball and consequently a fan base that loves the game, including everyone associated with Hoopfeed and the podcast.

When ESPN decided to included Title IX in their “30 for 30” film series, it was only appropriate that legendary broadcaster and media representative Robin Roberts be on board in production. One of the most courageous people in the media, Roberts included a film on one of the most courageous people in sports, Pat Summitt. To fulfill this labor of love, Roberts approached twin sisters Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern Winters, who in 2002 formed Lookalike Productions, and worked on various sports related productions.

Lax supervised the production of more than 500 feature stories on the world’s best Olympians as head of NBC’s Olympic profiles unit. Stern Winters was the first woman to produce the Tour de France and worked on the classic “Wide World of Sports” for ABC. They were also familiar with the 30 for 30 films, having previously done “Unmatched,” a documentary film on the rivalry and remarkable friendship between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.

Even with that type of background, when approached by Roberts to do a film on Summitt, Lax and Stern Winters were a bit uncomfortable. After all, Summitt’s story had been told many times, by many people, from many angles. What could they do differently?

What they did was capture an image of Summitt that shows the different facets of a complex woman, through the eyes of the people who she has touched throughout their lives. It is a moving portrayal of the coach and administrator, the mother and mother figure, the friend and trailblazer.

In today’s Dishin & Swishin podcast Lax and Stern Winters discuss their inspiration for making the film Pat XO, the contributions of Tyler Summitt, the former players Summitt impacted and more. If you have seen the film, many disposable video cameras were used, sent to various participants to film and record their thoughts. The sisters discuss the use of this innovative technique and why it was so successful. It took two years to put Pat XO together, and the connection between director and subject is clear and evident in the final product.

It was a personal project for the duo, one that had roots in their past.

“As women who watched our grandma Goldie lose herself to this terrible disease, we understand — no matter what memories are taken — there’s always a way to connect,” they stated in an ESPN press release. “We are thrilled to have found our own way to tell the story of a woman whose life so deeply touches our own.”

Today’s Dishin & Swishin looks at Pat XO, and the people who made it such an amazing and inspirational film.

Enjoy the podcast!

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