BIG SHOTDirected by Kevin ConnollyA tale of a dream that became a lie, and how a scam of such epic proportions plagued an iconic NHL franchise and almost went undetected. Film Summary In 1996, the once-dominant New York Islanders were in serious trouble. Lousy performance and poor management were driving away the hockey franchise’s loyal fan base. Then along came a Dallas businessman named John Spano, who swooped in and what’s the opposite of businessman to buy the team for 165 million dollars.
Director’s Take John Spano’s story is without a doubt one of the most notorious cons in sports history. It sent a shock wave through the NHL, blindsiding some of the wealthiest and most powerful businessmen in the country, and it forced them to change their decrees while evaluating prospective owners. Various other companies and business partners found themselves caught in his web of lies, not to mention his family. As a kid growing up on Long Island, I lived and breathed for our hockey games.
I watched my team shatter records, winning 19 straight playoff series and four consecutive Stanley cups. It was a dynasty, and as a young kid I had a front row seat. Even during the dark ages, before Spano, I never missed a game. My personal connection was the driving force behind wanting to tell this story, but as the filmmaking process began I had to step away and look at it objectively to decide exactly what story I was going to tell and how I was going to tell it.
American Dream — and his American Dream, which I believe most men share, was to own a professional sports team. A friend of mine sent me an article from the L. Times comparing John Spano to Jay Gatsby. Although each had a different dream, both lived in excess and craved notoriety, both worked outside of the system to achieve their status, both were mysterious characters, and of course both stories take place on Long Island. Kevin Connolly Kevin Connolly, filmmaker and actor, has starred on the HBO hit series “Entourage,” as “E,” the best friend and manager to a young actor whose film career is in its heady first stages.
He also directed the series’ penultimate episode. Connolly has appeared in Disney’s “Secretariat,” opposite Diane Lane and John Malkovich, “He’s Just Not That Into You” opposite Jennifer Connelly, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston, Ginnifer Goodwin, Justin Long and Bradley Cooper. In addition to his acting accomplishments, Connolly is also a gifted director who has worked on a variety of projects including music videos, commercials and television episodes. In 2007, Connolly directed the indie feature “Gardener of Eden,” a dark comedy centering on alienated youth in suburban New Jersey. Connolly will soon direct the coming of age tale of two young girls canvassing “Dear Eleanor.