ESPN Films has announced the return this fall of the Emmy-nominated documentary series 30 for 30, and is also expanding the brand to include a 30-part digital short film series. 30 for 30 Shorts will be a collaboration with Bill Simmons' Grantland.com and will be similar to the feature-length films in that each piece will represent a specific point of view of the filmmaker and will be a reflection of how they blend the narrative with their own visual style.
"Creating this shorts series with Grantland gives ESPN Films a chance to expand the subjects we can explore while also offering more flexibility to filmmakers who may want to tackle subjects that are told better in this form," said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films.
The 30 for 30 Shorts will premiere monthly on Grantland.com and each short will be complemented by a written feature and additional material to provide context. The first short, Arnold's Blueprint, will premiere today, September 26.
"We thought these short films were a logical extension in 30 for 30's evolution and Grantland's evolution, too," said Simmons, "We want Grantland to be a multi-media site and breaking into visual storytelling is a big part of that. With the advances in streaming video and mobile devices, this is the perfect time creatively to do something like this."
Arnold's Blueprint focuses on Arnold Schwarzenegger's teenage years in the Austrian Army and is directed by Michael and Jeff Zimbalist, who previously directed the highly-acclaimed 30 for 30 film The Two Escobars. This 10-minute film focuses on the years before he was the "Universe's Perfect Specimen," when a young Schwarzenegger seized upon an opportunity to use the sport of bodybuilding to catapult himself to international stardom. The short documentary will show how the young Austrian farm boy's mandatory military service played a critical role in his journey to international fame.
Additional 30 for 30 Shorts film topics will include: