Filmmaker Michael Hamilton Gives Sneak Peek Of Michael Bisping Documentary
Renowned documentary filmmaker Michael Hamilton has turned his focus to picture one of the stars in the field of MMA — Michael Bisping.
In February, the trailer of Bisping: The Michael Bisping Story was released that gave an overview of what this documentary was all about. Hamilton revealed all the distress Bisping had to endure to make his way into the league of the top mixed martial artists.
In an interview with Digital Trends, Hamilton revealed what attracted him to cover Bisping’s story, and how difficult was to make him open about some of his life’s traumas that he was reluctant to share before.
“I’ve never done a story on a fighter before and was always kind of intrigued with that [UFC] space. I just think those guys are a different breed as people will tell in the Bisping film,” Hamilton said.
“We met [Bisping] in Hollywood, and we sat down for like two and a half hours just talking about stories. And I really got an understanding of who he was. But more [importantly], his personality is infectious … and that that really drew me in when I left that meeting. I said to the producer immediately [afterward], ‘I’m the guy for this project. I want to do this.’ And the rest is history.”
Previously, Hamilton chronicled NHL superstars Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Eric Staal, receiving immense appreciation for imaging their bumpy ride to the world’s biggest stage. But he never had portrayed any professional fighter’s journey before.
The documentary not only features Bisping’s close friends and allies but also his bitter rivals, the notable one being Luke Rockhold.
Rockhold and Bisping have had a fair bit of history both on and off the octagon. Hamilton had his work cut out as he needed to bring Rockhold on the same team to keep the audience interested.
“I always wanted to give Luke Rockhold a voice because he was kind of the [doc’s] villain,” Hamilton added.
“He’s Bisping’s nemesis and…I really wanted to understand where he was coming from. Is this guy misunderstood? Is he really an a–hole? I really wanted to figure out who this guy was. And I always thought talking with the producers that it was going to be tough to get him because I knew they didn’t like each other.
“Fast forward, we were doing some stuff with Perillo at Perillo’s Gym in L.A. and ironically, Luke was training in there, and Perillo went over to him and asked him [if he would appear in the documentary] and he said, ‘Yes.’ So we pivoted and we found a location [to film him in]. We … got it done [quickly] because I think we had one [filming] opportunity with this guy,” Hamilton added.
Hamilton had to be very conscious while inquiring about Bisping’s struggle as a child and the hostile neighbor that he was always surrounded with. He also revealed that there were moments early in the film where Bisping sort of shuts down about his childhood, but positive encouragement helped to disclose the further details.
“We were talking about growing up and his childhood and there were some issues [in his youth]. If a moment like that comes up, I just let it breathe. I don’t say another word. I let them own the space,” Hamilton said.
“If it’s a silent room, it’s uncomfortable for everybody, but it’s more uncomfortable for the person that’s [being] interviewed. And I want to actually challenge them to dig deep and really dive into their feelings and their emotions at that particular time.”