ESPN PodcastsFront & Center

Front & Center: Documentarian Jonathan Hock

“Jake,” directed by Jonathan Hock, debuts on Grantland today as the website continues its “30 for 30”
short film series. Author Alfred Slote is pictured above.

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Jonathan Hock has won eight Emmys and widespread acclaim as one of the premiere sports documentarians of his generation. It would be unfair to ask him what his favorite project has been.

But if you listen to his voice in the above podcast when he discusses the reverence he has for author Alfred Slote, you will get the sneaking suspicion that the short film, Jake, which debuted today on Grantland, is right near the top of his list.

Special illustrations were created for Hock’s film as the book did not include drawings when it was published in 1971.

Through ESPN’s 30 for 30 film series, Hock, 48, has become known for incredible filmmaking and unmatched storytelling. Whether it was with Unguarded or The Best that Never Was or any of Hock’s other riveting documentaries, the Long Island native consistently delivers some of the most compelling content in the genre.

Jake is no exception, even though it is barely 11 minutes in length. It marks the second time Hock has created content for the 30 for 30 shorts series, after his first Hockumentary, Draft Day with Royce White. Hock discussed both projects and more in his ESPN Chat on Wednesday.

Hock is also the creative force behind the on-going All-Access Kentucky series that aired its second episode last night on ESPN.

In this 50-plus minute Front & Center podcast, Hock discusses the unmistakable impact Slote had on his career; his Jake bond with Bill Simmons; the discovery of an old typewriter; his connection to the late Steve Sabol of NFL Films; how John Calipari and Kelly Ripa are alike and much more.

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