I decided to write my bio in the first person. I say this, having just glanced over my resume, looking for a few clever ways I could make myself sound really important and cooly confident. Couldn’t wrap my head around that int the third person. I know the most impressive thing about me is the risks I’ve taken to tell the truth and possessing an unwavering will that doesn’t show up in the box scores.
I worked at the highest levels of sports television for over a decade, inspired passionate debate and was a polarizing personality. I came into the business as a precocious 23-year-old, spitting piss and vinegar, while throwing poetic haymakers at ESPN’s glass ceiling. Since 2000, I have hit the road–often solo–with cameras in my hand and the love of story and people, in my heart. I have bartered and borrowed–but never stolen–in an effort to make meaningful documentaries. In a culture of quick-time, everything, I have embraced the slow burn of long-term, long-form documentaries. Along with Royce Toni, I directed films– “playing with RAGE” and espn’s 30 for 30, “Run Ricky Run,” both of which took six years finish, from beginning to picture lock.
My film with Justin Bergeron and Tenny Priebe, The United States of Football will be almost four years in the making when it debuts.
I’ve won a few awards but the most telling thing about me is the people I have worked closely with. These collaborators invested their personal funds and worked on spec, or for significantly reduced salaries. They did so because they believe in the essence of the message behind my mission, which is to create positive cultural change. They were drawn to me because they value the effort I put forth and sacrifices made, staying true to the core. You can’t deposit that into an account or strategically place it on the wall or a book-shelf, so everyone can see how awesome you are.
But you get to carry that compliment inside you everywhere you go.
Sean Pamphilon was a hi-end producer, who also wrote, produced and performed ground-breaking sports essays. From 1995-2007 his spoken-word commentaries, rants and slam poetry, appeared on television (ESPN, FOX, NBC, ABC, NBC, USA, CNN, NFL Network, etc.) over 50 times. He’s a bi-polar Leo with a Gemini rising and has given away his Emmy (HBO) and Peabody Awards (ESPN) to family members. His trophy is spending the past 13 years producing and directing fiercely independent documentary films, which don’t curry favor or celebrate sacred cows.
On his best days, he’s pretty badass, if he does say so himself.