SHUT OUT Press Release
Wrapped Productions swings for the fences with “SHUT OUT: The Untold Truth About The Negro Baseball Leagues”
The production company bolsters the team while seeking financing to complete the historic documentary film project
LOS ANGELES (10 June 2020): Black Lives Matter, but not when it came to the Negro Baseball Leagues. The 30 Major League Baseball teams are still working through the situation, yet not long ago, players of African descent were SHUT OUT.
Formed 100 years ago, the Negro National League played segregated ball until 1951. With the blessings of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum board of directors, native Kansas City music promoter Larrie Durham and artist/entrepreneur John Rittenour invited music industry veteran Gary Ballen and producer Gregg Champion to tour the hallowed halls of the museum. The four left inspired to tell the untold stories of the amazing athletes and courageous entrepreneurs behind the league. Together, they formed Wrapped Productions to make a documentary film, “SHUT OUT: The Untold Truth About the Negro Baseball Leagues.” The production company presently seeks funding to complete the project and recently enhanced the creative team producing the film in tandem with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
Wrapped Productions has added the muscle of Academy Awards and Emmy Awards winners to the squad in order to complete “SHUT OUT,” which will be narrated by Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. Joining the team to direct is Ed Bell, an award-winning filmmaker and animator who contributed to the black cinema classic “Bébé’s Kids.” Bell’s credits include the Emmy-nominated documentary “Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives” on which he collaborated with Oprah Winfrey, Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Whoopi Goldberg and Angela Bassett. He worked with Goldberg, Will Smith, Dave Chappelle and Samuel Jackson on the award-winning HBO series “Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child.”
Joining the lineup as a producer and film score composer is Pierce Freelon, the co-founder and host of the Emmy-winning PBS web series “Beat Making Lab.” Freelon is the founder of Blackspace, a digital makerspace for Afrofuturists, and Blackacademics, an online community of young black thinkers. The professor and musician front a jazz and hip-hop group.
Four-time Emmy winner Charlie Canfield brings his imaginative animation and design skills to the project. Emmy-winning documentary producer Robert Engelman (“Mister Warmth: The Don Rickles Project”) adds his experience to the team as does Emmy-winning editor and baseball diehard Rick Tuber (“ER”). Seattle Mariners utility player Dee Gordon and former MLB baseball player Juan Pierre are aboard as consultants.
With baseball experience that includes managing the Los Angeles Dodgers (one game) and creating television spots for Major League Baseball and ABC Television, veteran screenwriter
Jill Baer is on the roster equipped with writing credits to more than 200 hours of hit primetime episodic television. She serves as a consultant for Warner Brothers, Disney and Universal Studios and has provided script notes for several major motion pictures, including the 2018 Academy Awards winner for Best Original Screenplay, “Get Out!”
Actor and entrepreneur Dale Godboldo joins having portrayed “Dream Team” attorney Carl Douglas in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy-, Golden Globes-, BAFTA-, Critic’s Choice– and NAACP Image Awards-winning miniseries “The People vs. OJ Simpson – American Crime Story.”
Paralleling baseball’s nine innings, “SHUT OUT” will cover nine historical eras spanning from the abolition of slavery through to when Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947. The storytelling will take viewers on a compelling and educational journey from slave baseball to the on-field accomplishments of legends such as ace pitcher Satchel Paige and home run slugger Josh Gibson. “SHUT OUT” will also spotlight baseball’s innovation spawned from the Negro Leagues including batting helmets, the screwball and baseball under the lights.
“SHUT OUT” will use archival stock footage, interviews, narration and animation to chronicle the systematic oppression in the US, utilizing celebrities and a music-driven narrative to illuminate the athletes, personalities, dramas and challenges throughout each time period. Far more than just a baseball or sports history lesson, once complete, the producers’ goal is for the film to provide black history lessons via annual screenings in schools every Black History Month.
Wrapped Productions has a nonprofit sponsorship relationship with From the Heart Productions in addition to their own 501(c3) nonprofit entity, The Untold Truth LLC, each of which receive tax deductible donations. For more information or to get involved, please visit https://shutoutmovie.com/.
Contact: Gary Ballen 818-262-8333