Part The Second, in which our hero Danny Kinda plyo-jumps over college, taking his talents straight to the National Team.
Danny Kinda received a lot of interest in his recruiting video and even took a tour of the UCLA campus to meet with legendary volleyball coach, Al Scates. But Danny didn’t think college was enough of a challenge so he
broke in visited a National Team practice in Anaheim, California. Although the players had some raw talent, there was a lot they still had to learn about the game. So, in order to win a gold medal in the coming Olympics, Danny Kinda took on a player/coach role, teaching Team USA some volleyball basics…
Sorry, got caught up in the story again. Sometimes, it feels like Danny Kinda is writing this. This blog series is supposed to explain what really happened, so here we go.
Our first Danny Kind video blew up and was shared throughout the volleyball community. My good friend Nils Nielsen was playing with the Men’s National Team at the time and said some of his teammates thought it was hilarious. The team was preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics the following year and were doing their own funny promotional video. When Nils mentioned having us come into the gym to shoot a Danny Kinda sequel, the wheels started turning.
But this wasn’t our first sequel attempt. Shortly after filming the first video we tried a beach volleyball spoof called Volley Guard. In it, an overly strict guy monitors the beach for poor form and illegal touches. There were some funny moments but Dan Madden had a problem with the lead role. It starred me instead of him.
This eventually led to us chucking the video, though it left us with jokes we’d use in future videos. It also left me without sideburns.
I started writing a script for DK meets Team USA, throwing in even more crazy volleyball terminology. We’d done almost an identical “gator” scene for Volley Guard, so knew that was going to be funny. But we had no idea “Spiketown” would take off like it did. Years later, I was coaching at a club tournament and saw “Spiketown” on a team’s jersey. A quick google search reveals there are a number of Spiketown volleyball clubs.
Like any Hollywood sequel, we recycled a lot of moments from the first video. But how could we resist having Ryan Millar do tuck-jumps?
The story takes place after the recruiting video has gone viral. I had a club tournament so AJ and Dan went to UCLA without me to film Danny talking to a disinterested Al Scates. But Scates didn’t understand what we were doing so he bowed out. They used Brian Rofer instead. But after they finished shooting the scene, Scates wanted to be in it after all so they got a quick clip of him fleeing to his car. Months later, we’d see Al Scates at the AVCA convention where our videos were playing in a booth and he was thrilled with his small cameo.
We only had a short time with the National Team guys so we had to film a lot of stuff on side courts with just Dan. Later we’d cut Lloy Ball or whoever in for reaction shots. We almost cut the Clay Stanley “show the snap” scene because we thought it was the least funny bit. But I argued it in, as it only takes up like 15 seconds. We once had someone say “show the snap” was their favorite part. So, you never know.
Nils is in the coach-on-one scene where Danny takes over and shows him how to do it right. Having Dan talk through it is even funnier than just seeing him dive around in the first video, especially as it gets harder. My favorite parts of KindaGood videos are when they satire actual coaching philosophies. Getting the ball at the lowest part is one I’ve heard coaches say but like everything Danny Kinda does, it’s silly when taken to the extreme.
A couple details some people miss:
-Reid Priddy absolutely annihilates the ball in hitting lines. If you look carefully you can see it disappear from the screen because it bounces over the black tarp background!
-Danny asks Reid about the secret to passing and Reid recites Danny’s keys from the first video. “Discipline, Determination, and Desire.”
-During Danny’s hitting line display, there is tape on the ground marking the 11ft line.
-The audio on Alfie’s part was too soft so, in true Dan fashion, he recorded the voice for both parts.
Not only would this video turn out to be even bigger than the first, it would also tell the future. Danny Kinda says, “How are we supposed to beat Brazil on a high net,” before “Gold Medal!” Using what they’d learned from Danny Kinda, the team would go on to beat Brazil in the Olympic finals the next year.
Danny Kinda is still waiting for his medal.
To be continued…