‘Tiger’ Tackles The Increase, Loss And Renewal Of A Debatable Golf Icon

On Thanksgiving night 2009, the tale of Tiger Woods imploded. He had not been simply the Nike-sponsored pro golf enthusiast that broke racial obstacles as well as major records in the video game; he was additionally currently a tabloid fixture.

That night, Woods wrecked his black Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant outside his Wyndemere, Florida, estate following a reported disagreement with his then-wife, Elin Nordegren. The previous day, the National Enquirer had released a tale concerning Woods’ alleged girlfriend, club person hosting Rachel Uchitel, and also his squeaky-clean reputation inevitably came into question.

From there, tale after story dripped to the press concerning Woods’ numerous events. He spent months in hiding before supposedly checking into a sex dependency clinic and supplying a very carefully constructed apology to the public. Nordegren as well as Woods, who have two youngsters with each other, divorced shortly thereafter.

Every one of these events and also more are documented in HBO Sports as well as Jigsaw Productions’ new two-part series “Tiger,” which airs on HBO as well as HBO Max on Jan. 10 and also 17. The series tracks the professional athlete’s increase, historical downfall and triumphant return at the 2019 Masters Tournament. Utilizing Jeff Benedict and also Armen Keteyian’s very successful book “Tiger Woods” as a guide, supervisors Matthew Heineman (Oscar candidate for “Cartel Land”) and also Matthew Hamachek (Emmy candidate for “Amanda Knox”) information every little thing from Woods’ intense partnership with his father Earl to his injuries, prescription substance abuse as well as subsequent 2017 DRUNK DRIVING arrest.

Although Woods is not associated with the project, the docuseries includes exclusive meetings with his close colleagues, including Woods’ previous caddie as well as close friend Steve Williams, six-time major golf champ Sir Nick Faldo, biographer Pete McDaniel, and also Uchitel, who breaks her silence on their life-altering partnership.

It’s an intimate picture of a man who was bred for success, only to have the high assumptions placed upon him lead to his collapse.

As two white guys, Heineman and Hamachek faced some objection for documenting Woods’ heritage. (Woods is multiracial and also controversially deemed himself “Cablinasian” in 1997 on “The Oprah Winfrey Program” of his White, Black, Indian as well as Eastern heritage.) When news of “Tiger” struck last July, Indian docudrama director and also editor Geeta Gandbhir questioned why only one exec of color, producer Sam Pollard, was included in the project.

I wish to make you familiar with the asks from the Black and brown neighborhood– as you have a substantial platform, and the whole community needs to come to grips with the problem of systemic racism in our area. Why existed not a supervisor reflective of the area on this job? If there were two of you, couldn’t ONE of you have been Black or Asian? Accountability as well as management are needed at this time– you are in a fantastic position to be a positive instance.

Following that comment, participants of the “Tiger” crew– including Pollard, Heineman as well as executive manufacturer Alex Gibney– recognized the absence of variety on the film as well as guaranteed to make required hiring modifications with future tasks.

Heineman told HuffPost, ” There’s a lot of work that requires to be done throughout our sector, on every element, from moneying to festivals to individuals like ourselves assembling teams to help develop higher equity within both our docudrama neighborhood and also show business, as a whole.”

In this meeting with HuffPost, Heineman and Hamachek discuss the conversation bordering “Tiger,” why they wanted to take on the golf symbol’s story as well as what they discovered while diving right into his life and occupation.


Woods? Hamachek: In 2018, Jeff Benedict and also Armen Keteyian released their publication “Tiger Woods,” which was, in lots of ways, the motivation for our doc. Soon after it was revealed that Jigsaw Productions had certified it, I connected and also said, “I’ve been wanting to deep-dive into this story for years.”

Then we started to look for one more supervisor, as well as Matt as well as I have actually interacted sometimes on movies in the past as well as he’s certainly one of the most talented docudrama filmmakers out there, so I was truly delighted to have him come on. That caused sort of 2 or 3 months of study and deep-diving right into every little thing that had ever kind of been discussed him. And then afterwards, we claimed, “How are we mosting likely to be able to inform this?”

We reached out to Tiger as well as his camp, yet they let us understand that he had a formerly existing partnership with one more media company that forbade him from joining anything else. And so after that, it was,” Who were the people in Tiger’s life that recognized him best?” Since a lot of what’s been covered Tiger over the years is this at type of arm’s length recording of people that strolled the golf courses with him and covered his golf prowess.

Matt as well as I truly wanted to get to the bottom of “That is Tiger Woods as well as just how did he get to this location?” We wanted to speak to individuals that have actually remained in the living room with Tiger and also understood him finest in any way these zero hours in his occupation. So we laid out to find those people.

It needed to be challenging to get them to talk to you, even if a few of them, like his previous caddie Steve Williams, no more have connections with him. Just how did you tackle building that depend on?

Matthew Heineman: I think everybody was and is quite fiercely protective of Tiger, also if they’ve been cut from his life. Among the larger sides of gaining individuals’s trust fund was to ensure that we were mosting likely to be reasonable and straightforward in informing the tale. Once again, even people that have actually been screwed over by Tiger wanted to ensure that this had not been just some head job on him. Therefore, amongst several other variables, that was, throughout the board, something that we needed to do to gain the count on of our subjects– to discuss what our objectives were.

Hamachek: In a great deal of means, all of these [meeting subjects] are so protective of Tiger to today because they’ve seen people utilize Tiger to develop this sort of personality that they wanted him to be. Therefore, one of the important things that we really dealt with in making this was to ensure that we locate individuals that knew him best and also speak to them as well as pay attention and recognize who these people saw him as.

Did you guys know, instantly, what you were attempting to accomplish? Or was it even more of the video and the meetings you were getting that made the tale arc clear to you?

Heineman: This is the initial chatting head movie that I’ve ever before done, and also I think the process of discovery is the most amazing part regarding making a movie. We do not enter into a film with a sort of script or a preconceived notion of what we want. We really let our subjects dictate where the tale is gon na go. There was no sort of master plan or agenda that we were attempting to fulfill or essay that we were attempting to compose. We didn’t recognize how much time the film would certainly be, we didn’t understand the number of components it would certainly be. We simply wanted to let the tale dictate what the kind ought to be.

I do not know why Tiger would need to redeem himself to the public whatsoever, and I absolutely do not understand exactly how winning a golf competition would have anything to do with redemption in the
first place. Matthew Hamachek Matt

Hamachek, you’re an editor, so what made you wish to change gears as well as co-direct “Tiger”?

Hamachek: Things that always attracted me concerning Tiger is, in 2009 on Thanksgiving evening, all of us found out that, despite being just one of one of the most well-known individuals worldwide, we knew nearly next to nothing about him. And when you start to speak to all these people that understood him best, among things that they always point to is exactly how, throughout his entire life, [he dealt with numerous pressures] Whether it was his papa, Earl, that, at the beginning of our film at this reception in 1996, discusses exactly how Tiger is going to unite the various races and tribes of humanity. Nike took that message as well as vision and also kind of ran with it in the method that they provided Tiger to the globe. And after that after that, the rest of the media and also the public at huge forecasted all these assumptions and identifications onto Tiger. It was remarkable to learn more about that.

As well as back to your initial inquiry, I was actually lucky to have someone like Matt that I have actually dealt with previously, yet also Sam Pollard, one of our executive manufacturers, is a former editor who took the jump to come to be a supervisor. To have Sam aboard as someone I might speak to and also depend on to assist me make this change was really terrific.

You point out Sam Pollard, who was the only Black exec on the task. I would not be doing my task if I didn’t bring up the argument that sparked when this job was introduced concerning the lack of diversity in the manufacturing group. What have you assessed while dealing with the significance of including various voices and viewpoints in narration, specifically when it includes a person of shade?

Hamachek: Look, we take a great deal of treatment in how we inform these stories, but Matt as well as I both really feel as if we can have done so a lot more to expand the team than we did. As well as it’s something we’re definitely mosting likely to be focusing on as we move forward. Yet again, I feel truly privileged that we had Sam on due to the fact that he really assisted me make the transition [ from editor to director] Additionally provided us a much-needed perspective.

Matt Heineman, I recognize you released a declaration on this, however the previous few years have definitely brought up the idea of filmmakers working within their “bubbles” as well as choosing to work together with people they’ve collaborated with previously. Did this conversation make you consider opening up your circle to get different point of views in your stories?

Heineman: For sure. I more than happy that discussion took place around our film this summer season. There’s a lot of work that requires to be done across our market, on every aspect, from funding to events to individuals like ourselves putting together groups to assist produce better equity within both our documentary area as well as show business, in general. I really hope that [the discussion around “Tiger”] can result in, as well as I think it has in some ways brought about, some actually crucial conversations beyond our movie.

Hamachek: The process of making a documentary is actually paying attention to your subjects and also discovering the ideal people that, in this situation, knew Tiger well. As well as if you speak with Pete McDaniel, who was an Earl Woods biographer and an actually friend of the household, there’s no question that, from his point of view, race played an actually vital role in Tiger’s life. I assume what Pete says is a lot of this goes back to the method the general public communicates with Tiger. [Addressing] race was one of the lots of expectations that individuals put on him.

Tiger Woods with his parents Kultida and Earl Woods at the Johnnie Walker Classic at Blue Canyon Golf Club, Thailand, on&nbsp


his parents Kultida and also Earl Woods at the Johnnie Pedestrian Standard at Blue Canyon Golf Club, Thailand, on Jan. 25, 1998. I matured watching Tiger play, however I didn’t know much about his dad’s influence on him as well as the stress to play golf from a young age. I imply, he was 2 years of ages when he appeared on “The Mike Douglas Show.” It’s eye-opening to see the sort of pressures he was placed under from the beginning, and after that what being thrown into the extremely white globe of golf needed to add to it.

Heineman: I knew almost nothing concerning Tiger entering into making this show. I recognized, obviously, Earl was a big, formative part of his life, however never did I know the extent to which that was the case. That outsized duty that Earl played in his life as well as in shaping Tiger, obviously together with his mother, Tida, was truly remarkable to unbox with all our pertinent topics that we recorded with.

Yeah, you have one of his instructors, his initial sweetheart, participants of the media– you type of hit on every component of his life. I make certain that was a strategy going in, to obtain a sense of Tiger at every phase?

Heineman: Yeah. On the flip side of that, I do not assume we felt a commitment to have this be the encyclopedia entry with every type of duration and comma. This is not a cradle to grave, or not a cradle to the golf cart, tale. This is an effort to really recognize this guy. Therefore we were very targeted in our strategy to doing so.

After that, naturally, you take on the public’s obsession with celebrity, where we cheer them on, we construct them up and then we type of kick back and also wait on them to fall. Was that interesting to examine? These “idols” are human beings like everybody else and also they’re going to make blunders.

Hamachek: In a great deal of ways, the initial component of our movie has to do with every one of these identities being propelled onto Tiger and the second part is about Tiger searching for a life that was his. The interesting point is, in 2009, when he basically disclosed himself to be a human being and not what they had created him to be in their mind, all those people that developed him up caught him and also appeared to take this wonderful kind of joy in his failure. After that when he began to make his resurgence in 2018, just the same people that were overdoing during the downfall started to cheer him on and talk about just how this was a story of redemption, which constantly puzzled me. I don’t know why Tiger would certainly have to redeem himself to the public in all, and also I definitely do not know how winning a golf tournament would have anything to do with redemption in the first place.

What the people who recognized him ideal indicate in the period of 2018 onward– and also what we tried to place in the film– was Tiger type of located the delight in playing the video game again and began interacting with the people he played with and also engaging with fans. However there’s this interesting cycle of the media and also the public where everyone’s type of developing him up and also tearing him down and after that jumping right back on the bandwagon of building him up once again. I assume that’s a fascinating component of the tale.

You cover Tiger’s sex detraction that led to the collapse of his profession. How did you deal with approaching it in a fresh way, since it was greatly documented in the media at the time?

Heineman: There’s surely been enough of the detraction and never did we feel we intended to study it. We had no interest in making any type of kind of a salacious exposé of the lurid information of his sex rumor. We wanted to attempt to comprehend, a minimum of, what led him to that factor? What was he seeking? What was he hoping for?

Clearly, among the larger meetings we obtained was Rachel Uchitel, and that interview could have gone in a lot of different ways. For us, it was actually an assessment of “What was Tiger like at that time? Who was he? What was he like inside of that bedroom, not sexually, yet what was taking place in his mind? What was he intending to connect with?” And also as she states in the doc, he called [their meetups] “plugging in.” It was a means for him to talk in a manner that he had not been able to chat in various other elements of his life. They texted regularly; they had a pretty deep relationship which was honestly one of the more fascinating points to me. For a great deal of these ladies, it wasn’t just sex. They saw it as a sort of deep psychological link to this man. As well as it had not been just one person, there’s numerous people. So his capacity to sort of compartmentalize and also lead numerous lives, as Armen Keteyian states in the doc, was fairly astonishing throughout this duration.

What are you really hoping people eliminate from the movie? I found it to be a considerate picture of a man who was really developed to be something: the best golfer on the planet, leading him to do not have basic coping abilities.

Hamachek: I think Tiger’s usually been repainted in really wide brushstrokes. A lot of individuals have actually attempted to take away very simple responses for him. I hope that what we have actually had the ability to perform in making this is reveal the complexity of who he is in the way that individuals that understood him ideal saw him– as an actually complicated person who has had a great deal of expectations as well as points forecasted onto him.

Heineman: In one sentence, we really hope that this program is not just for Tiger Woods fans. We wish it interest the typical person that has an interest in docs, who’s interested in human nature, that’s interested in what is the rate of success? You do not require to appreciate golf or understand anything concerning golf to be curious about this tale. Ideally.

” Tiger” broadcasts Jan. 10 and Jan. 17 on HBO as well as HBO Max. This interview has actually been modified and also condensed for clarity.