Directors of Dunk

[pullquote-left]Siblings grow viewership for trick-shot vids[/pullquote-left]Armstrong Simms is getting accustomed to the attention.

“My brother the other day was getting his hair cut and this guy came up to him and said, ‘Hey, I know you, you’re from BasketBros,’” said the Highland Park High School junior.

With hundreds of views on their trick-shot videos, Simms and his three brothers hope to make a name for themselves online through their YouTube channel.

For Simms, BasketBros brings together two passions: basketball and filmmaking. (Photo: Tanner Garza)
For Simms, BasketBros brings together two passions: basketball and filmmaking. (Photo: Tanner Garza)

“Our family loves sports, loves to play sports, watch sports, so we would always play around in the backyard and so I figured I’d just record these trick shots,” Simms said.

But Simms has another passion — filmmaking. With a camera in hand since he was 8 years old, the Highland Park native has made it his mission to learn as much as possible. In his mind, practice makes perfect.

“I want to do this. I make sure to shoot at least one video every week, even if it’s just of my brothers doing random stuff, edited together in a cool way,” he said.

He has two YouTube channels — one for the golf, Frisbee, and basketball trick shots and the other for more creative work. Simms takes inspiration from his favorite movies and tries to emulate certain techniques by recreating interesting scenes.

“Armstrong is a bright spot in my class; he has a very creative mind,” said Manuel Vasquez, advanced broadcast journalism teacher at HPHS. “It’s very interesting to see a young person who already knows what they want to do 10, 20 years from now. He knows and it shows. He wants to be a director.”

Simms writes scripts, uses his friends as actors, and edits the footage together nearly every week, whether or not for class. From videos of his youngest brother Boone hitting golf balls down the stairs to one-shot music videos in parking garages, Simms uses all of his resources, and the school’s equipment, to push himself.

Getting the Simms brothers and friends in order, when the trick shots take at least five but sometimes 30 tries, isn’t always easy.

“Sometimes my mom has to make my brothers help me with projects and they’re very uncooperative, but we take breaks and that’s what I’ll be dealing with later. I think it’s good practice,” he said.

Now on their seventh edition of BasketBros heading into summer, Simms and his brothers will have even more time to shoot hoops and putt through the house.

“My parents are super supportive through it all,” Simms said. “We haven’t wrecked anything yet, but I don’t know many moms who would be so OK with us playing like this in the house.”

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