Photo credit: Scott Yamano / Netflix

Home Team, Netflix’s new family-friendly football comedy starring Kevin James, has a Newport County connection. Actually, it’s eight connections: The Kinnane Brothers, a production company comprised of eight brothers from Little Compton.

The Kinnane Brothers (Left to Right) Brendan (Music Supervisor/Writer), Charles (Director),  Pete (Editor), Wil (Producer), John (Writer/VFX), Daniel (Director/Cinematographer), Pat (Writer), Jeffrey Azize (Producer/Writer, brother-in-law).

The movie, which premiered on January 28th and made it to the top of Netflix’s Top 10 list over the weekend, is the Kinnane Brothers’ first feature length film, though they’ve been filming home movies together since they were kids.
In 2020, they began collaborating with Kevin James, while quarantined, to create the Sound Guy shorts on his YouTube channel.  Following the success of the series, they teamed up with Netflix and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions to shoot Home Team, a story inspired by true events that happened to New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton in 2012.

We had a chance to catch up with Daniel Kinnane about the success of Home Team and learn more about how the project came to life. Read on for the full interview.

Home Team hit #1 on Netflix last weekend! How did that feel? 

It’s surreal and honestly a little hard to wrap our heads around it. I don’t think it’s quite hit us yet. But we’re extremely thankful it’s doing so well, for the love and support we’ve received from our family and friends, and for Happy Madison and Netflix giving us the chance to direct our first film!

What was your favorite part about working on the film? What was the hardest aspect about working on the film?

Despite it raining almost every day and all the lighting delays, everything about making this movie was seriously a dream come true. It was such a fun and incredible experience collaborating with all the talented people that Happy Madison and Netflix brought together, especially Kevin James. Working on this film with Kevin felt like making short films in his garage, just on a much larger scale.

Tell us a bit about the organic formation of the Kinanne Brothers filmmaking collective in 2017.

Growing up making home movies together was just something we did for fun. It wasn’t until 2016 when our oldest brother Chuck and brother-in-law Jeff were developing a project and needed some extra help, so the rest of us quit our jobs and immediately jumped on board. We all had the realization that filmmaking was always something we loved doing so working together just felt right. 

Photo credit: Scott Yamano / Netflix

Tell us a bit about how the eight of you work together. Who does what?

It took us a few years, but everyone eventually found their roles. Chuck and Dan direct, Jeff and Wil produce, Pat, Brendan, and John write, and Pete edits. We love the idea of Pixar’s “Braintrust” and we’ve modeled ourselves after that, in the sense that we come together collectively to weigh in on creative ideas. We are always learning everyday through trial and error and believe it or not, a lot of YouTube tutorials!

Tell us what it was like being quarantined with Kevin James.

We met Kevin back in 2018 after he saw a short film that we did. We began developing a few projects with him up until the pandemic hit. It was then that Kevin had the idea to quarantine together in Long Island and shoot short comedy films for his new YouTube channel. We were extremely fortunate to be able to continue doing what we loved. Making the Sound Guy shorts with Kevin was some of the most fun we had. We’d literally sit around with him, thinking of scenes from movies and pitching ideas on the funniest ways to edit him into the film.

With the success of Home Team, do you have any future feature-length films or other upcoming projects?

Yes, we currently have a script that we’ve been developing with Kevin. We’re very excited for the chance to keep working!

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