How these producers are building a 'Legacy' with Lakers documentary and indie films

Lacing together an in-depth look at the Lakers' history took seven years, team owners' participation, thousands of hours of video, NBA approvals — and producers willing to

bankroll such an ambitious effort. "Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers" is the highest-profile project undertaken by film production and financing firm Los Angeles

Media Fund and its principals, Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman. The project initially was envisioned as a 90-minute documentary about the team's late owner Jerry Buss and

Magic Johnson during the 1980s "Showtime" era. Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss joined the film effort. But the turning point came three years later, in 2018, when Soros and Horsman

signed on as producers and financiers, then turned to the accomplished Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day," "What's My Name: Mohammad Ali") to direct the project. Instead of

focusing solely on "Showtime" Lakers, Fuqua wanted to traverse the past 40 years to delve into the Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant dynamic as well as the LeBron James years.

"We had to steel ourselves to finance a project with nine- or 10-episode ambitions," Soros said in a recent interview. Hulu, which debuted the series last month,

releases new episodes on Mondays through Oct. 10. For Soros and Horsman, "Legacy" gives their West Hollywood-based company a wider entry into two of the hottest spaces in

media: documentaries and the intersection of celebrity culture and professional sports. The series offers "a vivid example of how we are straddling the world of entertainment and

sports," Soros said.