L+T: When did you decide to step away from music videos to pursue full-length features?
McPherson: It wasn’t until my junior year at Temple University. I had to declare a major and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make the NFL. So, I needed a backup plan and that’s when I decided to major in film.
L+T: Sean “Diddy” Combs won Best Documentary Academy Award for his role as executive producer of the high school football film Undefeated, which marked the first time in history that an African-American director, in TJ Martin, has won an Oscar for a feature length film. How does that inspire you in making Declaring Destiny?
McPherson: I saw Diddy and it’s definitely inspiring. I have my goals set but one thing I know is that Declaring Destiny is a start for everyone that’s involved. It’s a start for me in another scoop of film. Already the trailer has inspired a lot people, but I really don’t think about that type of stuff. Right now, I just know that it’s going to be a start for the athletes involved and me as a director. Some of my goals are, to win Sundance, the L.A. film festival and possibly an HBO series, but I really don’t worry about that. It’s all about getting the best project done and constantly grinding. I want to be the first to get the respect of the Oscar committee, my peers and from the streets.
L+T: What kind of impact do you hope to have once the documentary is completed?
McPherson: I want the kids to see what it takes for these athletes to make it to the combine or the NFL and to have respect for what these players go through. You don’t just become great overnight, no matter what you do. I want this film to show that you really need to have a set of goals [in life] and be able to stick to it. As long as you go hard you won’t have any regrets.