SEC Network’s new and returning weekly college football programming kicks off this week and continues until the whistle blows in December at the SEC Championship. That programming is highlighted with the SEC Network debut of the newest SEC Storied, “Wuerffel’s Way,” (tonight, 9 p.m. ET) and the network’s newest show, SEC Inside [Wednesdays, 7 p.m.]. Both are produced by the 16-time Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Jim Jorden.
Front Row sat down with Jorden to discuss both the film – which chronicles Heisman Trophy winner and former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel’s work to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina – and what to expect in his season-long SEC Inside series.
Before the Desire Street Community Square groundbreaking ceremony officially began Saturday morning, Danny Wuerffel dug the ceremonial shovel into the earth to loosen the soil.
Quite a few people who had contributed to the project would be coming to scoop a bit of dirt.
Executive director Wuerffel has worked with Desire Street Ministriessince he left behind his football career in 2002. The organization began with coaching and mentoring of young people in New Orleans’ struggling Desire public housing project, and has grown to offer a variety of social and educational services in Atlanta, Dallas, and Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama.
Here's an edited email Q&A with Jorden:
Q: How did you come to this project?
A: Outside the stadium at the University of Florida are three statues. On the left is Tim Tebow. Everyone's heard of him. In the middle is Steve Spurrier. He's still the "Head Ball Coach." But that one on the right: Who is that guy? What did Danny Wuerffel do? We wanted to answer that question.
You haven't seen anything quite like The Drive: Pac-12 Football. It's a weekly document of the quest for championship by the UCLA Bruins college football program, which sounds simple enough. It's not simple at all.
Think of it as a cross between the classic, groundbreaking NFL Films shows, This Week In Pro Football and NFL Game Of The Week -- both debuting in 1965, taking a cinematic visual approach to televised storytelling that continues to reverberate-- and the ongoing, groundbreaking collaboration between NFL
Films and HBO, Hard Knocks...
An angry, vengeful Reggie White has the eyes of an owl as he bears down on Troy Aikman. You wince at the sound of impact and the groans that roll out of the freshly mowed quarterback.
Bruce Smith is a nasty, steaming mess. There is sweat and blood and tattered gauze dripping from the All-Pro as he pleads in vain with the Bills offense to score a touchdown.
Don Shula is whirling and pointing and spitting mad as he prowls the sidelines without the company of his typical calm. Hulking man-mountains, sensing mortal danger, dance out of his way.
All Access documentaries and series have mostly been double edged swords. Often winning awards and critical acclaim, the reality is that they typically attract niche audiences that make it hard to turn a profit given the heavy costs of production.
Recently Undefeated won the Oscar for best documentary in 2012, yet only brought in a half million dollars at the box office. Hard Knocks continues to thrive albeit with the backing and production of the NFL and NFL Films and monetized via a premium cable subscription. The NHL recently couldn’t make 24/7, its own all access show, work on HBO and hence it will be relocated to Epix. MLB partnered with Showtime for a couple of seasons with The Franchise which performed so poorly it was scrapped before the end of the season. HBO and Showtime have some fantastic all access boxing shows for major fights, but really it’s more of an effective PPV marketing campaign and hence the economics of producing them tend to work better.
The behind-the-scenes show about University of Virginia football was touted as a college version of HBO's "Hard Knocks," minus the foul language.
But "The Building of a Program," a documentary series chronicling the run-up to coach Mike London's first season with the Cavaliers, has provided more than an insider's view. The show also has given its producer, NASCAR Media Group, a road map for future projects that will take the group outside of NASCAR programming.