“Hard Knocks” enters its fourth week tonight, with both Darrelle Revis and Mark Sanchez's throwing accuracy still nowhere to be seen. Over the weekend I listened to an interesting interview between NFL Films chief Steve Sabol and WFAN's Richard Neer, and since it's not posted online, I thought I'd recap a few interesting points about the behind-the-scenes process of putting together the show so quickly each week. After the jump, check out six interesting facts about “Hard Knocks” you might not have already known.
- The “Hard Knocks” crew films somewhere between 25 and 30 hours of footage every day. All the raw footage gets sent back to NFL Films headquarters, where producers comb through it all and try to pick out highlights.
- After the first few days of training camp, Sobol insists, everyone more or less forgets that the cameras are even around. The only shots that are “set up” or “staged” are the one-on-one interviews.
- To that end, most of the real insidery scenes within the coaches' offices are shot on 10 high-definition cameras mounted within the ceilings. They can be moved from room to room, depending on the day's planned meetings. That means that there aren't any cameramen or sound guys even in the room when Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum are trying to figure out their 53-man rosters.
- Editing of each Wednesday's episode begins Sunday night and continues more or less non-stop through late Tuesday.
- The script is finished by Wednesday morning and sent to narrator Liev Schrieber, who is filming a movie in Europe this summer. Schrieber sends his narration back to the NFL Films HQ over ISDN line (or something like that, it's an acronym that begins with I, any ideas?). His narration is added to the cut episode, which is then sent to HBO by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. It's first airing, of course, is just five hours later at 10 p.m. ET.
- Sobol says that unless, say, Revis finally signs his contract at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday, the show can incorporate pretty much any breaking news from the previous week in time for the Wednesday night broadcast.
Here are a few highlights from last week's episode, via Kissing Suzy Kolber, which puts together a great recap each week.