Football Film Crew

During the course of my thesis research, I started compiling a list of what the films I watched were rated and what football or stunt related credits were given. I wanted to know if football violence was ever cited as the reason a film received a PG-13 or R. Additionally, I was curious as to how the filmmakers regarded the planning, choreographing, and filming of the football sequences. I will update this list with each film I watch and discuss.

High school Football Films

The Blind Side: Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references.

Michael J. Fisher — football coordinator

Beau Turpin — assistant football coordinator

Phillip Fulmer, Lou Holtz, Tom Lemming, Houston Nutt, Ed Orgeron, Franklin ‘Pepper’ Rodgers, Nick Saban, Tommy Tuberville — themselves


Friday Night Lights: Rated PG-13 for thematic issues, sexual content, language, some teen drinking and rough sports
Justin Reimer – assistant football coordinator
John Hayden – football technical advisor;
Allan Graf – football coordinator, second unit director

Gridiron Gang: Rated PG-13 for some startling scenes of violence, mature thematic material and language.
Allan Graf – student coordinator, football coordinator
Justin Riemer – assistant football coordinator
T. Michael Mclean – first assistant camera: football unit

Johnny Be Good: Rated PG-13 (theatrical version)
Howard Neef, Phil Tucket – camera operators: NFL
Thomas Anthony Patti – Mr. Hall’s trainer


Special Thanks:
Coach Ralph Harris – football technical advisor
Adidas
Rawlings Sporting Goods

Remember the Titans: Rated PG for thematic elements and some language
Michael J. Fisher – football coordinator
Lorin Leifer – assistant football coordinator

The Slaughter Rule: Rated R for language and sexual content
Ben Bray – student coordinator
Shawn Michael Perry – technical advisor (I’m assuming for the football sequences)

Varsity Blues: Rated R for strong language throughout, sexuality and nudity, and some substance abuse.
Mark Robert Ellis – football coordinator (was also football coordinator on Not Another Teen Movie)

Wildcats: Rated R for brief nudity, language, and depictions of juvenile delinquency
Tom Fears, Ernie Wheelwright – football coaches
Joel Hall – football dance choreographer
John Sanders – assistant football coach: Ms. Hawn
Paula Tracy Smuin – choreographer
Donna Garrett, Kay H. Whipple – stunts
Sportsrobe – costumes

~!~

College Football Films

Code Breakers (made for TV):
Alison Reid & Kevin Rushton – stunt coordinators
Michael J. Fisher – football coordinator

The Express: Rated PG for thematic content, violence and language involving racism, and brief sensuality (edited from PG-13 version)

Allan Graf – second unit director, football coordinator

Derek Graf – assistant football coordinator

Nicole Graf – football operations coordinator

Damien Quinn – football costumer

Kristie J. Hittle, Michelle Schultz – athletic trainers

Peter D. Roome – first assistant camera; “a” camera, football unit

Sportsrobe – costumes

I imagine some of the above include game-play sequences.

The Program: Rated R
Allan Graf – head football coach; second unit director
Mark Robert Ellis – assistant football coordinator
Leslie Broucker – trainer: football players
Tona B. Dahlquist – football coordinator
Mackie Hayes – football liason: University of Southern California

Rudy: Rated PG
AC Cowlings – football coordinator
Bill Bergen & Paul Bergen – football technical assistant
Edward T. Hanley – football costumer

Trouble Along the Way: Not rated

David C. Gardner – second unit director

Jeff Cravath, Father Louis V. Pick – technical advisors

Tom Hennesy – stunts (uncredited)

The Waterboy: Rated PG for language and some crude sexual humor.
Allan Graf – second unit director, stunt coordinator, football coordinator
Brandon Molale – football stunts (uncredited)
Stephen F. Andrich – cinematographer: football second unit
Mark Robert Ellis – assistant sports coordinator
Mike Hold – quarterback: football team
Horace Knight – running back: football team
Christopher C. Siegfried – wide receiver: football team

We Are Marshall: Rated PG for emotional thematic material, a crash scene, and mild language
Stephen F. Andrich – visual sports consultant
Mark Robert Ellis – football coordinator, second unit director
Michael J. Fox, Sr. – football equipment manager
Aimee McDaniel & Cal Wrenn – assistant football coordinators
Jason Kirk Wheeler – football intern
Patrick O’Hara – football consultant (uncredited)


Professional Football Films

Any Given Sunday: Rated R for strong language and some nudity/sexuality.
Edward T. Hanley – key football costumer (second unit)
Allan Graf – football coordinator; stunt coordinator; second unit director
Mark Robert Ellis – assistant football coordinator (second unit)

The Game Plan: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements.
The Stunt Crew:


Damien Quinn – football costumer
Stephen F. Andrich – visual sports consultant
Mark Robert Ellis – football coordinator
Michael J. Fox Jr. – video coordinator: football unit
Michael J. Fox Sr. & Christopher Graham – football equipment manager
Aimee McDaniel & Patrick O’Hara – assistant football coordinator

What’s interesting with this film is that IMDB doesn’t credit the dance people the way that Yahoo movies does:

Mary Ann Kellogg – choreographer
Christopher Anderson – dance coach
Heather Myers – Skeleton Dance Crew
Marty Davis, Paul Craig, Caitlin Miller, Alexander Ramsey – ballet dancers
Ron Phillips II – still photographer

Invincible: Rated PG for some sports action and language.
Mark Robert Ellis – second unit director, football coordinator
Sean Graham – stunt coordinator, stunt double: Mark Wahlberg
Stephen F. Andrich – visual sports consultant
Michael J. Fox, Jr. – video coordinator: football unit
Michael J. Fox, Sr. – football equipment manager
Aimee McDaniel, Patrick O’Hara, Cal Wrenn – assistant football coordinators
Vince Papale – consultant
ReelSports Solutions, Inc. – sports coordination

Jerry Maguire: Rated R for language and sexuality.
Christopher Gerrity – first assistant director: second unit (football sequences)
Allan Graf – second unit director: football sequences; stunt coordinator; football coordinator (uncredited)
Amy Schmidt – second assistant director: second unit (football sequences)
Tom George – sports consultant
Ken Wolfe – consultant: ABC Football
Mark Robert Ellis – assistant sports coordinator (uncredited)
Greg P. Pena – set costumer (football sequences) (uncredited)
ABC Sports – special thanks

Arizona State University – special thanks
CNN – special thanks
ESPN – special thanks
Fox Sports Network – special thanks
National Basketball Association – special thanks
National Football League – special thanks
National Hockey League – special thanks
The Arizona Cardinals – special thanks
The Dallas Cowboys – special thanks
The Philadelphia Eagles – special thanks

Leatherheads: Rated PG-13 for brief strong language

Coach Troup – football coordinator

The Longest Yard (2005): Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, violence, language and drug references.
ReelSports Solutions Inc. sports coordination
Sean Salisbury – quarterback coach for Adam Sandler
Patrick O’ Hara – assistant football coordinator
Robert Miller – sports consultant
Aimee McDaniel – assistant football coordinator
Jon Gruden – technical advisor: football unit
Mark Robert Ellis – sports coordinator
Matt Chase – uniform costumer

The Longest Yard (1974): Rated R
Frank Capacchione, George Hively, Allan Jacobs – associate editors: football sequences
Frank Orsatti – stunts

The Replacements: Rated PG-13 for some crude sexual humor and some language
Allan Graf – second unit director, stunt coordinator, football coordinator
Mark Robert Ellis – assistant football coordinator
T.J. Rubley – quarterback coach: second unit

Second String: (made for TV)

Michael J. Fisher – football coordinator

Derrick Lassic – assistant football coordinator

Anton ‘Ty’ Tyukodi – stunt coordinator

Darren Marsmen – stunt player (IMDB indicates for Shawn Woods)

Michael Carruba – Dan Heller double

End credits from film special thanks – ESPN, NFL Films, NFL Properties, the Buffalo Bills, the Miami Dolphins, the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Giants, the San Diego Chargers, Budget Films

Other Football Films

Heaven Can Wait: Rated PG
Craig R. Baxley – stunt coordinator (uncredited), stunt double: Warren Beatty (uncredited)

The Last Boy Scout: Rated R
Chuck Cohen – camera operator: special action sequences (uncredited)
A.C. Cowlings – football technical advisor
Cindy Daniels – cheerleader choreographer
Dick Butkus – plays himself

Little Children: Rated R for strong sexuality and nudity, language and some disturbing content.
David Shumbris – stunt double: Patrick Wilson

M.A.S.H: Rated R for sexual content; uncut original version
Andy Sidaris – football choreographer (uncredited); interestingly, he also played the TV director in the football disaster film Two-Minute Warning (Larry Peerce, 1976).

As you can see, Allan Graf’s name appears many times. I was curious about his background. Here is his IMDB bio.

Allan Graf (2nd unit director/stunt coordinator/football coordinator) is one of Hollywood’s premier 2nd unit directors and stunt coordinators whose thirty-year career behind the cameras includes the staging of stunts in over five dozen films while directing second unit action on two dozen features, including Richard Donner’s recent time-travel adventure, “Timeline,” Randall Wallace’s Vietnam War epic, “We Were Soldiers” (World Stunt Award nomination), Brian Helgeland’s unique medieval adventure, “A Knight’s Tale” and several projects with veteran filmmaker Walter Hill (“Last Man Standing,” “Trespass,” “Johnny Handsome” and “Another 48 Hours,” on which Graf was the first to design and execute one of Hollywood’s most unique stunts, a cannon roll off a bus).

A native of Southern California, Graf first made his mark on the gridiron, where he captained the 1967 San Fernando High School city championship team, winning All-American honors. He won a full athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California, and played offensive guard for John McKay’s powerhouse Trojans. Graf started on McKay’s legendary, undefeated (12-0) 1972 NCAA National Championship team, and was one of the heroes at the 1973 Rose Bowl, when USC defeated Ohio State. He next played in the 1973 college all-star game against the NFL’s Miami Dolphins at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Following graduation, Graf became a free agent with the Los Angeles Rams before joining the World Football League’s Portland Storm during their inaugural 1974 season. When the league abruptly folded, Graf tackled a new arena when he ironically won a role as former Chicago Bears player Dick Butkus’ stunt double in the 1976 Disney film, “Gus,” a comic opus about a field-goal kicking mule.

Graf worked as a stunt player for several years on a variety of projects, notably, Hill’s “Southern Comfort,” “The Driver” and “The Long Riders,” as well as “They Live,” “Total Recall,” “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Raising Arizona,” “Action Jackson” and, more recently, “S.W.A.T.,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Independence Day.” He has coordinated stunts on several other projects, including “Punch Drunk Love,” “Domestic Disturbance,” “Supernova,” “Geronimo: An American Legend,” “Wild Bill,” “Wayne’s World” and “Broken Arrow.” He has also logged several supporting acting roles in such projects as “L.A. Confidential,” “Poltergeist,” “The Replacements,” “Thirteen Days,” “Magnolia,” “The Limey,” “The Doors,” “Another 48 Hrs.,” “RoboCop,” and “Boogie Nights,” among dozens of others.

The former college football great is also one of Hollywood’s best known pigskin choreographers and 2nd unit directors, designing and staging the gridiron action for such films as Oliver Stone’s epic, “Any Given Sunday,” Howard Deutch’s comedy, “The Replacements,” “The Program,” “The Waterboy,” “Necessary Roughness,” the current production “Cheer Up” and Cameron Crowe’s Oscar-nominated classic, “Jerry Maguire.” Graf recently penned an original screenplay entitled “Turning the Tide,” a football drama which depicts the historic 1970 gridiron contest between McKay’s USC Trojans and Bear Bryant’s Crimson Tide. The film is currently in development.

Mark Robert Ellis is another name that frequently pops up as football and sports coordinator. Haven’t found his biographical information yet, though.

3 thoughts on “Football Film Crew

  1. Pingback: Football Movie News: Panda Express eating Xiao Long Bao « Sitting Pugs: Sports Movies

  2. Duane Ultra V

    Very, very interesting. I’ve always wondered which actors or directors, etc. have had a part in multiple football movies. I’ve thought about researching this subject and then creating a database of the information. Although I may still do so some time in the future, that idea is on hold for now. Currently, I’m watching every football movie I can and then writing a poem about them individually. I call it “Poetry laced with football flavored cinema.” If you are interested, please visit http://www.FootballMovieReviews.com.

    Reply

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