When the Denver Broncos square off against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night, it’ll be the first time a Super Bowl has been played in New Jersey.
But the National Football League actually has deep roots in the Garden State.
NFL Films has been behind the scenes of American football for nearly 50 years. Located in Mount Laurel, the audio and video production company creates cinematic documentaries, commercials and JumboTron montages rife with dramatic orchestral music and slow-motion sequences. And it’s all done just 20 minutes from Philadelphia.
“We shoot on Sunday and most of our shows air on Wednesday,” said Shane McMartin, an audio mixer at NFL Films. “We have to be able to do everything here.”
The mega-studio has its own film lab, shooting stage, a small auditorium and even a sound studio equipped to record a full orchestra. “We can conceive, direct, write, produce and post-produce all of our shows right here,” said McMartin.
Films, as it’s called, also churns out a handfull of football commentary shows every week. Former Eagles quarterback Ron “Jaws” Jaworski now works as a commentator, and says he spends months in the Mount Laurel office studying tape from NFL games that season.
“I’ll look at every pass every quarterback made throughout the season and evaluate every single quarterback based on the coach’s tape,” said Jaworski. “So it’s not if I like them or don’t like them. It’s what the tape shows me.”
Hall of Famer Ed Sabol founded NFL Films in the 1960s to bring a cinematic quality to the game. His son Steve Sabol, who ran the company for many years, died of brain cancer in 2012.