Hard Knocks. Training Camp With The Cincinnati Bengals. [No. 504, 2009-09-02]

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Created: 2009


Hard Knocks. Training Camp With The Cincinnati Bengals. [No. 504, 2009-09-02]
Summary: "What does it take to capture the reality of an NFL training camp?

"That's the question producers of Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cincinnati Bengals were faced with last summer. And the answer was a complicated one:

  • Rig an entire college campus with cameras and microphones in lunchrooms, locker rooms and the offices of the Bengals coaching staff.
  • With an on-site crew of over 50, cover the movements of 80 players, including hidden microphones inside the shoulder pads of at least 6 different players per practice and up to 15 players for each preseason game.
  • Ship, via private courier, over 40 hours of footage per day back to NFL Films, where it must be edited by a team of 100 editors, technicians, and staff members in near-real time for each episode.
  • Compose, conduct and mix an original music score and mix it with the world's largest sports effects library.

"The result is an Emmy-Award winning series that reveals the inner workings of a billion dollar sports franchise like never before.

"Most impressive is the speed at which it must be produced. No other edited reality show works on such a deadline. Similar high-profile programs like Survivor and The Biggest Loser are filmed up to 6 months ahead of their air dates, allowing plenty of time for story construction and editing.

"Hard Knocks delivers the same quality in days; sometimes hours. Each Wednesday night episode includes material filmed as late as Tuesday; lending an air of immediacy and transparency that make it the most well-respected sports series in America.

"It may also be the most 'real' reality show on the air.

"Somewhere along the line, a dozen people running obstacle courses on a deserted island or a group of 20-somethings locked in a house became 'reality television.' But unlike such scripted shows, Hard Knocks has zero influence on storylines, outcomes or daily activities. From multimillionaire veterans suffering career-ending injuries to rookies being told their dream is dead, what you see is the NFL at its rawest.

"Hard Knocks is the purest and most popular sports documentary program on television."--2009 Peabody Awards entry form.

This is episode 504.

Corporate Producers: NFL Films, Inc. | HBO Sports | Home Box Office (Firm)

Broadcast Date: 2009-09-02