Demarcus Ware at Thomas Jefferson High School
Demarcus Ware at Thomas Jefferson High School

It’s not every day that a high school football team gets a new recruit of this caliber. Six foot four, 260 pounds. 133 sacks, over 600 tackles. Oh yeah, and nine times in the Pro Bowl!

Meet Marcus Sacksmore, as played by Broncos Linebacker DeMarcus Ware.

In this fun day with Bleacher Report, we filmed Ware surprising the Thomas Jefferson High School football team by showing up dressed in their uniform to a “team meeting,” and later presenting them with gifts from Sports Authority.

The transformation on the kids’ faces when they realize the gag is priceless.

We had to be top secret the whole day, so we set up the interviews in an un-used classroom with the doors locked and the windows blackened out. This also served as our staging room for Ware, so we could hide him before the reveal, and squeeze him into the high school uniform.

We lit the interviews against our portable white seamless backdrop, and shot them with our Sony F55 and matching F5 cameras – both equipped with our Canon Cinema Prime Lenses. The interviewees, including Ware, looked directly into the main camera. The second camera served as a more traditional slightly off-key interview angle. I really liked the effect – a blend of the Fog of War look with a more standard interview cutaway.

DeMarcus Ware interview in front of white seamless
DeMarcus Ware interview in front of white seamless

We shot all the b-roll, including shopping for the gifts, with our Sony PMW400 camera with traditional ENG zoom lens. This served as the perfect doc-style tool for the job, and allowed us to leave the large sensor F-cameras setup for the interviews.

Then for the big reveal, we brought all the cameras together, including a couple of GoPros, and covered the scene as it unfolded from various angles.

So while Thomas Jefferson High School won’t be getting their dream recruit for 2016, they had a really fun day and got to hang with one of the top NFL players in the game today.

You can check out the final piece on Bleacher report HERE.

The production team for this feature included Bleacher Report Producer Ryan O'Leary with Big Pictures crew Tom Miller, Ryan Borgman, and Trevor Nordeen.

Cameraman Ryan Borgman films the happy kids after the gag
Cameraman Ryan Borgman films the happy kids after the gag

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Written by Tom Miller

Copyright © 2016 Big Pictures Media, Inc.