“This one has legitimate drama because (the Packers) had hit bottom,” Senior Producer David Plaut said of his and co-producers Todd Schmidt’s and Chris Weaver’s DVD production, Super Bowl XLV Champions. Plaut sees the storyline of the film as being the Packers’ late-season run to the title in the face of the worst rash of injuries in the league.
The film premiered Monday night at the Meyer Theater in downtown Green Bay. On a cold and snowy night, the line of fans waiting to enter the theater wrapped around the block.
“This team means everything to this region,” Plaut said.
The 75-minute film is the most recent of 26 special productions made annually for that season’s Super Bowl champion. The first such film was made for the 1985 Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl championship season.
“It was done as an experiment because the Bears were a phenomenon. It sold 150,000 copies which, back then, was phenomenal,” Plaut said.
The Patriots’ 2004 Super Bowl championship season film special holds the all-time sales record, 325,000. Schmidt believes the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV version will challenge the 300,000 mark.
“We’re very fortunate to have a library of footage to dip into,” Schmidt said, referring to the Packers’ long and storied history. “If it was Atlanta or Jacksonville, it wouldn’t be the same.”
Schmidt and Plaut each agreed that quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the star of the film.
“This is a quarterback-driven league. The days of winning with a Brad Johnson; it could happen but it’s not likely,” Plaut said.
Though Rodgers is the film’s star, wide receiver Greg Jennings would seem to be its narrator. Jennings was one of three Packers players wired for sound – B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews are the other two – and Jennings’ sideline commentary, especially during the NFC title game and Super Bowl, keeps the viewer updated as to the chronology and circumstances of each game, in a flavorful, football kind of way.
“You’ll hear Greg Jennings tell the coach that if we run a certain route they can’t cover it, and on the very next play he scores a touchdown,” Plaut said.
“I’d put it in the top 10,” Schmidt said when asked where Super Bowl XLV ranks among all Super Bowls. “You have drama. Anytime you have a quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger, you have drama waiting to happen.”
The Packers defense, of course, stole the drama from Roethlisberger by stopping the Steelers on downs and clinching a 13th league title for Green Bay.
Twenty-six cameras were used to shoot the action in the Super Bowl. One of Plaut’s favorite scenes in the film is of Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy reading through the team’s litany of injuries, following its road loss at Washington.
“I thought the best (Super Bowl) game was Cardinals-Steelers. This one was a darn good one,” Plaut said.
Vic Ketchman is a veteran of 39 NFL seasons and has covered the Steelers and Jaguars prior to coming to Green Bay.