Julian Edelman has been tirelessly promoting his Showtime sports documentary, 100% Julian Edelman, which premieres Friday, June 28.
As the focus of the film, Edelman himself is obviously going to do the majority of media appearances. He’s the one who reporters, along with TV, radio, and podcast hosts want to talk to. So we haven’t heard too much about the people who helped make the documentary happen, other than brief mentions of Edelman’s business partner, Assaf Swissa, who wrote and co-produced the film.
But CLNS Media Network’s Alex Barth interviewed director Kyler Schelling about filming the documentary and the process that went into it. Among the revelations from Schelling is that Edelman was inspired to do his own documentary after filming a short feature for NFL Network with former teammate Danny Amendola to promote the New England Patriots game with the Oakland Raiders in Mexico City.
“We thought it did a great job but we felt like we didn’t have the kind of creative thrust that we wanted to, and the kind of voice that we can do that the NFL can’t necessarily do,” Schelling told Barth. “So when Julian got hurt, the NFL came to us like ‘Hey, let’s shoot something around this injury.’ And me and my executive producer Assaf Swissa were like ‘you know what, let’s just do it ourselves.'”
Based on early reviews, the creativity that went into 100% Julian Edelman is reflected most in the comedic tone throughout the documentary. Though there are intense moments, Edelman doesn’t take himself too seriously and taking a more unconventional approach has appealed to those who have screened the film so far.
One example of that can be seen in this clip of Edelman imitating Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who almost certainly isn’t crazy about the whole idea of this documentary:
That seemed like a pretty spot-on impersonation, accentuated by that snort at the end. Maybe Edelman, Swissa, and Schelling can make a companion piece or follow-up with several Patriots players imitating Belichick. But maybe after training camp or after the season (especially if it ends with another Super Bowl championship).
Schelling also saw the inherent story in Edelman’s path to the NFL, and how influential his father was in that success, which would serve as the backbone for the documentary.
“Jules, on paper, shouldn’t be in the NFL. Y’know? Like he’s 5’10, he’s 185 pounds, whatever. He’s got this long backstory that he shouldn’t be in the NFL,” Schelling explained. “So I’ve always thought, ‘Well, how did he get here? How did he get there?’ It’s always, it’s this kind of like, work ethic, and the will to do everything. Well, where did that come from? I’ve always known that that’s come from Frank and Angie [Julian’s parents] and their upbringing.”
There is plenty more in Barth’s interview, including crafting the narrative of the film, whether or not 100% Julian Edelman was influenced by Tom Brady’s Facebook series Tom vs. Time, and the various celebrities that filmmakers were able to get for interviews, such as Guy Fieri and Bill Burr. It’s definitely worth your reading time.