For 30 years the Arena Football League has been a beacon for football fans in the spring and summer months. Though the genesis of many success stories, chiefly Kurt Warner, the league's players are largely fighting to rise to the next level. Some, at advanced stages in their careers, are still playing simply for the love of the game.
50 Yard Dash is a documentary short about the lives of Arena Football players through the eyes of veterans Christian Wise and Alvin Ray Jackson, who played in the league for the better part of a decade. Our coverage of the league has gone far beyond the initial documentary and all of the videos from the 50 Yard Dash content-universe are below.
WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY:
THE 50 YARD GAME FILM SERIES:
The first 50 Yard Game Film came as I sought to promote 50 Yard Dash by producing additional web content. What followed is a series that has thus far spanned five cities over two years. From DC to Philadelphia, Cleveland to Baltimore, I have continued the series out of a passion for the game and to maintain the de-facto "NFL Films of the Arena League" identity that we have assumed. Watch all of our episodes below:
Episode 9: Washington at Philadelphia
EPISODE 8: Tampa Bay at Philadelphia
EPISODE 7: Philadelphia at Washington
EPISODE 6: Baltimore at Philadelphia (Chapter 2)
EPISODE 5: BALTIMORE AT PHILADELPHIA (CHAPTER 1)
EPISODE 4: LOS ANGELES AT PHILADELPHIA
EPISODE 3: JACKSONVILLE AT CLEVELAND
EPISODE 2: ORLANDO AT PHILADELPHIA
EPISODE 1: CLEVELAND AT PHILADELPHIA
TEASERS, TRAILERS, AND SOCIAL CONTENT
50 Yard Dash Cam: Alvin Ray
Teaser: Alvin Ray
TEASER: NOW ONLINE
FROM INSTAGRAM: KURT WARNER HALL OF FAME INDUCTION
FROM INSTAGRAM: TOMORROW
Follow @50YardDashFilm on Instagram
My friend Jeff and I stood outside the Albany Firebirds locker room, two press-credentialed 16 year olds with a microphone and video camera. We could hardly fathom our position; high schoolers the team sanctioned to create an official weekly video show. I fell in love with Arena Football at age 9, randomly flipping to a game on NBC and getting sucked in by this otherworldly variation of football. As Photoshop novices, me and Jeff designed football cards of the players every week and had them signed after games, developing longstanding bonds with the players and their families. They took us to the locker room, kept in touch during away weeks, and treated us like one of their own. That sort of access, being able to touch the game, made me an AFL fan for life.
With my connections forming, I launched a weekly video show about the New York Dragons and the organization took a shining to my efforts, bringing me on in an official capacity. In 2009 the Dragons fell victim to league restructuring, so I took the show to Albany. This is where I connected with then-Firebirds players Christian Wise and Alvin Ray Jackson, the two subjects of 50 Yard Dash. At the beginning of their careers, they understood my passion and love for the game, and I understood theirs. In early 2016 the concept for this film struck me. I realized Wise and Jackson were slated to play against each other in the first home game of the season, seven years after their Firebirds season. Within an hour of this epiphany, they were both in.
The truth is, without Arena Football, I might never have pursued a career in filmmaking. It's where I learned editing, filming, writing, and crafting a narrative. I hope the film serves as a fitting tribute to the league, while focusing on the reality of the guys who play this great game.