Warren Central football documentary to debut Tuesday night

Published 4:00 am Saturday, May 18, 2024

Last summer, Evan Farrell was watching an episode of the HBO show “Hard Knocks” when he had a flash of inspiration.

“It started out with me pitching it to a few friends. We were watching the ‘Hard Knocks’ show on HBO and were like, ‘It would be cool to do something like that for Warren Central.’ I said maybe I could pull this off,” Farrell said. “So I started in the summer, showed up every day to practice, and next thing I knew I had 20,000 video files from the season.”

Farrell, a Warren Central junior who is an aspiring photographer and videographer, attended nearly every practice and game during the Vikings’ 2023 football season. He shot 400 hours of footage, which was edited down to a little under two for his documentary “11 Brothers: The Movie.”

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The film will have its premiere in a fitting venue — the jumbotron at Viking Stadium. The school will host a screening on Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

“That was always the plan, but we didn’t know how we were going to do it. We ran the tests on the jumbotron and we loved it. The jumobotron is massive. I can’t wait to show people this. It’s going to be really cool,” Farrell said. “It’s been my passion project. My photos are already up on the jumbotron. It’s really nice to see what has been close to a year now of constant planning finally play out.”

The movie is not just a highlight reel of Warren Central’s season. It includes interviews with players and coaches, and follows them through practices, film sessions and meetings before all 12 games. The film is structured episodically, with each game getting a segment.

Being embedded with the team required access many secrecy-minded coaches are reluctant to provide. Warren Central’s Josh Morgan, however, said he saw the benefits of such a unique project and jumped on board.

“I thought it would be a neat story to tell. We love our program here and a lot of people have been invested into our program, our community, with our past players and coaches. I thought it would be a unique deal to be able to reflect that,” Morgan said. “You just don’t see that very often. I thought the positives outweighed the negatives and it would be a chance to do something special.”

With permission granted, Farrell got to work. Besides shooting most of each two-hour practice and games on Friday nights, he conducted the interviews and edited the movie as well.

“I’ve been working day and night for six months straight. Over 500 hours of work just to do it,” Farrell said.
Producing the movie was Farrell’s capstone project for the ACME Academy.

Academy students select a pathway in ninth grade, which determines the courses they will take throughout the rest of their time in high school. Students build a portfolio of their projects as they progress toward graduation, culminating in a capstone project that they present to an external audience. Although students generally present their project as seniors, Farrell completed his a year early.

While there is no charge to attend the screening Tuesday, concession stands will be open and all proceeds from sales will benefit the ACME Academy. No lawn chairs will be allowed on the football field at Viking Stadium.

“I wanted to give back to the school and this is what has made me able to do it,” Farrell said.
Farrell plans to attend Ole Miss and wants to go into the sports communications industry. He didn’t rule out a future in Hollywood, either.

“That would be nice,” he said with a smile.

For now, though, he’s just happy to share a project that’s close to his heart and almost a year in the making — not just to show off his own hard work, but that of those featured in it.

“I really wanted people to appreciate how much work goes into each season, and have a better understanding of what goes on here — the tradition, the culture, the winning mentality.,” Farrell said. “I have to say that I think we captured that.”

• “11 Brothers: The Movie,” a documentary chronicling Warren Central’s 2023 football season, will debut Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Viking Stadium. The film was shot and produced by WC student Evan Farrell. Admission to the screening is free.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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