Bears ‘Hard Knocks’ director reveals what she’s most excited for, outside of Caleb Williams


Bears ‘Hard Knocks’ director reveals what she’s most excited for, outside of Caleb Williams originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

After years of rumors and rejections, the Chicago Bears are finally going to star on “Hard Knocks” this summer, and NFL Films is excited.

On Wednesday’s upcoming episode of NBC Sports Chicago’s “Under Center Podcast,” NFL Films senior producer and director Shannon Furman joined the show to talk about the Bears finally appearing on the classic training camp miniseries.

“We’re all excited to have a team that’s been around since the start of the NFL,” Furman said. “It’s a deep history. We’re going to try to include some of that into the show this summer.

“I mean, Chicago‘s a great city, it’s a great city to be in in the summertime. I know we’re excited to be able to be there and not be somewhere where we’re roasting hot. My first one was in Houston, that might have been the hottest it’s ever been for ‘Hard Knocks.’ Went to Tampa two years later. So that was pretty, pretty aggressive, too.”

Weather aside, new rookie quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Caleb Williams is the big draw for HBO’s and NFL Films’ cameras. However, Furman said a different position group has caught her eye, and she’s looking forward to meeting an unexpected character when production starts.

“One of our position groups we’re most excited about is probably the wide receiver room. DJ Moore, his daughter we’ve seen, we think that she’s going to be a lot of fun.”

“I mean, Rome (Odunze) too, he’s the ninth pick. So it’s kinda crazy, you have two top-10 picks to highlight as rookies that are kind of unknowns. It’s a story you’re getting to tell people for the first time, at least on the NFL level. People do, they did follow his college career for the past two years and everything. But I do think that helps out when you have something like a new story that’s fresh and people in the city want to learn about and everything.”

The NFL Films crew does research on the roster before arriving in Chicago and tries to develop storylines or identify characters they want to follow. But that pre-production work only leads to about half of the content we see on the show.

“The other 50% happens out on the field,” Furman said. “So it’s like half and half. You think you go in with a plan, but then you also end up finding the other half of the plan just from listening to wires and things that are happening out there.

“We’ll just kind of see what else unfolds.”

The full “Hard Knocks” crew will be in place on July 14 as the team ramps up for the Hall of Game, but Furman has already visited Halas Hall. The building alone has her ready to start shooting.

“The facility’s beautiful. I hadn’t been to that facility since it was redone. So I was really excited once I saw the facility, like that’s gonna film beautifully. The colors are great. Probably one of the nicer facilities we’ve actually been in for the show. So we’re really looking forward to it.”

Ultimately, Furman said she wants this season to end up like the 2022 training camp edition.

“I honestly hope the Bears end up being like the Lions were: It feels like we were there when this turnaround started for the Lions.

“Hopefully, we’ll be telling Caleb’s story for the next 20 years, and he’ll be winning you guys some Super Bowls. And we can say we started that. We were part of the beginning of it.”

For the full episode, catch “Under Center” on NBC Sports Chicago this Wednesday at 5:30, or catch up later on our YouTube page.

Click here to follow the Under Center Podcast.



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