AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Friday Night Lights
Director: Peter Berg (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Oct 2004
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Los Angeles: 6 Oct 2004
Production Date:   2 Feb--8 Apr 2004
Duration (in mins):   117
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Cast:   Billy Bob Thornton (Coach [Gary] Gaines)  
    Lucas Black (Mike Winchell)  
    Garrett Hedlund (Don Billingsley)  
    Derek Luke ([James] Boobie Miles)  
    Jay Hernandez (Brian Chavez)  
    Lee Jackson (Ivory Christian)  
    Lee Thompson Young (Chris Comer)  
    Tim McGraw (Charles Billingsley)  
    Grover Coulson (L. V. Miles)  
    Connie Britton (Sharon Gaines)  
    Connie Cooper (Mrs. Winchell)  
    Kasey Stevens (Flippy)  
    Ryanne Duzich (Melissa)  
    Amber Heard (Maria)  
    Morgan Farris (Jennifer Gaines)  
    Laine Kelly (Comer's girlfriend)  
    Gavin Grazer (Trapper)  
    Turk Pipkin (Skip Baldwin)  
    Dr. Carey Windler (Dr. Rogers)  
    Tommy G. Kendrick (Odessa doctor)  
    Brad Leland (John Aubrey)  
    Lillian Langford (Nancy Aubrey)  
    Christian Kane (Brian)  
    Buddy Hale (Booster)  
    Ken Farmer (Booster)  
    Marco Perella (Booster)  
    Eloise DeJoria (Booster)  
    Robert Weaver (Booster)  
    Katherine Willis (Booster wife)  
    Angie Bolling (Booster wife)  
    Charles Sanders (Buddy's Burgers manager)  
    Barry Sykes (Permian play-by-play announcer)  
    Clay Kennedy (Permian color announcer)  
    Lewis B. Johnson (Carter play-by-play announcer)  
    J. D. Hawkins (Carter play-by-play announcer)  
    B. T. Stone (Slammin' Sammy)  
    Wade L. Johnston (Coach Miller)  
    Rick Herod (Coach McCutcheon)  
    Paul Mitchell Wright (Coach Belew)  
    Julius Tennon (Coach James)  
    Dennis Hill (Coach Harper)  
    Timothy Walter (Coach Vonner)  
    Robert Scott Smith (Coach Smith)  
    Kenneth Plunk (Coach Plunk)  
    Josh Berry (Coach Campbell)  
    Branson Washburn (Coach Washburn)  
    David Johnson (Coach Johnson)  
    John Hayden (Permian booth coach)  
    Chris Palmer (Permian booth coach)  
    Kyle Scott Jackson (Carter booth coach)  
    C. Anthony "Charles" Jackson (Carter booth coach)  
    Kippy Brown (Carter booth coach)  
    Cleveland "Chick" Harris (Carter booth coach)  
    Billy Melvin Thomas (Carter assistant coach)  
    Kammerin Hunt (Carter assistant coach)  
    Roy Williams (Midland Lee assistant coach)  
    Gary Mack Griffin (Marshall High School coach)  
    Randy Brinlee (Marshall game referee)  
    Dan Rankin (Cooper game end zone official)  
    Tim Crowley (Carter game referee)  
    Harvey L. Jeffries (Carter game official)  
    Tiki Davis (Carter co-captain, Baird)  
    Everett Smith (Carter quarterback, Whitaker)  
    Ty Law (Carter wide receiver, Graf)  
    Chris Dahlberg (Clancy Kent)  
    Peter Harrell Jr. (C. C. Russeau)  
    Kevin Page (John Wilkins)  
    Brady Coleman (Jerald McClary)  
    Stephen Bishop (Loie Harris)  
    Bob Richardson (Marvin Edwards)  
    Mark Donaldson (State trooper)  
    Aisha Schliessler (Cheerleader)  
    Evan Bernard (Drunk driver)  
    Rutherford Cravens (Kansas Wesleyan recruiter)  
    Wayne Hanawalt (Kansas Wesleyan recruiter)  
    Brian Thornton (Recruiter)  
    Sam Austin (Recruiter)  
    Mark Nutter (Recruiter)  
    Jeff Gibbs (Journalist Jim)  
    Richard Dillard (Reporter)  
    Robert Flores (Reporter)  
    Terry Parks (Skip Baldwin's cameraman)  
    Talon Smith (Young kid)  
    Taylor Sawyers (Young kid)  
    Bradley Lisman (Young kid)  
    Richard Nance (Buzzard)  
  Football players: Aaron Babino    
    Dean Baldwin    
    Ben Bronson    
    Sunny Byrd    
    John Clark    
    Bobby Doherty    
    Chris Fisher    
    Cedric Foster    
    Corey Hargers    
    Tavis Harvey    
    Deshaun Hill    
    Ryan Jacobs    
    Nick Jester    
    Mike Jones    
    Tyrone Jones    
    Mark Llewellyn    
    Jon Luke    
    O. J. McClintock    
    Robert Nguyen    
    Joseph Norman    
    Dewayne Patmon    
    Everick Rawls    
    Brett Robin    
    Steven Rogers    
    Ray Ross    
    Chad L. Stevens    
    Travis Thompson    
    Matt Trissel    
    Brandon Tully    
    Darrick Wallace    
    Tim O'Connell (Football trainer)  
    Derek Graf (Football player)  
    H. G. Bissinger (Skybox booster)  
    James "Boobie" Miles (Permian sideline coach)  

Summary: In Odessa, Texas in August of 1988, the Permian High School Panthers football team, headed by Coach Gary Gaines, is under intense pressure to reach and win the state championship. All of Odessa is focused on high school football, showering the team with money, attention, devotion and the concurrent obligation to win at all costs. As pre-season begins, the team is confident, despite the players’ overall small size, because of the skill of their star tailback, James “Boobie” Miles. Boobie, arrogant and charismatic, sees football as his ticket out of small-town Texas, and basks in his many college scholarship offers. Even the team's practices are crowded with talent scouts and fans, including Boobie’s adoring uncle L. V. and Charles Billingsley, the father of starting tailback Don. Charlie is a former champion Panther who is disappointed in what he sees as his son’s inability to stand up to pressure. After one uninspired practice, Don brings a girl home, where his drunken father duct-tapes a football to his hands and beats him. The team’s talented quarterback, Mike Winchell, is shy and insecure despite his skill, and is further hampered by his dedication to his chronically ill mother. The man under the most scrutiny, however, is Gaines, who knows he will be forced to move out of town if the team does not succeed, and who stoically accepts the “advice” and vague threats of the town’s rabid fans. The whole town attends the first Friday night game, during which Boobie dominates. When they have a comfortable lead, Gaines replaces Boobie with second-string, junior tailback Chris Comer, but the rookie cannot find his helmet and so Gaines returns Boobie to the field. When Boobie is hit, he crumbles, and although the doctor fears he has torn a ligament, an injury that would keep him from playing and possibly ruin his entire future in football, Gaines tells the team not to worry. Without Boobie, the team loses the next game 49-6, and the fans, who blame the coach for Boobie’s injury, admonish him to come up with a new plan to win. Gaines exhorts Mike, who feels acutely the burden of fame, to put aside the anxiety of caring for his mother and “get the job done,” promising him that if he accepts the challenge, he can be exceptional. The team next plays Cooper, and although at first the rival team advances, when Comer gets the ball, he proves to be a lightning-fast runner and invigorates his teammates. After the win, Boobie goes to the Midland hospital, where he refuses to accept the doctor’s recommendation that he recuperate further, and instead lies to Gaines that he is capable of playing. The next game is against arch-rival Midland Lee, and if the Panthers win, they will go on to the state championship playoffs. When Midland is winning by seven with only minutes to go, Gaines bows to coercion and puts Boobie in the game, but the boy is immediately tackled and collapses in pain, his knee crushed. The team rallies under Mike’s direction, but they lose in the last seconds. On the way home, Charlie drunkenly kicks out the car windows, excoriates his son and tosses his championship ring out of the car. At the same time, Mike tells Gaines that he feels cursed, and the coach replies that all curses are self-imposed. Because there is a three-way tie for first place, Permian, Cooper and Midland hold a tense coin toss to determine which two teams will go on the playoffs, and Cooper loses. The next morning, Charlie apologizes to Don, explaining that he knows firsthand that this year of glory is all there is to life. Don hands his father his ring and walks away in silence. Soon after, Boobie collects his gear from the locker room, and although he affects his customary cocky attitude, in the car with L. V. he breaks down, sobbing that football is all he has. Permian enters the playoffs, and as they win each game on their roster, so does Dallas-Carter, an all-black, powerhouse of a team. When the two teams are ready to compete for the championship, the coaches gather to discuss the logistics, and the Dallas managers, concerned about racial tension, insist on a neutral stadium and a mixed-race referee staff. They agree to play in the Houston Astrodome, and as the bus leaves to drive there, Boobie arrives, on crutches, and asks to accompany them. The game, which for most of the players marks the climax and conclusion of their football careers, begins, with Dallas taking an early lead. The burly players dominate the Panthers, who return to the locker room for halftime. There, Ivory Christian, typically a quiet, religious boy, delivers a rousing speech, after which Gaines announces that his constant admonition to be “perfect” refers not to whether or not they win but whether or not they extend their strongest effort. Entreating them to think of Boobie, Gaines tells the boys that they are in his heart. The team returns to the field with renewed vigor, lead by a dynamic Mike. A series of spectacular plays put the winning touchdown in their grasp, and with two minutes to go, they move the ball to a mere four inches from the end zone. Gaines calls a special play and Mike, who has been hit repeatedly by Dallas’ defense, struggles to maintain his strength. The entire audience rises to their feet when Mike takes control of the ball and scrambles down the field. As the bell signals the end of the game, he lunges for the end zone, missing by inches. The team, as well as the town, is devastated. On the field, Charlie embraces his son, slipping his championship ring onto Don’s finger. The next day, as the boys gather their gear and take their final leave of the Permian locker room, Gaines begins to prepare the next year’s football roster, unaware that the 1989 team, led by Comer, will have an undefeated season and take the state championship trophy. 

Production Company: Universal Pictures (NBC Universal)
  Imagine Entertainment  
Production Text: A Brian Grazer Production; A Peter Berg Film
Distribution Company: Universal Pictures (NBC Universal)
Director: Peter Berg (Dir)
  Allan Graf (2d unit dir/[Football coord])
  Eric Heffron (1st asst dir)
  John G. Scotti (1st asst dir, 2d unit)
  Michael Moore (2d asst dir)
  Amy Schmidt (2d asst dir, 2d unit)
  David Riebel (2d 2d asst dir)
  Roberta Riordan (2d 2d asst dir, 2d unit)
Producer: Brian Grazer (Prod)
  James Whitaker (Exec prod)
  John Cameron (Exec prod)
  Robert Graf (Co-prod)
  Sarah Aubrey (Co-prod)
  David Bernardi (Assoc prod)
Writer: David Aaron Cohen (Scr)
  Peter Berg (Scr)
Photography: Tobias Schliessler (Dir of photog)
  Thom Owens (Dir of photog, 2d unit)
  Dino Parks (Addl photog)
  Kurt Soderling (Aerial photog)
  David Luckenbach (Cam/Steadicam op)
  Chris Moseley (Cam op)
  Bob Scott (Cam op, 2d unit)
  Orly Stires (Cam op, 2d unit)
  Tony Nagy (1st asst cam)
  Fred McLane (1st asst cam)
  Theda Streetman (1st asst cam)
  Mark Santoni (1st asst cam, 2d unit)
  William M. McConnell (1st asst cam, 2d unit)
  John Sheeren (1st asst cam, 2d unit)
  Serge Nofield (2d asst cam)
  Jeff Pelton (2d asst cam)
  Cara Singleton (2d asst cam)
  Matthew King (2d asst cam)
  Scott Ronnow (2d asst cam, 2d unit)
  William C. McConnell Jr. (2d asst cam, 2d unit)
  Ann Somogye (2d asst cam, 2d unit)
  Don Howe Jr. (Cam loader)
  Jesse Roth (Cam loader, 2d unit)
  Robert Bruce McCleery (Gaffer)
  Peter Clarson (Rigging gaffer)
  Murray K. Campbell (Gaffer, 2d unit)
  Christopher Prampin (Best boy elec)
  Mark Hadland (Best boy elec)
  Jim Shelton (Rigging best boy elec)
  Troy Sneed (Best boy elec, 2d unit)
  Raul Mello (Elec)
  Stephen F. Beasley (Elec)
  Josh Taylor (Elec)
  Walton Rowell (Elec)
  Robert B. Reynolds (Elec)
  S. Mark Mims (Elec)
  Cheryl Clarson (Rigging elec)
  Troy Anderson (Rigging elec)
  Travis Travis (Rigging elec)
  Eddie Stevens (Elec, 2d unit)
  Barry Strickland (Elec, 2d unit)
  Jeff Howison (Elec, 2d unit)
  Kurt Grossi (Key grip)
  David McSwain (Rigging key grip)
  Peter Kolb (Rigging key grip)
  John Knight (Key grip, 2d unit)
  Chris McNellis (Best boy grip)
  Steven Lynn Walker (Best boy grip, 2d unit)
  Dwight Lavers (Dolly grip)
  Sean Devine (Dolly grip)
  Dennis Clay (Dolly grip)
  Joe Vasquez (Dolly grip, 2d unit)
  Sean Maxwell (Dolly grip, 2d unit)
  Patrick Blackard (Dolly grip, 2d unit)
  Cesar Quintanilla (Dolly grip, 2d unit)
  Eric R. Damazio (Grip)
  Chris Hamala (Grip)
  Steven Guerrero (Grip)
  Steve Urban (Grip)
  Orlando Mora (Grip)
  Ezra Venetos (Grip)
  Luis Lopez de Victoria (Grip)
  Marti Wells Jr. (Grip)
  Stephen Drake (Rigging grip)
  Angelo L. Suasnovar (Rigging grip)
  Sanford Gilzow (Rigging grip)
  Rob Hicks (Rigging grip)
  Phillip Renke (Rigging grip)
  Joseph A. Vasquez (Rigging grip)
  Timothy E. Cole (Rigging grip)
  Leif E. Ulvog (Rigging grip)
  David McDonald (Rigging grip)
  Bradley V. Williams (Rigging grip)
  Stephen Ritchey (Rigging grip)
  John L. Shank (Rigging grip)
  Layne Chaney (Rigging grip)
  Ralph Nelson (Stills photog)
  Torry Tukuafu (Cam prod asst)
  Roger Basquette (Video assist)
  Eric Pickett (Video assist, 2d unit)
  David Shawn Harper (Asst video)
  John Johns (24 frame playback)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, Inc. (Cam dollies)
  Bebee (Night lights)
Art Direction: Sharon Seymour (Prod des)
  Peter Borck (Art dir)
  Shellie Gillespie (Art dept coord)
  Richard Buoen (Storyboard artist)
  Marc Baird (Storyboard artist)
  Jorge Paris (Art prod asst)
Film Editor: David Rosenbloom (Ed)
  Colby Parker, Jr. (Ed)
  Peter Amundson (Addl ed)
  Gregory Plotkin (Assoc ed)
  Richard Riedel (1st asst ed)
  Jim Flynn (Asst ed)
  Kenny Marsten (Asst ed)
  Kevin Lefler (Apprentice ed)
  Shepard Hall (Ed prod asst)
  Lauren Leonard (Ed prod asst)
  Gary Burritt (Negative cutter)
Set Decoration: Carla Curry (Set dec)
  Gabriella Villarreal (Asst set dec)
  Rob Simons (Set des)
  Ronn Basquette (Set des)
  Steve Sawhill (Leadman)
  Douglas Fox (Prop master)
  Virle Reid (Prop master, 2d unit)
  Michael P. Sweeney (Asst prop master)
  Dwayne Grady (Prop asst)
  Erick Garibay (Prop asst)
  Marvin Schroeder (Prop asst, 2d unit)
  Jack Colmenero (Set dresser)
  Lance Cheatham (Set dresser)
  Shane Patrick (Set dresser)
  Patricia Dillon (Set dresser)
  April Crump (Set dresser)
  Roy Huth (Set dresser)
  Scott Perez (Set dresser)
  John Parker (Set dresser)
  Jeffrey B. Hartman (Set dresser)
  John Bush (Set dresser)
  Michael Wilks (On-set dresser)
  Terri L. Wright (Buyer)
  Tom Ward (Const coord)
  Randy Severs (Gen foreman)
  Tommy Fine (Foreman)
  Charles Seale (Gangboss)
  Gary Wimmer (Lead scenic)
  Gay Studebaker (Scenic foreman)
  Pat Martine (Paint foreman)
  Dennis Collins ([Paint] gangboss)
  Sonia L. Garcia (Standby painter)
  Christopher Martin (Key greens)
  Eric Henshaw (Greens gangboss)
Costumes: Susan Matheson (Cost des)
  Dana Hart (Cost supv)
  Kathy Kiatta (Key cost)
  Susan Strubel (Key set cost)
  Leeann Radeka (Set cost)
  Craig Anthony (Set cost)
  Stephanie A. Steel (Set cost)
  Yvonne Wilburn (Set cost)
  Taneia Lednicky (Specialty cost)
  Marienne O'Brian (Cost)
  Johnny H. Smith (Cost)
  Marcia Evers (Cost)
  Helen Monaghan (Cost)
  Jaimey Sloan (Cost prod asst)
  Maggie O'Brian (Cost prod asst)
  Lynn James (Cost prod asst)
  Taylor Rierden (Cost prod asst)
  Roric Ruegsegger (Football cost adv)
  Daniel A. Molaschi (Football cost)
Music: Brian Reitzell (Mus prod/Orig mus)
  Explosions in the Sky (Orig mus)
  Justin Stanley (Orig mus)
  David Torn (Orig mus)
  Adam Smalley (Mus ed)
  Bryan Lawson (Mus ed)
  Kathy Nelson (Exec in charge of mus for Universal Pictures)
  Bruce Fowler (Orch)
  David Campbell (Orch)
  Walt Fowler (Orch)
  Yvonne Suzette Moriarty (Orch)
  Ladd McIntosh (Orch)
  Elizabeth Finch (Orch)
  Richard Jory (Mus rec)
  Debbi Datz-Pyle (Mus contractor)
  Justin Stanley (Mus rec & mixed)
  Joel Iwataki (Mus rec & mixed)
  Julian Bratolyubov (Mus preparation)
  Bomb Factory (Score rec at)
  Signet Sound (Score rec at)
  Sam Zeines (Mus programmer)
Sound: Whit Norris (Sd mixer)
  Mark Weingarten (Sd mixer)
  David Daniel (Sd mixer, 2d unit)
  Scott Solan (Boom op)
  Larry Comans (Boom op)
  Chris Frazee (Boom op, 2d unit)
  Tom Sturgis (Cable/Utility)
  Thadd Day (Cable/Utility)
  Gregory King (Supv sd ed/Re-rec mixer)
  Rick Kline (Re-rec mixer)
  Joel Shryack (Co-supv sd ed)
  Craig Henighan (Co-supv sd ed)
  Meg Taylor (Asst sd ed)
  Darren King (Dial ed)
  Yann Delpuech (Eff ed)
  Robert Grieve (ADR ed)
  Greg Steele (ADR mixer)
  Christopher Fitzgerald (ADR rec)
  Dan Yale (Foley supv)
  Hari Ryatt (Foley ed)
  Andy Malcolm (Foley artist)
  Goro Koyama (Foley artist)
  Ron Mellegers (Foley mixer)
  Don White (Foley mixer)
  Rebecca Wright (Foley rec asst)
  Anna Malkin (Foley rec asst)
  Kyle Alexander (Sd prod asst)
  Derrick Espino (Sd prod asst)
  Barbara Noren (Sd prod asst)
  Eric Harwood (Dubbing rec)
  Footsteps Post Production Sound, Inc. (Foley rec services)
  Thom Ehle (Dolby sd consultant)
Special Effects: Emmet Kane (Spec eff coord)
  James W. McCormick (Spec eff tech)
  Marc McCord (Spec eff tech)
  Beverly McCord (Spec eff tech)
  Rhythm & Hues (Visual eff)
  Hoiyue Harry Lam (Compositing supv)
  John DJ Desjardin (On-set VFX supv)
  Lisa Goldberg (Visual eff supv)
  Gene Kozicki (Digital prod mgr)
  Patrick D. Hurd (Digital FX coord)
  Steven Pimental (Visual eff coord)
  John Heller (Lead compositor/Inferno artist)
  Alan Precourt (Compositor)
  Bill Georgiou (Compositor)
  Brigitte Bourque (Compositor)
  Chirag Nagpal (Compositor)
  Cybele Sierra (Compositor)
  Daniel Dalton Akers (Compositor)
  David Sweeney (Compositor)
  Ean Carr (Compositor)
  Elam Parithi (Compositor)
  Frank Mauer (Compositor)
  Jai Dadlani (Compositor)
  Jateen Thakkar (Compositor)
  Jeff Wells (Compositor)
  Jeffrey Castel De Oro (Compositor)
  Jennifer Ann Howard (Compositor)
  Joe Salazar (Compositor)
  Joshua Saeta (Compositor)
  Kamalakanna Vairakanna (Compositor)
  Marc Rubone (Compositor)
  Matt Kelly (Compositor)
  Matthew T. Wilson (Compositor)
  Mike Frevert (Compositor)
  Michael Pecchia (Compositor)
  Mukesh Kumar (Compositor)
  Pauline Wu Duvall (Compositor)
  Payal Dani (Compositor)
  Perry Kass (Compositor)
  Prabhakar Putta (Compositor)
  Pragti Wadhwa (Compositor)
  Satish Ratakonda (Compositor)
  Sean Lee (Compositor)
  Serkan Zelzele (Compositor)
  Shweta Hirani (Compositor)
  Tony Barraza (Compositor)
  Timothy I. Miller (Mont compositing supv)
  Doug Juhn (Mont des)
  Don Greenberg (Inferno artist)
  Jennifer Bourne (Lead roto artist)
  Diana Wells (Roto/Paint artist)
  Karen Klein (Roto/Paint artist)
  Mark Hopper (Roto/Paint artist)
  Marvin Jones (Roto/Paint artist)
  Matt Boatright-Simon (Roto/Paint artist)
  Shawn Monaghan (Roto/Paint artist)
  Sheri Cruz (Roto/Paint artist)
  Veronica Hernandez (Roto/Paint artist)
  Neville Page (Photoshop artist)
  Jonathan Robinson (India compositing supv)
  L. Patrick McCormack (India prod mgr)
  Annapragada Rajaroao Seshaprasad (India VFX coord)
  James Bluma (VFX ed)
  Erin V. Ramos (Pipeline TD)
  Richard Hollander (Sr. VFX supv)
  Lee Berger (Exec prod [visual eff])
  Technicolor Digital Intermediates (Digital intermediate)
  Custom Film Effects (Digital opticals)
Make Up: Roxie Norman (Dept head hairstylist)
  Joani Yarbrough (Hairstylist for Mr. Thornton/Mr. McGraw)
  Melissa Forney (Key hairstylist)
  Charmaine Richards (Hairstylist)
  Chelsey M. Carpenter (Hairstylist)
  Melizah Schmidt (Hairstylist)
  Charles E. Yusko (Hairstylist)
  Carol F. Doran (Wig stylist)
  Troy Breeding (Head makeup artist)
  Lynne Eagan (Makeup artist for Mr. Thornton/Mr. McGraw)
  Becki Drake (Key makeup artist)
  Jacenda Burkett (2d makeup artist)
  Janet Tallent-Dickson (Addl makeup artist)
Production Misc: Janet Hirshenson (Casting)
  Jane Jenkins (Casting)
  Michelle Lewitt (Casting assoc)
  Jo Edna Boldin (Casting, Texas)
  Kit Gwin (Casting assoc, Texas)
  Melissa Mercer (Casting assoc, Texas)
  Toni Cobb Brock (Extras casting)
  Joe Grisaffi (Extras casting)
  Sally Allen (Extras casting)
  Caitlin McKenna (ADR voice casting)
  John Cameron (Unit prod mgr)
  John G. Scotti (Unit prod mgr, 2d unit)
  Karen Ruth Getchell (Prod supv)
  Shanti Delsarte (Prod coord)
  Leigh Ann Wilbourn (Prod coord)
  Karen Wacker (Prod coord, 2d unit)
  Lisa Rodgers (Post prod supv)
  Gina Grande (Scr supv)
  Brooke Satrazemis (Scr supv, 2d unit)
  Cheryl Kurk (Prod accountant)
  Karen Yokomizo (1st asst accountant)
  Ryan Hintz (2d asst accountant)
  Boysie Jereza (Payroll accountant)
  James Maull (Post prod accountant)
  M. Ross Michaels (Accounting asst)
  Lisa Kurk (Accounting asst)
  Brian Fuller (Accounting asst)
  Matt Langley (Accounting asst)
  Maria Williams (Exec asst to Mr. Berg)
  Francis Keao (Asst to Mr. Berg)
  Miguel Raya (Asst to Mr. Grazer)
  Audrey Chon (Asst to Mr. Whitaker)
  Maia Medve (Asst to Mr. Cameron/Mr. Graf/Ms. Aubrey)
  Kristin Scott (Asst to Mr. Thornton)
  Robbie Friedmann (Loc mgr)
  Joey Hudgins (Asst loc mgr)
  Logan Cooper (Asst loc mgr)
  Mateo Barnstone (Asst loc mgr)
  Drew Dillard (Loc scout)
  Will Gallagher (Loc scout)
  Marcel Meyer (Loc scout)
  Kenneth Lewin (Loc scout)
  Pete Sharp (Loc asst)
  Dorothy Menton (Loc asst)
  Stan Ginsel (Loc projectionist)
  Justin Reimer (Asst football coord, 2d unit)
  Jayson Merrill (Asst football coach, 2d unit)
  Jennifer Taginski (Football trainer)
  Tim O'Connell (Football trainer)
  Victor Ignatiev (Equipment mgr)
  Nell Kennedy (Prod secy)
  John Claude Fedrick (Office prod asst)
  Kathy Kaplan (Office prod asst)
  Claudia Picos (Office prod asst)
  David Hampton (Office prod asst)
  Bill Lanier (Office prod asst, 2d unit)
  Marvin J. Williams Jr. (Key set prod asst)
  Taylor Phillips (Set prod asst)
  Michele Cusick (Set prod asst)
  Jennifer Martinson (Set prod asst)
  Jeremy Reisig (Set prod asst)
  Greg Pisarski (Set prod asst)
  Tiffany Lynn Drucker (Set prod asst)
  Brandon Schiffman (Set prod asst)
  Melissa H. Morgan (Set prod asst)
  Paul Mankin (Set prod asst)
  Ginna Faulkner (Set prod asst)
  Kayse Goodell (Set prod asst, 2d unit)
  Douglas Carter (Set prod asst, 2d unit)
  Tim Crowley (Set prod asst, 2d unit)
  Neil Parker (Set prod asst, 2d unit)
  Leroy Reed (Transportation coord)
  Harland Reed (Transportation capt)
  Gregory Faucett (Transportation capt)
  Mike Hitch (Transportation co-capt)
  Dwight Cary (Transportation capt, 2d unit)
  George Miki (Transportation office mgr)
  Marti Wells (Picture car capt)
  Cliff Fleming (Helicopter pilot)
  Tara Reimers (Mr. Thornton's driver)
  Ernie Malik (Unit pub)
  Cindy Lindauer (Set teacher)
  Mario's Catering, Inc. (Caterer)
  Joe Fisk (Craft service)
  Saul Sanchez (Craft service)
  Richard Hebben (Craft service, 2d unit)
  Rusty Chambers (Craft service, 2d unit)
  Nick Martin (Assets mgr)
  Raigen Thornton (Medic)
  John Arszyla (Medic)
  Sabrina Williams (Medic)
  Carmen Thomson (Medic)
  Richard Paul (Medic)
Stand In: Allan Graf (Stunt coord)
  Kevin Reid (Stunts)
  Justin Reimer (Stunts)
  Erick Smart (Stunts)
  Scott Stickane (Stunts)
  James LaVitola (Stunts)
  Miguel McKay (Stunts)
  Barrett Elkins (Stunts)
  Courtnee Garcia (Stunts)
  Jayson Merrill (Stunts)
  Derek Graf (Stunts)
  Jason Hunt (Stunts)
  Christopher Poling (Stunts)
  Webster Whinery (Stunts)
  Christie Sanders (Stunts)
  Bonnie Morgan (Stunts)
  Cedric Foster (Stunt double for Derek Luke)
Color Personnel: Stephen Nakamura (Digital film colorist)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Country: United States
Language: English

Music: "Grandioso March," written and arranged by Roland Seitz; "Hawaii Five-O Theme," written by Morton Stevens; "Dixie," arranged by Dr. Timothy B. Rhea; "Sonho Dourado," written and performed by Daniel Lanois, courtesy of 422190 Ontario Inc.
Songs: "Terminator X to the Edge of Panic," written by Carlton Ridenhour, Norman Rodgers and William Drayton, performed by Public Enemy, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "Wild Side," written by Tommy Lee, Nikki Sixx and Vince Neil, performed by Mötley Crüe, courtesy of Masters 2000, Inc., under exclusive license to Universal Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "It's Tricky," written by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Jason Mizel and Rick Rubin, performed by Run DMC, courtesy of Profile Records, Inc., under license from BMG Film & TV Music; "Fool Proof," written by Julius Robinson and David A. Young, performed by Joey Scarbury, courtesy of Uprising Entertainment; "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," written by Carlton Ridenhour, Hank Shocklee, Eric Sadler and William Drayton, performed by Public Enemy, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "Nothin' but a Good Time," written by Bret Michaels, C. C. DeVille, Rikki Rockett and Bobby Dall, performed by Poison, courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI Film & Television Music; "Shoot for Thrills," written by Kelly Nickels, performed by L.A. Guns, courtesy of Universal Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; "Louie Louie," written by Richard Berry; "Bring the Noise," written by Carlton Ridenhour, Hank Shocklee, Eric Sadler and George Clinton, Jr., performed by Public Enemy, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises, contains a sample of "Get off Your Ass and Jam," performed by Funkadelic, courtesy of Westbound Records Inc.; “Got My Mo Jo Working,” written by Preston Foster, performed by Jimmy Smith, courtesy of The Verve Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Barbara Ann,” written by Fred Fassert; “Rock and Roll Part 2,” written by Gary Glitter and Mike Leander; “Just Got Paid,” written by Billy F. Gibbons and Bill Ham, performed by ZZ Top, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc., by arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing; “New Noise,” written by David Sandstrom, Dennis Lyxzen, Kristofer Steen and Jon Brannstrom, performed by Refused, courtesy of Burning Heart Records/Epitaph; “Welcome to the Terrordome,” written by Carlton Ridenhour and Keith Shocklee, performed by Public Enemy, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises; “Jack & Gen,” written and performed by Adam Smalley; “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” written by Ronald Asheton, Scott Asheton, Dave Alexander and Iggy Pop, performed by The Stooges, courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing; "Seagull," written by Paul Bernard Rodgers and Mick Ralphs, performed by Bad Company, courtesy of Swan Song Inc./Elektra Entertainment Group, by arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing; "Your Hand in Mine,” “Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean,” “Memorial” and “The Only Moment We Were Alone,” written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith and Michael Aaron James, performed by Explosions in the Sky, courtesy of Explosions in the Sky; “First Breath After Coma” and “Have You Passed Through This Night?” written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith and Michael Aaron James, performed by Explosions in the Sky; “A Poor Man’s Memory” and “With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept,” written by Christopher Hrasky, Munaf Rayani, Mark Thomas Smith and Michael Aaron James, performed by Explosions in the Sky, courtesy of Temporary Residence, Inc.
Composer: Dave Alexander
  Ronald Asheton
  Scott Asheton
  Richard Berry
  Jon Brannstrom
  George Clinton Jr.
  Bobby Dall
  C. C. DeVille
  William Drayton
  Fred Fassert
  Preston Foster
  Billy F. Gibbons
  Gary Glitter
  Bill Ham
  Christopher Hrasky
  Michael Aaron James
  Daniel Lanois
  Mike Leander
  Tommy Lee
  Dennis Lyxzen
  Darryl McDaniels
  Bret Michaels
  Jason Mizel
  Vince Neil
  Kelly Nickels
  Iggy Pop
  Mick Ralphs
  Munaf Rayani
  Dr. Timothy B. Rhea
  Carlton Ridenhour
  Julius Robinson
  Rikki Rockett
  Norman Rodgers
  Paul Bernard Rodgers
  Rick Rubin
  Eric Sadler
  David Sandstrom
  Roland Seitz
  Hank Shocklee
  Joseph Simmons
  Nikki Sixx
  Adam Smalley
  Mark Thomas Smith
  Kristofer Steen
  Morton Stevens
  David A. Young
Source Text: Based on the book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger (Reading, MA, 1990).
Authors: H. G. Bissinger

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
MDBF Filmgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG and Universal Pictures 0/0/2004 dd/mm/yyyy  

PCA NO: 41170
Physical Properties: Sd: dts; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound; Dolby Digital in selected theatres
  col: Technicolor
  Lenses/Prints: Kodak Motion Picture Film; filmed with Panavision cameras and lenses

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Sports
 
Subjects (Major): Football
  Football coaches
  Football players
  Maturation
  Obsession
  Texas
 
Subjects (Minor): Adolescents
  Ambition
  Astrodome (Houston, TX)
  Battered children
  Fathers and sons
  Football--Accidents and injuries
  High schools
  Hospitals
  Mothers and sons
  Prestige
  Religiosity
  Rings
  Rivalry
  Scouts (Athletic)
  Small town life
  Uncles
  Wounds and injuries

Note: Other than the title, all of the credits appear at the end of the film. The initial cast list differs in order from the cast/character list. The picture begins with the written statement: "The following is based on a true story which took place in West Texas in 1988." Voice-over commentary by radio announcers, hosts and guests is interspersed throughout the film. The picture ends with subtitles explaining the future careers of the film's major characters, noting that Brian Chavez went to Harvard and became a lawyer; Don Billingsley remained close with his father and became an insurance salesman in Dallas; Ivory Christian received a football scholarship and went on to work as a truck driver; James "Boobie" Miles played football in junior college and settled in Texas with his twins; and Mike Winchell played football for a year at Baylor University, then became a surveyer.
       Although all other sources list the running time as 117 minutes, NYT lists 105 minutes. The credits include the written statement: "In memory of Alan J. Pakula." Pakula (1928--1998), who was originally set to direct Friday Night Lights , began his film career as a producer on pictures such as To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962 (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ). Later, he directed several award-winning films, including All the President’s Men (1976) and Sophie's Choice (1982). He died on 19 Nov 1998, when a piece of metal tore through the windshield of his car. The end credits thank numerous people and institutions, including the Texas Film Commission, Austin Film Commission, city of Odessa and Permian High School. An end credit for Friday Night Lights states that the film’s soundtrack is available on Hip-O Records/UMG Soundtracks.
       H. G. Bissinger’s book, Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream , was published in 1990 and remained on the NYT bestseller list for 15 weeks. It was later named by Sports Illustrated as the greatest football story ever told. Bissinger, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist, spent a year in Odessa tracking the Permian High School football season and becoming part of the community. He then took six months to organize the book before beginning to write. The book frankly portrayed the racial and class issues in the community and the fact that the coach made more money than the principal and the local school district budgeted more money for football medical supplies than for the entire English department. As a result, as Publishers Weekly reported in Dec 1990, Bissinger received death threats and was forced to cancel some personal appearances in Texas. The NYT critic wrote, “In his telling Odessa proves to be a symbol of almost everything wrong with sports in America.”
       As stated in studio press materials, upon the book’s publication, Pakula’s former assistant, Tova Laiter, introduced the property to Imagine Entertainment producer Brian Grazer. Grazer pitched the film to Universal, which acquired the book rights. The project then underwent years of complications, with numerous directors and writers attached at different times. On 7 Nov 1990, DV announced that Pakula would direct and produce the film and mentioned David Ward as a possible screenwriter and Sam Shepard as a star. David Aaron Cohen wrote a script for Pakula that was eventually used as the basis for the final film. According to a Sep 2004 LAT article, Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show (1971), which was also set in rural Texas, was Cohen's inspiration.
       In 1994, Brian Levant worked on another screenplay adaptation, planning to direct it, but according to a Nov 2003 LAT article, "the studio eventually cooled on Levant's version." By Feb 1996, HR stated that Jon Avnet would direct the picture, with Pakula as executive producer. The LAT piece added that Billy Ray wrote a script with Avnet. However, DV noted in Sep 1996 that Universal Pictures had shelved the project, which was “now looking for a new home.” On 15 Aug 1997, a DV article stated that Richard Linklater was in negotiations to re-write and direct. DV noted in May 2002 that after Linklater wrote a script, booked locations and cast football players, Universal "pulled the plug." Then in 1999, director Ted Demme was briefly attached to the film, but his death in 2001 once again delayed the project.
       In late Jul 2003, as noted in Var , Grazer hired Peter Berg to co-write and direct. The LAT article detailed Grazer's initial reluctance to hire Berg, who had turned down previous opportunities to work with Imagine. After Berg asserted his commitment, however, Bissinger, to whom the book rights had since reverted, agreed to a new deal with Imagine. Berg and Bissinger are second cousins and close friends. Berg noted in press materials that Bissinger had showed him the book in galley form before publication, and that as a result Berg had campaigned for years to be allowed to direct the film version. He stated in press materials that his "take on this film is football is combat and these guys are warriors."
       Berg traveled to Odessa every weekend shooting football footage and getting to know the townspeople. At his behest, some scenes were shot at Permian High School, including at the school’s Ratliff Stadium. Most of the film was eventually shot on location in Texas, including in Odessa, Austin and the Houston Astrodome.
       According to the 2004 LAT article, the role of Coach Gary Gaines was originally offered to Tom Hanks. Billy Bob Thornton, who played Gaines, drew from the experiences of his father, who had been a high school basketball coach. Lucas Black, who played “Mike Winchell,” had earlier been directed by Thornton in Swing Blade and All the Pretty Horses… . Berg hired James “Boobie” Miles, one of the football players whose story was told in Friday Night Lights , to play a sideline coach in the film. The film’s pressbook notes that Miles was present for the filming of the scene that recreated the most important moment of his life, in which he broke his knee during a game and saw his football career ruined. Lee Jackson made his feature film debut in Friday Night Lights as Christian.
       Out of a pool of 960 applicants, second unit director and former USC football player Allan Graf picked 260 to participate in a three-day tryout camp in Jan 2004. He eventually chose forty boys to appear in the film. The football unit held a six-week training camp at St. Stephens Academy, playing six hours of football every day. Real-life Permian football trainer Tim O’Connell recreated his job for the production.
       Although the movie hewed closely to the book, some differences emerged. Chris Comer was not highlighted in the book, as he was a junior and Bissinger covered only the seniors. As stated in a 12 Sep 2004 LAT article, in order to receive permission to film in Odessa, Berg had to promise not to portray the town in a racist or stereotypical manner. Therefore, the film’s portrayal of the town differs from that in the book. Because of the omission of Odessa's cultural strife, some critics, including the LAT reviewer, maintained that the film "throw[s] authenticity to the wind in the name of what’s called ‘dramatic purposes.’" Many reviews, however, asserted that the film dealt expressly with racial and class tensions. The Newsweek review read: “[The film] has lots to say about race, class, celebrity, competition and the way dreams can inspire as well as devour the dreamer." The NYT critic stated that “the screenplay fiddles very little with the actual events” and “rarely softens the picture.”
       Reviews in general were positive, and the picture became a sleeper box office hit. Newsweek magazine and AFI named Friday Night Lights as one of the top ten films of 2004. In May 2006, the NBC television network announced that a weekly series based on the Bissinger novel and the film would be on the network's 2006--2007 Prime Time schedule.
 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   7 Nov 1990   p. 1, 27.
Daily Variety   19 Sep 1996.   
Daily Variety   15 Aug 1997   p. 5, 38.
Daily Variety   3 May 2002   p. 5, 34.
Daily Variety   12 Oct 2004.   
Hollywood Reporter   7 Nov 1990   p. 1, 8.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Feb 1996   p. 1, 33.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Nov 2003.   
Hollywood Reporter   3 Feb 2004.   
Hollywood Reporter   17 Feb 2004.   
Hollywood Reporter   27 Sep 2004.   
Los Angeles Times   18 Nov 2003   Calendar, p. 1, 4.
Los Angeles Times   12 Sep 2004   Calendar, pp. 25-26.
Los Angeles Times   8 Oct 2004   Calendar, p. 1, 18.
Los Angeles Times   18 Oct 2004.   
New York Times   8 Oct 2004.   
New York Times   12 Oct 2004   Arts, p. 1, 7.
Newsweek   11 Oct 2004.   
Publishers Weekly   7 Dec 1990.   
Variety   28 Jul 2003.   
Variety   27 Oct 2004   p. 76, 85.

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