How To Make A Good Story Great. A Super Bowl Feature

by planetMitch6 Comments

If you just watched the Super Bowl, you missed one of the best parts of the story! Yes it was a great game, but this story by the good folks at @stillmotion will warm your heart and maybe even make you cry a little (it did for me).

We never think of all the people who go into making something like the NFL happen. I often think about the referees who pretty much go nameless but yet contribute so much to the game. I also think about the helpers on the sidelines bringing water to the players… they don’t get any credit.

But imagine the woman who makes the footballs? Never would I have thought about her.

Until now.

Until @stillmotion made this amazing video.

I’ll never think about the game the same way and I bet you won’t either.

The Final Stitch. How A Super Bowl Football Is Made


Via Vimeo Description:

A timely feature about the football making process featuring Jane Hesler, a wonderful lady who has had her in hands in the making of every single Super Bowl football since the tradition began 48 years ago.

This is the story of her journey to see where her life's work spends the rest of its life making history.

Thanks to Showtime for letting us share this here.

Pete and Gareth for giving us the opportunity to put this together.
And to Andre Braugher for lending his voice to Aunt Jane's story.

Shot on the Red Epic with Canon Cinema Primes.

For the story behind this film, and our ideas on – How To Make A Good Story Great – head on over to our blog

Super Bowl Feature

Super Bowl Feature image 1


Via Stillmotion:

Our first step in any story is to hit the ground and do our pre-production. Grant drove a few hours into the small town of Ada, Ohio. The place where every NFL football is made, which was the basis of the story.

He walked all over town to take photos, meet people. He stopped at local watering holes, and got a feel for the town. In his research he met Aunt Jane.

And this is when the magic happened.

She’s a very unassuming and sweet woman who spent 48 years stitching footballs for the Wilson factory in town. Aunt Jane has had a hand in making footballs for each of the Super Bowls. Ever. All of them.

And she also shared her dream with us.

For the near half-century that she had worked at Wilson factory she longed to walk out on the field where her life’s work spends the rest of its life making history. The fact that the balls she made have been used in every Super Bowl just didn’t feel real to her–and walking on that field was the one thing that she felt would make everything she’s done mean so much more.
This was one of our first fox-chicken-seed moments of the shoot.

Read full article at Stillmotion “How to Make a Good Story Great. A Super Bowl Feature

(cover photo credit: snap from Stillmotion)


chief astronomer at planet5D LLC
Mitch "planetMitch" Aunger is the creator and mastermind behind

He's incredibly happy running planet5D and sharing so much joy of photography and filmmaking with his readers.


  1. As I break from the heard and dive into the fire of the unpopular,  I’m going with, “How To Make A Good Story Boring”.  It’s a great story – technically, well executed.  However it could’ve been told in half the time.  Just shy of 6 minutes, every scene should succinctly set up the next and be 110% engaging.  Trim the fat.  In this particular case, the vimeo shuttle button was my friend.  Andre Braugher is a fantastic talent and well chosen for this VO however, his lude-like delivery only contributed to the drudgery.  I guess what I’m saying is, IMHO, the edit could have been a LOT tighter.

    There.  I said it.  Let the flame throwing begin!  My friends (yes, I have a few) say, “it’s not a party until Bill’s pissed somebody off.”

  2. billaylward of course you’re welcome to have an opinion bill as long as you’re not cutting people down. I didn’t look at it from that perspective – tho maybe there’s a bit too much time in there… Remember that it was shot for a particular segment on a sports show, so maybe there was a specific time target. I don’t know that for a fact, just throwing the idea out there (not that it makes it right either LOL)

  3. planetMitch billaylward Thanks, Mitch.  Yeah… Honestly, my intent is not to cut anyone down – and my comments can lean towards the surly so I try to self-edit – and not always so successfully;)  That said, I find that in this world of blogging and what I often perceive to be self-aggrandizing, there’s very little pure, unfiltered honesty.  If we’re all here – in this universe – to learn, then the conversations should be constructive as well as candid.  As my own worse critic, I’m often reminded that shorter is better and am constantly “holding my feet to the fire” to make my own work stronger.  

    Your point is well taken; it probably needed to fill a certain time slot.  I’m still working on my people skills 😉

  4. planetMitch Make us tear up? It did for my wife and me, and we don’t watch football. (Nothing against it—just doesn’t do anything for us.) But this short did. It’s a reminder of why aspiring filmmakers such as myself are smart to listen to what Stillmotion has to say. They’ve always been all about story, and this one truly shows their story chops. 
    Could it have been shorter? Probably.  When complemented on his latest book, Mark Twain once replied, “Well, if I had more time I’d have written a shorter book.”

  5. Stillmotion must have edited out the scene where after so much pride, artistry and dedication to the craft, Aunt Jane then deflates the ball for Tom Brady.

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