EDITOR’S NOTE: “NFL Films Presents: The Sculptor” premieres on Fox Sports 1 on Tuesday, 10/28 at 8.30pm/ET, and airs again on FS1 on Thursday, 10/30 at 7.30pm/ET.
By Paul Camarata, Producer
When shooting began last spring for the “Ricky Williams: A Football Life” documentary I was producing, it became clear pretty quickly that to track Ricky’s story back through time would require journeying to many places. And sure enough, before production was complete we’d been across Texas, across the Atlantic, and finally, to the shores of Lake Erie, to the studio of world renowned sculptor David Deming.
An Ohio native, the former president of the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the former dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas-Austin, David was the man tapped in 2011 to create the 8 foot bronze statue of Ricky that today stands at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The stunning likeness was the first thing we shot for the Ricky film, and it led me to David’s story, which he graciously shared with us in his Cleveland studios at what became the final location shoot of the documentary.
It’s not unusual for a large story, upon close examination, to reveal interesting composite parts. But in this case, David’s life and work was such a “hook”, that like all great art, it required its own unique space. Enter NFL Films Presents, our flagship feature series that has long been a place to tell stories of, among other things, great molders of men. It proved to be the perfect venue to end this journey where it began: with a study of the work of David Deming.
IN THE GALLERY: We found this painted Longhorn featuring Ricky on the road through artsy Austin, TX that led us to David, though it isn’t one of his creations ; Jim Barry (DP of Ricky Williams: A Football Life) captures the Ricky Williams statue in ATX ; David at work in his Cleveland studios (Cinematographer Al Francesco pictured shooting on ladder). [Photos – P. Camarata]
“NFL Films Presents,” hosted By Joe Buck premieres new episodes each week during the football season on Fox Sports 1. Paul Camarata is a Senior Producer at NFL Films.