Sam Elliott vs Jeremy Renner: The Dueling Voices of “A Tale of Two Cities”

Bethany Lowe, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, The Timeline

“The Timeline: A Tale of Two Cities,” narrated by Sam Elliott and Jeremy Renner, premieres December 15th at 8:00pm/ET on NFL Network. 

Sam Elliott is Dallas; Jeremy Renner is San Francisco. Elliott and Renner’s dueling narration brings you the story of the great rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers in the two part documentary, “A Tale of Two Cities.” The NFL Films producers who worked on the film bring you a unique style of storytelling.

“From the original notion of this being ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ we kept coming back to how every great moment was simultaneously an extreme high for one team and a devastating low for the other,” –Paul Camarata, Producer

“It would have been very easy to make a film the way it has always been made. Paul was creative on another level thinking through the basic assumption that you have a narrator to tell a story and came up with something better,” –Neil Zender, Producer

The use of bantering narrators representing the views of the teams and the fans is something different in our film making.

“Usually we write for an omniscient narrator that dispenses ‘facts.’ Being able to write for two narrators that have a point of view was very liberating and a lot of fun.”–Neil Zender, Producer

“Before coming to NFL Films, I worked on a show with two hosts who would often finish each others’ sentences, so writing in that style wasn’t completely new to me.  The challenge was writing that way for a documentary.” –Jason Weber, Producer

“I was 12 years old when the Cowboys won Super Bowl 27, so it’s always fun to revisit that era of Cowboys football. I think the process of reflecting on my own experiences in Dallas during that time really added to the first person nature of the script: much of what I wrote was truly my voice, thoughts and opinions.” –Chris Weaver, Producer

Once the concept was decided, choosing who should voice the opposing views came easy. Jeremy Renner is a die-hard 49ers fan and grew up in Northern California, while Sam Elliott was a natural fit for the Cowboys.

“We have two incredibly talented and accomplished performers whose distinct sounds also fulfilled the practical demands of using two narrators.” –Paul Camarata, Producer.

“I couldn’t dream of having two better voices,” Neil Zender, Producer

Producer Chris Weaver especially enjoyed bringing this idea to reality.

“As a Dallas native, I conveniently have a Texan draw, so show-runner Paul Camarata asked if I could do the scratch narration. I also read Sam’s lines so Renner could feed off the back-and-forth nature of the script. That was a unique and absolutely fun experience. It’s not everyday that you get to read a script with a Hollywood star, we had a blast and we even did a little trash talking about my Cowboys and his Niners.” Chris Weaver, Producer

TO HEAR THE DUELING NARRATIONS, CLICK THE VIDEO BELOW:

“A TALE OF TWO CITIES”
PART 1 AIRS DECEMBER 15TH at 8:00PM/ET
PART 2 AIRS DECEMBER 19TH AFTER TNF 
 on NFL NETWORK

_______________________________________________________________________

“A TALE OF TWO CITIES” IS PRODUCED BY
ANTHONY SMITH, PAUL CAMARATA, PETE FRANK, NEIL ZENDER,
JEFF LARSEN, CHRIS WEAVER, JASON WEBER, AND STEVE LUCATUORTO

“THE TIMELINE” IS PRODUCED BY
KEN RODGERS AND PAUL CAMARATA

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